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SMH, A Name You Can Rely On

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Trust and reliability are the cornerstones to any good relationship, and Systems Material Handling Company makes sure that their customers always receive a healthy dose of both.

Founded in 1971, SMH® is one of the world’s leading suppliers of quality replacement parts, safety equipment and accessories for the material handling and industrial equipment industry.

The company covers all industrial equipment. Forklift trucks continue to be their biggest area; however, their fastest expanding lines include aerial lifts, sweeper and scrubber floor cleaning equipment and small construction equipment, according to Dirk von Holt, vice president of Sales and Marketing.

Von Holt says that SMH®’s product offering sets the company apart from others in the industry.

“We offer about 3.5 million part numbers, of which we have around 650,000 in stock,” von Holt said. “So with this large number of units, we have a very high availability and there is a good chance that we’ll have the product in stock when a customer calls.”

In addition to the high volume of in-stock product, SMH® has five distribution centers in the continental United States, as well as two in Canada, one in Brazil and one in Mexico. This strategic placement of distribution centers enables same-day shipping, and helps keep shipping costs low because most orders can be shipped via ground transportation.

“This is good because we know our customers need to service their customers,” von Holt said. “We can get them what is needed quickly, because a lot of times replacement parts are needed in an emergency.” Being in tune with the customer’s needs is essential to SMH®.

“We try to be a true partner for our customers,” von Holt said. “We always try to put the customer into the middle, so that we know what they are concerned with and what they have to work with everyday.”

One such partnership offered by SMH® is the Systems Material Handling University. SMHU is a series of programs designed to enhance employees’ knowledge of new generation mechanical systems, emerging technologies and professional skills. They are offered to any of SMH®’s customers.

“We founded SMHU about three years ago because we had a lot of questions from customers about technical expertise or how to handle and run a parts department,” von Holt said. “There is a continuous need for education and training out there, and many of our customers who do not have affiliations with large OEMs are left in the dark.”

“We try to fill that gap and be not only their replacement parts source but a resource to help them operate their parts department in an efficient way. That goes back to wanting to be there for the customer, and trying to understand their needs and support them.”

In April 2003, SMH® was acquired by TVH Forklift Parts of Waregem, Belgium. SMH® takes care of North and South America, while TVH® handles the rest of the world.

Combined, SMH® and TVH® offer more than 650,000 stocking numbers and more than 11,000,000 part numbers for over 90 different brands of world and U.S. manufactured industrial vehicles. The two companies fill more than 5,500 daily shipments to 21,000 customers. Together, SMH® and TVH® employ more than 2,000 people.

For more information contact SMH® at USA: 800/255-4109, CANADA: 800/509-7668, MEXICO: 52 (722) 216-43-93, BRAZIL: +52-11-3205-8555, INTERNATIONAL: 913/768-3099, or visit

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