With state and local dignitaries on hand, as well as top executives from Japan, Toyota Material Handling cut the ribbon on its National Customer Service Center in early August. The facility, located adjacent to the plant that builds Toyota's lift trucks in Columbus, Ind., represents an $11 million investment that includes a showroom where the latest lift truck products are displayed, training rooms, a presentation and theater room, a technical lab and a large demonstration room.
"The purpose of this facility is to bring our customers to one location and provide them with all of the information they need to help make the right decisions for their lift truck needs," says Dr. Shankar Basu, president and CEO of Toyota Material Handling, USA. "This celebration is not only to commemorate the new facility; it is to mark a commitment to our customers."
A typical customer experience will include a visit to the glass-enclosed showroom where new models are displayed. Customers will also be led into the theater to be presented with information specific to their application. The wall of the theater facing the seating area is designed to rise, revealing a demonstration room where various warehouse situations can be simulated. "If we have a customer who has racks that are 11 feet apart, we can set up that same situation in our demonstration area and then show [that customer] how our trucks can operate in that environment," says Brett Wood, Toyota's national product development, strategic planning and marketing services manager.