The Rite-Hite group of companies has reached a significant milestone in Europe – three decades of helping industrial firms to improve the safety, security and efficiency of their operations, especially in the area of intralogistics, through high quality products and services.
Soon after the company was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1965, it quickly established a reputation for its pioneering work and numerous innovative product developments, such that by the early 1970s it was already known as a premier supplier of door and loading dock equipment in the American market.
The success of its US operations led to the opening of its first European branch in Holland in 1992, with a focus on products that would make the logistical flow of materials and goods within companies safer, more productive and more energy-efficient. A hydraulic dock leveller with integrated safety function to help prevent forklift crashes at the loading ramp was the very first Rite-Hite product to be sold in Europe, and one such leveller installed 30 years ago is still in operation.
After only a few years, the decision was made to invest in owned production sites on the European continent. After initial exploratory talks at an industrial fair in the early 2000s, Rite-Hite was able to acquire the dock leveller manufacturer CAEMA in Volkmarsen, Germany. This location thus became the European headquarters and has been trading as Rite-Hite GmbH since 2013.
The increasing demand for safely and efficiently transporting goods in the European market prompted Rite-Hite to rapidly expand its network within Europe. As part of its extensive dealer and service network, today, Rite-Hite has company-owned branches in Austria, France, Italy, the UK and the Netherlands and exclusive partners in all other major European countries. An additional production site is also maintained in Poland.
Showrooms have been built where customers can test products intensively, as well as a company-owned training centre where practical expert knowledge is delivered. This expansion has allowed Rite-Hite Europe to offer more industrial equipment solutions such as vehicle restraints, high speed doors, HVLS fans and safety barriers, in addition to the dock levellers they have always been known for.
In keeping with its motto of Always Looking Ahead, Rite-Hite is involved with the advancing digitalisation in logistics and intralogistics and is developing smart connected product solutions for the requirements of tomorrow. The company’s solutions for improving the carbon footprint of logistics properties are also attracting rapidly growing interest. A dedicated team of experts shows companies ways in which their buildings can be planned or modernised in a sustainable and energy-saving manner.
Thorsten Mauritz, European Marketing Manager for Rite-Hite, says that recently the company has been breaking new ground strategically and organisationally in Europe: “Numerous processes in production and administration have been successfully optimised with the help of modern lean management methods, which focus on the employees,” he explains.
“For this, the company was awarded the Lean Base ‘Newcomer’ Award 2022, among other prizes. In this context, the creation of a European corporate culture, with a solid system of values to which every employee can orientate themselves and which is based on respect, trust and team spirit, as well as diverse and extensive measures and investments to improve the attractiveness as an employer, were also decisive.
“As the company grows, the focus remains on meeting and exceeding the needs of customers and providing an excellent work environment for employees.”