Lean Thinking

Think. Like. Toyota.


In the material handling industry, labour and damage costs play a significant role in all overall operational costs. Toyota has long been at the forefront of developing appropriate solutions for various industries. Through utilising technology, Toyota increases safety and productivity to achieve exceptional efficiency. For those who demand accuracy, higher throughput and flexibility in an ever-changing environment – Toyota has the way.

Toyota is recognised as the source of lean thinking – which is applicable to any business and any process. At the core of lean thinking is the concept of True North. This centres on striving towards the ultimate vision, and one of Toyota’s True North goals is Zero Muda – the Japanese term for “elimination of waste”. In short, Toyota aims to eliminate Muda in its internal operations and external products via lean thinking.

Toyota have achieved this, but working in a lean way is not a quick fix. Built on Toyota’s core values, there are many elements to Toyota’s approach. Yet it takes top-down commitment from everyone in the organisation. Using this set of basic principles, one must always challenge themself to find a better way of doing things. How? By working together and respecting the knowledge of everyone involved. If you want an insight into the process, reach out to Locators today.

The Toyota Way

More than 100 years of combined material handling excellence.

Toyota’s mission is to bring exceptional efficiency to your material handling operations. To achieve this, they have implemented a set of values called the Toyota Way. The heart of the culture of Toyota came from its founder Sakichi Toyoda, who defined the Toyota precepts as a testimonial to his own spirit. These have been passed down continuously over generations and all its employees apply these values at every level – in their daily tasks and their relations with others.

1. Challenge
To maintain a long-term vision and meet all challenges with the courage and creativity needed to realise that vision, Toyota must . . .
2. Kaizen
Continuously improve. No process can ever be perfected – there is always room for improvement and so Toyota optimises its operations by . . .
3. Genchi Genbutsu
“Go and See” – Toyota always goes to the source to find the facts to make correct decisions, build consensus and achieve goals.
4. Respect
Toyota respects others, makes every effort to understand others, accepts responsibilities and does its best to build mutual trust.
5. Teamwork
Toyota stimulates personal and professional growth, shares opportunities for development and maximises individual and team performance.

Information sourced from Toyota

What our clients say

We are very pleased with the change from an engine to an electric fleet. The trucks have been well received by our operators as they are comfortable and quiet to drive and give excellent protection from the elements. We even have the option and flexibility to use spare batteries and a simple battery change system if we ever want to work back to back shifts in the future. Locators also design, supply and install all types of racking and storage systems. They reconfigured the CooperVision warehouse for narrow aisle operation which increases the storage density and pallet locations. Locators supplied Aisle-Master articulated forklifts to work in this area.

Coopervision, Hamble

We have worked with Locators for nearly 20 years. We are confident they can always make the best use of the space we have available and provide us with forklifts that are well suited for the long loads and other stock we have to move.

Colin Macgregor
Director, Y Goldberg

Every time we look at an application, Locators approach it like a blank canvas and always recommend the best equipment for our business. Locators have proved themselves as a very reliable and proactive service provider by keeping our trucks working and our fleet costs as low as possible.

Adam Conrad
Group Transport Manager for Covers

Being able to work with one supplier for storage and materials handling has been a benefit to us. Locators managed the complete installation and ensured the correct materials handling equipment was specified for their design. They also service and maintain all of the equipment they have supplied and offer a rack inspection service to make sure our warehouse remains a safe working environment. We are very happy with our new facility and we believe we have made the best use of the available space.

Marc Congdon
Engineering Manager, Costa

We purchased our first Toyota forklift from Locators 14 years ago for our farm. This truck has been very reliable and is still in service so we had no hesitation in deciding to purchase another Toyota machine. Locators recommended an electric forklift for our machinery depot as it is very quiet, has low running costs and does not create any pollution, making it ideal for working both inside and outside. Our operators are very pleased with our new Toyota truck and our business is very happy to be operating a forklift that has such a low impact on the environment.

Ed Smales
Director, NFFM

Locators installed the new racking system within a tight timeframe while our business was fully operational. They have provided us with a facility that has a similar storage capacity and reduced the size of our forklift fleet allowing us to lease one building instead of two. We are very happy with the outcome.

Paul Bickell
Nippon Express

Locators gave us the benefit of working with just one supplier for all of the storage and materials handling requirements of this project. By mixing 3 and 4 wheel trucks from the same model range, we have gained extra pallet locations and have the option to battery change between them and work multi-shift in the future. I was initially sceptical that electric trucks could replace LPG, but I am very pleased with the successful outcome of this project.

Mark Davis
Logistics Supervisor for Hall & Woodhouse brewery

It is a great benefit to us that we have a single source supplier who understands the needs of our business. This saves us time, improves efficiency and ultimately reduces cost.

Richard Horrocks
Smurfitt Kappa