Merlo British investment

Merlo has bolstered its UK operation with brand new training and parts facilities at its headquarters in Ringwood, Hampshire. As part of a programme to support its dealers across Great Britain the Italian handler manufacturer says it has invested £750,000 in new buildings and infrastructure.

by Nick Fone

22 Apr 2022

“It’s great being able to sell shiny new machines but our ability to back them up is far more important,” explains Shaun Groom, general manager of Merlo UK. “One of the key parts of that is having fully trained dealer technicians who can diagnose any issues and rapidly deal with them, ensuring downtime is kept to an absolute minimum.”

In that respect the new training workshop is hoped to provide all the facilities required with benches of transmissions components, hydraulic and electrical systems for fitters to learn the ropes. It certainly looks to be an impressive set-up and, with Merlo manufacturing over 90% of the components used in its machines in-house, will be critical in making sure anyone involved in servicing and repairs is kept up to speed with the Italian firm’s latest developments.

Of perhaps equal importance is spare parts back-up. By shifting the training centre to a new dedicated building the company has made more room in its existing warehouse and has streamlined its logistics operation by moving to a Brexit-friendly customs-bonded status that ensures there is no delay for shipments coming into the UK. Instead the paperwork is done – and the duty paid – as parts leave the Ringwood site en route for dealers.

“Having a decent stock of parts that can be rapidly distributed to our dealer network is crucial in ensuring our customers’ machines are kept running,” says Mr Groom.

 “To improve on that we’ve reworked our logistics operation and extended our storage capacity to ensure we can meet the expectations of our customers. Now 81% of our spare parts are distributed from our Ringwood base rather than having to wait on delivery from Italy. We’ve put in place a whole series of measures that will hopefully work to minimise downtime for the entire fleet of Merlo machines across the UK.”