Read interview below or visit WLN - The Annual 2024 page 66-69 to read MiTek's feature.
What are your best-known products, solutions or services?
We help companies to optimise their space utilisation through high-quality yet affordable mezzanine floors. In particular, we have achieved a reputation for seamless project delivery in very large-scale and integrated warehouses. MiTek is a highly experienced partner when it comes to the integration of automated and robotic technologies, which bring special requirements for mezzanines. Working on successive projects with leading system integrators means that we understand their equipment and their needs, helping to save valuable time in project work. We supply both hybrid and cold-formed mezzanine floors, with each system tailored to the precise needs of the customer.
Which industry sectors are your customers in and which ones are growing fastest?
Our client base covers diverse industries including construction, e-commerce, distribution, manufacturing and retail. Our rapid expansion in recent years has been driven by the growth in e-commerce – in particular, the trend to implement automation to handle e-com orders and returns efficiently and cost-effectively. Growth for MiTek has been particularly strong in continental Europe and the Middle East recently.
What sets your company apart as a supplier in your category?
As the UK’s leading mezzanine supplier for seven years in a row, MiTek has the experience and scale to deliver large and complex steel structures. We work closely with our customers to understand their needs, both today and tomorrow. Then we combine our technical expertise and project management skills to deliver precisely engineered solutions, on time. Through an agile supply chain, with reliable contractors around the globe, we’re able to handle projects to a consistent standard anywhere in the world – while also minimising our carbon footprint. We also offer tailored programme management, co-ordinating with other trades to dovetail on-site schedules, minimise disruption for the customer and ensure earlier handover.
Do you help customers maximise the use of their existing warehouse space?
The key benefit of a mezzanine solution is that it allows companies to maximise use of the available cubic space by taking advantage of the full height of their building. Mezzanine floors create the required additional area faster and at a lower cost than building modifications. They avoid the cost and disruption of moving premises, while enhancing efficiency and quality by improving workflows. Of course, adding space can also enhance the working environment, which helps to recruit and retain talent – a crucial factor in a warehouse sector facing labour shortages.
Are you helping customers boost the level of automation in their business?
Yes, about half of our solutions are steel support platforms designed to integrate with automation. The other half are mezzanine platforms for equipment, storage and workspace.
What are your most recent product innovations?
We continue to invest in R&D to bring new solutions to the market and enhance our existing products. We recently added cold-rolled mezzanine floors to our product range. While the UK has traditionally used hybrid mezzanines, which are built using hot-rolled primary beams and cold-rolled joists, the cold-rolled design has been common in Europe. Purely cold-rolled mezzanines can save costs for customers, when the application allows, as they require less material and offer faster lead times. They also improve carbon footprint due to their reduced weight. However, where large beam spans or high load capacities are needed, a hybrid solution will still be the preferred option. Other recent product innovations include improvements to our handrail solutions and staircase systems to enhance flexibility and competitiveness.
Can you tell us about any recent customer contract wins or projects and how you helped the customer meet their challenges?
We recently completed a three-tier mezzanine solution for Noatum Logistics in Biggleswade, providing the 3PL with an additional 30,000 square metres for the fulfilment and distribution of fashion orders. Other projects completed this year include mezzanines for a retailer in Czechia; an intralogistics company, an automotive manufacturer and a public sector client in Germany; a parcel company in the Netherlands; and a science lab in the UK. We’re delighted to have gained around 15 new customers this year that have the potential for long-term partnerships with MiTek.
How future-proof and flexible are your solutions?
Investment in the right mezzanine solution can future-proof any intralogistics operation, allowing warehouse operators to cope with higher volumes and increased levels of automation. For MiTek, future-proofing is an integral part of our process – although we are always mindful of the fact that there is a fine balance between ensuring flexibility for the future and over-engineering a project, which might have a negative environmental impact. As well as increasing flexibility through modular design of the floor system, the addition of supports for suspended conveyors or utilities can ensure the area below a mezzanine is more accessible for multiple uses. We also offer retrofitting services, adding or extending mezzanines to modernise older warehouses and systems.
Can you tell us about any areas where you’re currently making technical advances e.g. safety, sustainability or environment?
Our UK team was delighted to achieve ISO 45001 (Health & Safety Management) and 14001 (Environmental Management) certifications this year, in addition to recertification for ISO 9001 (Quality Management). This follows significant investment in improved processes and systems over the past two years and our team has fully embraced the culture embedded in these standards. We’ve also made improvements to our Approved Installer Programme, which nurtures our accredited contractors. This year we launched an online portal featuring a new induction video and updated installation guide, with the aim of instilling the highest standards of quality, health and safety. We also worked with an environmental consultancy on a mezzanine sustainability study, which has helped us to develop mezzanine designs with reduced embodied carbon. All of this work demonstrates our commitment to operating at the highest standards in all aspects of the mezzanine solutions we provide.
Do you invest in staff training and skills development?
MiTek recently launched a new, online learning platform called Degreed, which offers a vast selection of training courses to all 6,000+ employees worldwide. We also offer a range of live courses and apprenticeships, fund relevant courses from external suppliers and provide product training at our own Innovation & Training Hubs.
Will you be investing in your premises over the next 12 months?
Our UK mezzanine team recently moved into larger headquarters. We are still based at Kings Hill business park in Kent, but the new offices are one third larger than our previous building. The new location provides us with a more attractive and spacious base to facilitate hybrid working and future growth. This will help to ensure that we can retain and recruit the staff required to meet the needs of our expanding customer base. MiTek is also currently investing in the UK Innovation & Training Hub to enhance opportunities for R&D and talent development, as well as in new machinery for the mezzanine manufacturing plant in Waupaca, USA.
What exhibitions can we expect to see your company exhibiting at in 2024?
Our teams will be at MODEX in Atlanta (11-14 March), LogiMAT in Stuttgart (19-21 March), Tomorrow’s Warehouse in both Coventry (20 June) & Manchester (2 October) and Pack Expo in Chicago (3-6 November).
How would you sum up your company in three words?
Global Mezzanine Partner.
MiTek® is a global specialist in the design, manufacture and implementation of future-proofed steel mezzanine solutions. Part of Berkshire Hathaway and with locations in Europe and North America, we have a reputation for quality, speed and reliability. In the UK, MiTek is the leading mezzanine floor supplier, with over 35 years’ experience. Worldwide, MiTek has delivered more than 20,000 steel platform solutions for warehouse developers, general contractors, system integrators and end users. Clients in the warehouse construction sector include Bowmer + Kirkland, ISG and Winvic, while customers in warehouse automation include 8 of the world’s top 10 system integrators – Daifuku, Dematic, Honeywell Intelligrated, Vanderlande, Fortna, Murata Machinery, SSI Schaefer and Witron. End-user brands include Amazon, Asda, ASOS, Continental, DHL, FedEx, H&M, Jaguar Land Rover, Lidl, Mercedes, Next, Pets at Home, Tesco and UPS.