April 2014 sees Avatan Handling Equipment entering a second quarter century supplying British warehousing needs. Starting from humble beginnings in 1989, director Steve Tarn drew on design, manufacturing and sales experience obtained in the industry to realise the importance of supplying customers exactly what they needed rather than encouraging them to make do with a potentially less suitable stock item. Learning from competitors who fill their warehouses with ‘standard’ items, Avatan took the appoach that one size does not fit all. Customers were, and continue to be, encouraged to discuss their own specific needs, and if then a standard stock cage pallet, stillage or CubiCage fits their bill, then this was available. However, if their needs could not be satisfied using standard size stillages, then alternative products could be designed, economically and quickly to better suit.
Stillages, (cage pallets, box pallets and post pallets), are generally simple in their construction. So why should marginally larger or smaller stillages suddenly incur punitive surcharges. There is really no difference in the construction cost if a stillage is a few centimetres larger or smaller. The man hours to produce bespoke steel pallets is little different to pallets of a standard size. And generally, the material costs will be very similar. Yes, if there is greater material waste, e.g. if greater length results in offcut wastage, then those offcuts need to be reflected in the cost, but with clever cutting, it is generally possible to minimise waste by cutting materials for the whole stillage rather than cutting base members or post members individually from lengths of bar.
Having established itself in the stillages market, Avatan then developed ranges of Aluminium and Stainless Steel storage equipment for food and pharmaceutical industries, soon adding roll containers for the supermarket trade, and then developing an extensive range of rental items. Avatan has become one of the leading rental suppliers of Stillages, Postracks and CubiCages to the UK market. With extensive hire stocks held in our Middlesex, Hertfordshire and Essex storage yards, long and short term rentals in large or small quantities can generally be accommodated quickly and economically.
Where do we go from here? Well, we hope always to be able to maintain our ethos or giving customers what they want. We never wish to end up supplying only from a limiting fixed catalogue with customers making do rather than ending up with an all encompassing solution. There are of course times for standard stock items and rental is certainly one of these occasions. But our stillages are designed to last, we like to use materials stronger than might be absolutely necessary. We want customers to come back, not after a few weeks with complaints of damage but months and years later when their stillages continue to offer good service and the customer has expanded and needs more.
25 years on Avatan continues to be a family business with strong beliefs that customers and suppliers should be treated as Avatan would wish to be treated itself. We thank our customers and suppliers, many who have been with us over the last 25 years. Onwards and upwards for the next 25 years.