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For this month’s Meet the Supplier feature, we’re delighted to introduce Stewart Bourn, Managing Director at Anco. Established over 26 years ago, Anco boasts a substantial range of storage equipment from small part picking systems, bulk pallet storage, to industrial and commercial shelving and cantilever and long-span systems right up to multi-tier projects.
Steeped in family history, Anco was founded by John Hurman following his redundancy from another storage provider. It wasn’t long before he was joined by his two sons, Gavin and Mark and together they saw fantastic growth. It was in February this year that Stewart joined the team with ambitious plans and tasked to develop Anco’s customer base and embark on an education process to its distributors highlighting the company’s offering of storage solutions and not just products.
“We are well known for our catalogues, and these have been at the heart of our company for many years. They are filled with technical information to help ensure the most suitable solutions are specified for the job in hand.” Stewart said.
“Our mantra for our distributors is, “Our Stock is Your Stock” and with £3 million pounds worth this enables Spaceway, to promise its customers storage solutions very quickly and with the knowledge that they will not be let down. We effectively offer our customers; free warehousing, warehouse staff, and access to huge stocks without them having the liability.
“In this market, there is a considerable amount which you can buy over the internet. It looks like it can do what you expect, but it doesn’t take into account your business needs. Spaceway knows the exact details of their clients’ needs are and have the knowledge, experience and expertise to guide the client towards the best fit solution.
“We are seeing a shift in the return of good old-fashioned communication when it comes to sales in this industry, people want to deal with people and know they are going to procure the best solution first time round.
“As we’re a trade only supplier, our longstanding partnership with Spaceway is exceptionally valued by all at Anco. Spaceway has over 40 years’ experience, offers a full design service, has experts who visit the client directly to establish their needs and has a UK customer service team who are renowned for their expert knowledge. Working in partnership, we are always able to work to their client’s budget and deadline.
“Anco and Spaceway both pride ourselves on our high level of customer service and commitment. Ensuring that we supply the right product for the job, and to that end, we have a very experienced sales team ready to talk through the many systems on offer. All of our storage systems are delivered with installation instructions and we have available generic safety documentation for the installation process, as many are fitted by the end user themselves.”
Health and safety is top of the agenda for Stewart:
“There is a misconception in this industry that products bought from the internet will be safe and meet the basic standards required. In many instances, the products do, but the situations they are used in might not make them compliant. Warehouse environments can be dangerous places and ensure the wellbeing of all warehouse operators is imperative. You have to remember, this equipment is being placed in areas where people are storing heavy, large, small and light objects and these systems must be installed in the right way. We spend a lot of time on the design because if it’s not done correctly people could get injured.”
Stewart spoke in detail about the importance of design when it comes to Health and Safety:
“Design is where the skill factor comes in. You need to break down your storage system into sectors and make sure these work for your employees and the efficiency of your business. If you are running a picking operation, you need to factor in where each product will be stored.
“It’s really all about the ergonomics. You wouldn’t put small objects such as nuts and bolts at the top or bottom of a high shelving unit where there would be constant stretching involved, equally you make sure the fast pick items are easily accessible. Then there is the matter of labelling the boxes, the consideration of heavy objects which need to be picked by machine and you find yourself in a whole new situation. Suddenly, that £50 storage unit you spotted on Ebay is just not going to cut it.”
We asked Stewart about the challenges he sees facing the industry and his main concern is competition:
“It’s a busy market out there and we are all working in a crowded marketplace. We need to and like to, work with the experts like Spaceway. They understand that it is not always about price and whilst we have to be competitive, we will never compromise on quality. At the end of the day, the areas that some of these products go into are dangerous. That’s why the partnership with Spaceway is so successful, we share the same ethos and both recognise and respect quality and safety.”
In terms of the biggest challenges, Anco faces on a project he said:
“The most challenging projects don’t always necessarily have to be the big ones. Small jobs delivered to high-rise office can be just as challenging, this is where coordination between the end user, our distributor, and the transport companies is key. For these, we will use dedicated deliveries on a timed delivery.
“Because we still have some control over the manufacturing procedures we can offer bespoke sizes on certain materials meaning we can get the most out of the space and maximise the entire cube of the building.”
Spaceway worked with us to create the perfect environment for our staff. The completed project was fantastic and utilised the space to provide practical, modern and attractive working surroundings.
Plastimo UK Limited
We are delighted with the finished product. The space has been turned into an exceptional working environment, which will serve us well for years to come
We're very impressed with the Spaceway team and the whole project was installed without fault. We are looking forward to working with the team again.
The office fit out is superbly finished to the highest standards and beyond our expectations.
The project was designed to meet our specific requirements which included fitting in 20 more additional workstations using the existing space. The design works well and has met our expectations fully, we will continue to use Spaceway, they do a good job.
The project was challenging to say the least with the removal of 280 workstations and fitting of 400 new ones, along with collaboration areas and 400 bespoke lockers over two weekends, but Spaceway managed to complete this along with office refurbishment works on time and to an excellent standard.
We were delighted with the service from Spaceway.
Our project was finished on time and to budget in what was a very short timescale, which is a credit to the team at Spaceway!
Another project well done by Spaceway. As before, we're very pleased with everything from concept through to completion.
“I was so happy I did not get bothered throughout the extensive works and that a strict timetable was completed flawlessly. Fantastic experience all round.”
MD, ALPMA UK
"I’m very pleased how they’ve gone through it all and actioned it and they’ve got good depth of resource, good depth of people, and good skilled people who work well and tightly and good communication. So I’m delighted."
Thank you to Spaceway for the improvements that have been made to move Bodywise forward. You've done a very good job and we look forward to working with you again.
It’s no good having just an empty industrial building you need a concept for space, a design, an infrastructure and someone to build it. Designing something like this from scratch with someone who’s willing to invest in your ideas, Spaceway is your perfect partner.