Union Industries man appointed co-director of WTG

Union Industries' Sales Director, Alan Hirst, has been appointed co-director of the Warehouse Technology Group (WTG). Union Industries joined WTG in 2010 and Alan has been amongst one of the group's most proactive partners, helping to increase awareness of the WTG through the twice yearly 'exhibitions' and various networking events.

As co-director Alan will be jointly responsible – along with Mark Currie, CEO of Mantra Learning – for the growth of the group's reputation in the warehousing and logistics sectors as an association that provides top quality, up-to-date, industry specific products and services. One example of what Alan brings to the table is his idea of the WTG Champion scheme, which creates a collaborative approach allowing a package solution of the WTG partners' products and services to be offered to architects, specifiers and end users alike.

Established in 2006, WTG is a non-profit organisation comprised of around 20 of Europe's leading industry suppliers to the logistics sector who are each committed to developing technology to improve productivity and standards in the sector.  Each has provided expertise, products or equipment for the Logistics Research and Innovation Centre (LRIC) at Mantra's learning and skills centre in Middleton, Manchester.

LRIC is a fully-operational 20,000 sq. ft. warehouse, which is a multi-functional centre designed to test new products, teach experienced logistics workers new skills and provide new entrants the skills they need to be employed in a warehousing environment.

Also acting as a showcase for the latest in warehouse, logistics and distribution technology and equipment, the centre provides a realistic commercial warehousing environment to demonstrate how the different technologies interface, and also a testing ground where new technology can be proven by experienced and novice learners in the process of receiving, handling, retrieving and distributing live freight.

The vocational learning programmes provided by Mantra Learning include traineeships, apprenticeships, vocational qualifications, pre-employment programmes and a wide range of skills courses.

Leeds-based Union Industries designs, manufactures, installs and maintains its own range of high speed doors. All the doors are bespoke and made to order, so Union can adapt its doors to suit the various demands of different industrial sectors as well as individual applications or customer requests.

Hosted at LRIC the WTG runs twice yearly events for the logistics industry and brings together a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills to discuss the latest developments. The next event takes place on 21 May and will feature the first live demonstration of a new product within Europe.

Alan said: "WTG is at the cutting edge of the industry and its hands-on approach allow new skills and technologies to be developed.

"In the three years that Union Industries has been a member, I am proud to have contributed to its work and am delighted to become a co-director as we take the group forward by offering the industry new and innovative solutions."

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