The Molson Group show their future credentials.
The Hub-4 team were recently invited to a VIP Open Day at their Bristol Headquarters…
Located on an 11-acre site at Avonmouth, near Bristol the Molson Group was established in 2003 and currently stands as one of the largest suppliers of Japanese and Korean excavators in Europe.
Employing 240 staff, the group operate out of the Smoke Lane Industrial Estate where recently extensive redevelopment has taken place with the creation of a 1,950m² additional workshop creating an additional ten bays and a gantry crane. To maintain the level of legendary service the company are known for there are thirteen strategically positioned service locations with £8 million of spare parts.
Growth has been considerable, with the group set to post an annual turnover up to September 2021 of £251 million, which represents a massive growth on the last pre-covid year - 2019.
Today the group offer a machine portfolio from their thirteen divisions which represent thirty-two leading OEM’s, including specialist processing solutions for washed and crushed aggregates which effectively underlines the fact that they can provide a 360° single-source solution within the Quarrying, Recycling, Bulk Handling, Demolition, Construction, Ports, Scrap covering all requirements: backing all this up with eighty-four qualified factory-trained service technicians.
To add even more weight to their offering the group are currently in the process of establishing a unique service portal which will consolidate telematics from every machine (regardless of make) providing their clients with a daily update on their fleets and locations.
“I have been to hundreds of shows and open days around the world and the Molson Open Day must rank as one of the best shows I have been to, certainly in the UK, commented John Edwards, Editor - HUB-4.
“The display of machines was staggering and comprehensive and include huge displays from industry leading names such as Hyundai, Sennebogen, Terex Finlay, Terex Ecotec, Rokbak, Kobelco and Hydrema. Also seen were newer additions to the portfolio from CBI, ProStack and AggReclaim.
“Alongside the machine line-up visitors were offered a guided tour of the Molson world-class facilities which included their technology centre and three guided tours to working satellite locations within the Quarrying, Waste Transfer and Waste Wood Processing industries. To be honest it was brilliant event, and I for one look forward to the next edition!” said John.
Judging the market:
Within the middle of a rampant pandemic, the like of which has not been experienced since 1918 making a market judgement is almost akin to looking at a crystal ball! Very much like a conveyor belt everything is fine until the belt stops with subsequent results at both ends with production halted and demand in abeyance. Making a calculated judgement as to when the demands of the market will return has caused considerable head scratching for many companies, but the Molson Group have used the insight from their ERP portal to forecast when the ‘bounce back’ would occur and prepared accordingly.
Robin Powell, Group joint Managing Director takes up the story, “When calculating the level of industry demand post-covid we decided in the middle of covid to place some of the biggest orders that our manufacturers have ever received. This has given us the ability to offer machines this year when others were closing their order books.
We realised that we were in the middle of a ‘perfect storm’ due to Covid and Brexit and we found with people delaying purchasing decisions this would eventually transition into a period of a higher-than-average demand which is where we are now. Also, the fact that with people running their machines as normal who want to reduce their fleet age down coupled with larger investment within the infrastructure construction industry to counter the effects of covid we knew we had to be prepared.”
Robin continued,” There are three big trends – PCCA – post covid, post carbon and post analogue.”
Examining the three big trends:
Post covid – Molson see their construction industry customers changing from (in Greater London for example) high-rise office blocks, moving to regional distribution depots/ warehousing and similar infrastructure, therefore the type of machines required for projects are more akin to equipment that they supply.
Post carbon – Molson view this as an important thing with the change in fuel duty next year. In the long-term moving on from the diesel combustion engine, with more demand for electric machines. Sennebogen is a prime example as the manufacturer now offers an electric option throughout their range. Molson have also been working with Terex Finlay and Kobelco on hybrid machines and additionally, the Sennebogen range have electric drive machines throughout. In the medium-term, Molson are talking to customers about this change and advising them about how best to adapt their machinery and sites accordingly to embrace this, as this is certainly not the case on most current construction sites. With foresight Molson have already built in-house capacity to cope with electric demand with about 50-70% of the machines currently being processed are electric. Additionally, staying ahead of the game Molson are actively looking at how they can store and manage hydrogen on the site.
With a continuous dialogue with their manufacturers and customers, Molson are continually reviewing what their market will look like in 10-years’ time. This will be an on-going process as Molson try to shape their customers’ thinking and urge preparation for it now as it will be a massive change.
Post analogue – With the advent of e-commerce website and purchasing at the click of a button the new Molson Service Portal fits in perfectly. Without being cumbersome the functionality is clearly visible, and alongside a new parts website Molson are launching will provide them with the ability to monitor and react to situations, remotely at their convenience, in a well-mannered, uncomplicated way.
The portal is a presentation of information that will link into their parts website as well. A client looking at his machine(s) on the Molson Portal (which for example is not on a service contract), will note its status and if it is due a service then they will be able to click into that machine and order a service kit.
Although Molson encourage their clients to invest in a service contract which will facilitate planned maintenance, subsequently eliminating downtime and including a comprehensive safety check at the same time.
Robin, continued,” Business is quite brisk with Molson Equipment, with the division picking up considerable business in the Construction sector with Molson Young Plant Sales in Scotland equally busy.
We have consistent growth across all our divisions; Molson Washing is picking up well with the introduction of the innovative AggReclaim system and we have had contract wins on CDE for full scale washing plants. Molson Finlay is also doing well, as is Molson Green who are picking up several blue-chip contracts. Kobelco for instance now has 15% market share which compared with pre-covid is a massive leap forward!
More specifically, Molson Washing have just completed a contract in Tilbury docks and commissioned a AggReclaim recovery system for PJ Thory at Peterborough and Green has delivered a Sennebogen 870 to the Port of Tilbury.”
Molson Group Service Portal:
Rich Payne – Business Intelligence Manager for the Molson Group explained to me how this works, “For example if you were running six machines all built by different manufacturers, in a site we would take the raw data (which would come from all the different manufacturers’ telematic solutions) and transform it in to a standard format. The client can then customise individual machines identifying them by their own existing fleet numbers.
“Once logged in the first screen you have an overview of your fleet - total operating hours, number of machines, working hours, idle time, CO2 emissions, fuel usage for the selected day, from this you can compare with other days and view any trends. In addition to this each machine has three colour traffic light codes advising the status – green, amber and red.
“Another option allows you to select the whole fleet or an individual machine to view the same categorised data. Your fleet can also be categorised into groups – ex: excavators, wheeled loaders or even by site. All this data can then be viewed in map mode with an additional zoom function to view the machines at that site and again select an individual machine to view specific data. To make identification easier when a machine is added into the system an illustration of that machine can also be included allowing instant recognition by either image or fleet number. Clicking into a single unit gives you all the same information.”
Rich confirmed, “An E-commerce site will also show all parts with numbers, exploded diagrams of every machine. You can find your fleet, access each individual machine, and view detailed catalogues relevant to every machine viewing all part numbers enabling ordering and delivery dates.”
Anticipated to go live in Q2 2022, Molson are testing and evaluating the system over a 3–6-month window with selected companies operating in several sectors.
Self-Service Portal Features & Functions:
John commented, “Having seen a demonstration of the new Molson Portal I can endorse that the demonstration shown to be by Rich was clear and easy to comprehend. A self-service portal is only as good as the information and features that are available. The information that will be available to Molson end-users is a subset of the knowledge base and tools that are available within the group to support the machine fleets. Content has been refined and curated for the end-user audience, as a result, the information, and tools that are presented through the Molson self-service portal are clear, easy to understand, and intuitive to use with little training.