Aganto has responded to an environment of Brexit uncertainty by helping out as firms change strategy and stockpile goods. MD Andy Butters says the firm are on standby in anticipation of an exit from the EU and is ready to deliver temporary buildings that help companies cope with any further disruption.
The truth is the uncertainty over Brexit that we have experienced over the last couple of years couldn’t have come at a worse time for UK warehousing. High population density, the eCommerce boom, and the post-recession desert of speculative build, all created pre-existing conditions of constrained warehouse space.
Andy explains: “There is a definite shortage of UK warehousing space, which has led to spiralling costs. Logistics companies and firms that need to store goods have been snapping up every bit of warehouse space that’s available. This has led to people getting anxious, and we have noticed an upturn in enquiries which are Brexit stockpiling related.”
Once people get past the anxiety phase, they move to strategies that can help, and that’s where Aganto comes in. It is not always possible to lease off-site warehousing space cost-effectively, so keeping storage on site using a temporary warehouse can be an ideal solution.
“For this business, we see it as an opportunity because we’ve got a product that is genuinely going to help people. We can bolt on temporary warehouses for stockpiling on customer premises where they’ve got dead space,” says Andy.
“Customers can react quickly and flexibly – and our prices are static. Companies need to stockpile but cashflow might be an issue. Our solution costs less than traditional warehousing, you can move in and out of it quickly, and we can offer flexible monthly rental terms to meet your budget.”
Last year, Aganto reviewed the situation and saw the opportunity. Consequently, it arranged for component parts to be manufactured well in advance and has ample buildings ready to hire. The company has also halved lead times, down to 2-3 weeks from the industry average of 4-6 weeks.
Andy is philosophical about the UK market overall.
“The UK is still a very dynamic market and, in my opinion, the UK is going to be fine. Even if you take a negative such as falling Sterling, our assets will become incredibly attractive for foreign investment. However we look at it, there’s got to be a silver lining.
Our product is attractive to firms that need to stockpile, and equally when new opportunities arise that companies want to quickly capitalise on, we can quickly provide the space to enable this.”
As well as providing solid temporary storage facilities, Aganto has deployed increasing numbers of structures that are used for versatile applications, such as helping to facilitate cross-docking operations.
“We’ve seen more buildings being provided for cross docking facilities to help power the fast turnaround of goods. Furthermore, we are seeing applications in terms of workshops and returns operations, where the emphasis is more on allowing people to complete processes more effectively, rather than more conventional storage of goods.”
Aganto released a range of retractable temporary tunnels 18 months ago, which has proved a big success. They offer a clever solution as they can be opened and closed to suit the needs of the business. This comes in to play for firms that don’t have a lot of space, and fluctuating needs, perhaps through the course of the day. In this way, the tunnels can be extended to cover goods until they are turned around and then retracted, offering space in the yard for other tasks, until it is needed again.
“We’ve seen a lot of success with this product, and as online retail continues to grow, the emphasis is on distribution businesses coming up with solutions that facilitate fast turnaround of products. Temporary structures are very much the go-to solution for retailers. We’ve also seen great success with pallet networks. Pallet networks are pushing out requirements to their depots, for example, they want the depots to turn goods around quickly, but also protect them to a very high standard. And that’s where we come in with solutions such as canopies and retractable tunnels.”
Aganto plans future product developments, so watch this space for more detail on those. In the meantime, the company stands ready to run the space race in good times and bad, during the Brexit crisis and afterwards.
“Our brand is synonymous with quality and we continue to be a service-led business. We are able to provide a solution and support for customers whatever the Brexit process is going to throw at us and beyond,” concludes Andy.