Advantage: National Distribution Center

As the National Distribution Center in St. Joseph, MI celebrates one year of operation, CEO Tom Blashill takes a moment to reflect on the previous year and our advances toward “One Colson” in this edition of the Colson Group Advantage.

Distribution Center Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

In 2016, Colson Group USA opened the national distribution center (DC) in St. Joseph, Michigan. The DC has allowed our manufacturing plants to further enhance operational and service responsibilities.

New Pemco SuperKat Wheel Saves Stores Money on Out-of-Control Shopping Carts and Caster Replacements

Pemco SuperKat Tensioner Wheel

Pemco, a Colson Group USA brand, has launched an upgraded shopping cart wheel designed to help slow-down out-of-control shopping carts and reduce wheel flat-spotting. The new Pemco SuperKat Tensioner wheel features an innovative tensioner inside the center of the wheel to help reduce unexpected rolling of unattended shopping carts. The wheel tension provided by the bearing helps stores save money on costs associated with runaway cart damage, while remaining undetectable to shoppers.

Launched in November 2016, the superior shopping cart wheel features a soft, natural rubber tread with a rounded shape. This unique tread design allows the wheel to move naturally in any direction the cart is pushed or pulled reducing sideways dragging that leads to wheel flat-spotting and necessary replacements. The improved SuperKat wheel also features a dual precision bearing allowing a smooth and quiet rolling of the cart — providing an enhanced experience for shoppers.

The SuperKat is stocked in St. Joseph, Michigan, at Colson Group USA’s new national distribution center and is already receiving excellent field reviews from leading cart manufacturers and retailers across the country.

The new 5-inch wheel includes a variety of product features, including:

  • A high-performance natural rubber tread, specially designed to make the SuperKat resistant to flat-spotting
  • Durability, lasting 64% longer than the competition
  • Non-marking and quiet rolling
  • Resistant to chemicals and oils
  • Built-in tensioner ring increases parking lot safety

To learn more, download CAD models or datasheets, please visit www.pemcocasters.com/caster/superkat/.

U.S.-Manufactured 310 & 410 Casters Meet Heavy-Duty Customer Needs Quicker Than Ever

Albion has made major advancements in its heavy-duty manufacturing capabilities. The 310 and 410 Series of casters are now manufactured in Michigan, laser cut and assembled within days. Learn more about the enhancements made to this kingpinless caster series.

Colson Group Expands Role of Director of Global Operational Excellence

Colson Group, the largest global manufacturer and supplier of caster, wheel and mobility solutions, announced today the expansion of Darren Taylor-Ridge’s, director of global operational excellence, role with the company. He will continue to provide support to Colson Group’s U.K. production team, while also increasing his support to global projects in North America and Asia to drive quality, health, safety, environment and customer service improvements.

Reporting to Colson Group Chief Operating Officer Christopher Cummins, Taylor-Ridge’s expanded role now includes leading global initiatives to improve customer service, quality, health and safety and productivity of the company’s operations in the U.K., China and the United States. He will be based in Colson Group’s China operations and spend time at the Saint Joseph, Michigan, distribution center.

“We are thrilled to expand Darren’s role,” said Cummins. “This move helps us better leverage his experience and expertise to continue to bring Colson together as one company and supports our goal of unmatched customer service and quality leadership.”

Taylor-Ridge joined Colson Group in April 2015 with responsibilities focused on production, health and safety, environmental and quality initiatives. During his time with the company, he has driven several process improvements in lead time, scrap reduction and the working environment. Taylor-Ridge also has been implementing lean methods to drive continuous improvements in all areas of the business.

Prior to joining Colson Group, he spent 14 years serving in the Armed Forces Infantry and six years in the Army Reserve. He then worked in manufacturing roles at Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd. and other manufacturing companies.

Taylor-Ridge earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Manchester Metropolitan University in the U.K. and a Master of Science degree in occupational safety and health technology from the University of Birmingham in the U.K.


About Colson Group:

Colson Group is the largest manufacturer and supplier of caster and wheel products in the world. Over 1,600 global employees support Colson Group’s leading product portfolio and proprietary global value chain. World renowned brands, such as: Colson, Albion, Shepherd, Jarvis, MedCaster, Rhombus, Revvo, Flexello, Pemco, and Faultless are manufactured and marketed around the world through Colson Group’s 25 global facilities – where over 192,000 products are shipped daily. For more information, visit colsongroup.com.

Colson Group’s “Colson Cares” Gives Back to Community

Colson Group Cares

Colson Group USA’s commitment to mobility goes beyond the industries we serve and the products we make. With this in mind, we started Colson Cares – a social responsibility program partnering with regional philanthropic and charitable organizations to support the upward mobility of people.

Colson Cares’ philosophy prioritizes the development of the communities in which our employees and customers live, work and play. In the fall of 2016, we kicked off the Colson Cares program with a partnership with the Benton Harbor Salvation Army by holding a food drive. This food drive inspired 180 Colson employees to donate two mini-vans filled with non-perishable food items to their community, totaling an overall donation of 13.27 pounds per person!

“The Salvation Army food drive was a great opportunity to provide food to a number of families in need,” said Vicki Head of The Salvation Army – Benton Harbor. “The amount of food received exceeded our expectations, allowing us to provide meals for a number of families in need.”

The food drive initiative was led by Colson’s Necole Duria and Laurie Brandt. Colson Cares partners with charitable organizations and initiatives focusing on social progress, economic development, workforce development, STEM programs and courses, as well as start-up competitions, executive coaching and business mentoring organizations.

Meet Chad Doornbos

With more than 30 years of experience in casters, customer service, and product development, Chad Doornbos served as national accounts manager for Colson Group USA, before working in special projects since November 2015.

Advantage: Technological Enhancements

We have been working diligently on advanced sales tools and programs that save you time, shorten your sales cycles, and ultimately drive growth. From quickly delivering CAD Models and Datasheets from a mobile device, to new websites that generate more traffic and in turn more high-quality partner leads – Colson Group is investing heavily into marketing strategies and technologies that position us for future growth to help us all win more business.

In this edition of the Colson Group Advantage, we wanted to share some of the key advancements with you along with new training videos that will guide you step-by-step on how to leverage their capabilities. Feedback around the world has been very positive on these tools, and we hope you find the same value as you explore them and utilize them in your day-to-day responsibilities.

We thank you for your time and business, and look forward to the continued developments we will bring you throughout the months to come as we build on our new website technologies to make finding and delivering product content even easier!

Sincerely,

Brad Kish
Director Marketing/Communications


Caster CAD 3D: On-The-Go Interactive CAD Models

Caster CAD 3D enables you to quickly email 3D CAD models and Datasheets from your Apple or Android devices. The app saves time, helps gain new customers faster, and will earn you more business. Learn more about Caster CAD 3D.


Albion Catalogs Now Available

The new Albion Catalog launched last month with some exciting new product developments brought forward by our recent U.S. heavy-duty manufacturing investments. Accompanying the printed catalog is a brand new interactive version and download center.our customers and win more deals.


Brand Website Enhancements

Many of our brand websites have been recently updated, and although this is only the first phase of our upcoming technology advancements – we wanted to show you some of the cool new features that will help better service your customers and win more deals.

Caster CAD 3D: On-the-Go Interactive CAD Models

Don’t Miss The Training Video Below!

Smartphones and tablets have integrated into the workplace and are providing a previously unprecedented ease of accomplishing sales tasks on-the-go. Whether you are sitting in your customer’s office or out on the plant floor, our devices are allowing us to quickly serve-up information and content like never before.

To leverage this technology and apply it to casters, Colson Group USA set out to deliver the industry with the first 3D caster and wheel app, Caster CAD 3D. Caster CAD 3D provides many similar features to our recently updated websites, including the ability to customize products to match desired specifications, and the ability to send native CAD files or product datasheets to you or your customer – but all from your phone our tablet! Anytime, anywhere (with wi-fi or data reception that is).

Caster CAD 3D is a mobile application available for iOS devices from the App Store, and for Android devices from Google Play.

We can write more, but think it is just best to watch the following video (or continue reading below) to see it in action:

Click any image below to view larger.

Caster CAD 3D - Catalog ViewCaster CAD 3D - Configurable Options

Caster CAD 3D allows you to browse catalog offerings for all Colson Group USA brands. Select any brand to begin exploring. Drill down into a product category and series that suits your application. Utilize the sidebar arrow to expand the options menu. This menu will allow you to customize a series to you desired specifications. Any field – such as Bearing Options or Wheel Diameter – with a pencil icon can be edited.

Caster CAD 3D - Configure Options by Part NumberSelect series may require you to scroll up or down in the menu to find additional SKUs. If this the case, simply look for a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to expand or contract, respectively, any SKU to see its configurable options.

Once you have made your desired changes, you will need to select “Generate Preview” to apply your changes to the 3D Model. After the component loads, hide the options menu to view the newly configured model.

Caster CAD 3D - Real World ViewAt any point, you may choose to interact with the model. User one finger to drag and rotate the product view; two fingers allow zooming and more controlled rotation. Various icons also appear on the screen to allow different product views, including preset viewing angles, various augmented reality views, and even Real World View. Real World View utilizes your device camera to visualize how a caster might appear on your finished product.

Caster CAD 3D - Email Datasheet and CAD FilesIf the chosen caster configuration is the correct one for you, head back into the options menu to send or share this model. There are two options: “Share” will allow you to share the configured SKU via various social applications. “E-mail CAD/PDF” will allow you to email a CAD file and/or Product Datasheet to yourself or other team members. If you have not yet entered your contact information, you will need to fill out a short form; the app will store this information and facilitates further document sending. Confirm the email address and desired CAD format before selecting “E-mail CAD Model”. You will receive an email with a ZIP file containing your model; unzip to use.

Caster CAD 3D is a great tool for on-the-go product specification, especially when you’re on a shop floor, working quickly with customers, or somewhere with limited computer access. Download Caster CAD 3D today to find the perfect solution for your mobility needs.

Albion Catalogs Now Available

The much anticipated, NEW Albion catalogs have arrived! Months of hard, dedicated work have gone into revamping and redesigning the catalog. This newest full-line catalog features a portfolio of over 60 unique product series designed to handle even the most challenging of applications – and leverages the latest in our U.S. heavy duty manufacturing investments and product capabilities.

The refreshed Albion catalog offers engineers, designers and purchasing agents a comprehensive and detailed professional reference library of heavy-duty and material handling caster solutions and specifications. There are helpful icons designating key features and applications and a visual table of contents for easy viewing. The interactive online version of the catalog provides quick page links (allowing you to click on any page number displayed and instantly jump to that page) and is mobile ready. The new catalog also includes the addition of new maintenance free and stainless steel sections as well as expanded spring loaded and dual wheel sections featuring a variety of new series.

“For more than 70 years the Albion brand has been a problem-solver to industry mobility challenges for customers worldwide,” said Colson Group USA Director of Marketing / Communications Brad Kish. “We believe that this new Albion catalog, with an improved and expanded portfolio including new products such as our USA-made 310 & 410 Kingpinless Series casters, is a reflection of that ongoing commitment.”

The release of the Albion Catalog also marks the official launch of the company’s newly-redesigned USA-Made 310 & 410 Kingpinless Series casters, which are now built in Colson Group’s two Michigan manufacturing plants following a series of advanced manufacturing investments. The new designs are laser cut and feature a variety of product improvements, including: new innovative brakes and toe guards, weld eliminations for a stronger more integrated part, smoother edges, industry leading zinc finish with clear coat, and thicker 3/8” AISI 1045 heat treated steel leg construction – all backed by an upgraded three-year warranty.

To request your new Albion catalog, click here. Utilize the digital copy here.