Meet the new face of the FLTA
Newly appointed as the Chief Executive at the end of August 2012, Peter Harvey has big ideas for the future of the FLTA (Fork Lift Truck Association). Hoping to expand an already sizable association, Harvey also plans to recruit new staff and facilitate a move in premises in the near future.
The largest representative body of its kind in the EU, the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) has a 40 year history, boasting over 360 members between the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Founded in 1972, the FLTA functions to support its members across all the challenges the industry faces.
Following a military career spanning 37 years, Harvey has extensive experience in management, strategy and policy that he plans to apply to the running of the association in order to ‘fulfil the common interests of its members’, which include a number of top dogs within the industry.
“FLTA Membership is effectively a “who's who” of the UK's dealers, manufacturers and suppliers,” explained Harvey. “I hope to expand the Association and having been given the opportunity to move into new premises and recruit new staff, to set the organisation for the future.”
Harvey hopes to develop new and more efficient practices in administration, finance and IT, in order to improve the membership benefits of the Association.
Well known for its ‘Safe User Group’, the FLTA channels a large proportion of its resources into its safety programmes, hosting an annual National Fork Lift Safety Conference in addition to awarding the best performing companies for safety in the annual Fork Lift Truck Association Awards for Excellence: the industry's oldest, most influential and best recognised awards programme.
Focusing primarily on health and safety, the FLTA provides companies that own and operate fork lift trucks with clear, concise and practical guidance on best practice, a function which is often attributed to the significant improvement in the UK’s fork lift truck accident toll.
“We keep a particularly close eye on trends in UK fork lift truck accidents, as this helps us to shape the safety support and advice we provide in this area. Happily, the UK has enjoyed a significant improvement in the accident toll, although a slight increase in 2012's figures show there is no room for complacency. One accident is one too many,” said Harvey.
In addition to its crackdown on safety, the FLTA has also established required standards of safety and professionalism among the UK's fork lift truck dealers and suppliers, having co-founded CFTS; the only nationally recognised standard scheme for the thorough examination of fork lift trucks.
“To its Members, the FLTA provides essential best practice guidance on the complicated framework of legislation covering fork lift trucks, technical documentation, helplines, events, alerts (including stolen trucks) and access to high quality training and information,” Harvey explained.
The FLTA is also making leaps and bounds in helping to fill the skills gap for experienced fork lift truck engineers through training courses and apprenticeships, pioneering a national apprenticeship scheme for engineers as the industries’ experienced engineers near retirement age.
Technological developments are important to the FLTA, who award recognition for the most innovative advances at their annual Awards for Excellence. The association welcome anything with improved ecological or economical performance and encourage efforts to develop technology with their FLTA Award for the environment.
“The Association welcomes anything which will make fork lift trucks safer, greener, more productive and more comfortable to use,” said Harvey. “Ultimately, however, it is good practice – whether in management, planning, training or maintenance – which will always make the biggest difference, and that is where FLTA Members can offer their customers the most help.”
Harvey plans to ensure that the FLTA keep supporting their members in any way they can, responding to the demands in the industry as they occur.
“We exist to support the common interests of our membership. I'm sure fork lift trucks will be with us for a good while yet. As long as goods are bought and sold, they'll need moving! I'm simply here to ensure we provide our Members, and fork lift truck users in the UK, with the support they need in any eventuality,” said Harvey.
Biden establishes Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force
The US government is to establish a new body with the express purpose of addressing imbalances and other supply chain concerns highlighted in a review of the sector, ordered by President Joe Biden shortly after his inauguration.
The Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force will “focus on areas where a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident,” the White House said. The division will be headed up by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and will focus on housing construction, transportation, agriculture and food, and semiconductors - a drastic shortage of which has hit some of the US economy’s biggest industries in consumer technology and vehicle manufacturing.
“The Task Force will bring the full capacity of the federal government to address near-term supply/demand mismatches. It will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions - large and small, public or private - that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints,” the White House said.
In late February, President Biden ordered a 100 day review of the supply chain across the key areas of medicine, raw materials and agriculture, the findings of which were released this week. While the COVID-19 health crisis had a deleterious effect on the nation’s supply chain, the published assessment of findings says the root cause runs much deeper. The review concludes that “decades of underinvestment”, alongside public policy choices that favour quarterly results and short-term solutions, have left the system “fragile”.
In response, the administration aims to address four key issues head on, strengthening its position in health and medicine, sustainable and alternative energy, critical mineral mining and processing, and computer chips.
Support domestic production of critical medicines
- A syndicate of public and private entities will jointly work towards manufacturing and onshoring of essential medical suppliers, beginning with a list of 50-100 “critical drugs” defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The consortium will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will commit an initial $60m towards the development of a “novel platform technologies to increase domestic manufacturing capacity for API”.
- The aim is to increase domestic production and reduce the reliance upon global supply chains, particularly with regards to medications in short supply.
Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
- The Department of Energy will publish a ‘National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries’, beginning a 10 year plan to "develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America”.
- The effort will leverage billions in funding “to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity”.
Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
- An interdepartmental group will be established by the Department of Interior to identify sites where critical minerals can be produced and processed within US borders. It will collaborate with businesses, states, tribal nations and stockholders to “expand sustainable, responsible critical minerals production and processing in the United States”.
- The group will also identify where regulations may need to be updated to ensure new mining and processing “meets strong standards”.
Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
- The Department of Commerce will increase its partnership with industry to support further investment in R&D and production of semiconductor chips. The White House says its aim will be to “facilitate information flow between semiconductor producers and suppliers and end-users”, improving transparency and data sharing.
- Enhanced relationships with foreign allies, including Japan and South Korea will also be strengthened with the express proposed of increasing chip output, promoting further investment in the sector and “to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations”.