Executive Hire News › Archives › October 2004 › Executive Report: Executive news
Executive Report : Executive news
A-Plant’s £2m GenSet order
A-Plant has placed an order worth in excess of £2m with GenSet for over 300 VT-i Superlight lighting towers. The units provide lighting from 4 x 1000W metal halide lamps, covering a surface area of 45m2. The towers can be set up in less than 30 seconds, from starting the engine to erecting the 9m hydraulically operated mast to full height. The product offers low noise performance of 65 dBA at 7m.
A-Plant’s order forms part of its £35m annual investment in equipment. The lighting towers are available to hire from A-Plant locations nationwide, including the A-Plant location at lmmingham. This depot typically sees hires increase sharply for Bonfire Night events, and recently secured an order to supply several tower lights for car park and pedestrian lighting for visitors to this year’s Hull Fair, being held this month.
The towers provide extra illumination for events, construction and roadwork, as well as at industrial sites, airports and warehouses, or in emergency situations.
Keep informed with GroundsCare Hire News
Mailed with this month’s EHN is the Autumn 2004 issue of GroundsCare Hire News (GHN), our dedicated publication that keeps readers informed of the latest developments in this dynamic market place. As well as containing an extensive review of last month’s Saltex exhibition, the magazine reports on specialist hirers and manufacturers serving the grounds care and landscaping industry, and the opportunities within it. As GHN’s introductory comment concludes, "there is a substantial latent demand ready to be served, and it will be fascinating to see which hire companies gear themselves up to meet it".
Hewden commemorates former colleague
Fifteen Manchester-based staff from national plant and tool hire company Hewden, raised £3,000 for Cancer Research UK, by walking 41 miles across the Peak District recently, in memory of colleague Jenny Hollinworth, who died from cancer last year.
Jenny’s husband and son, Graham and Eddy Hollinworth led the walk, which started at the Hewden Hire Centre in Buxton Road, Macclesfield and finished at the company’s Whittington Road depot in Chesterfield 51 hours later. “We felt that this was an appropriate tribute to Jenny, who worked at Hewden for 18 years,” states Sheila Davies, Administration Manager for Hewden’s Trafford office.
MCS pushes the boat out
Future developments in the world of hire management were discussed at MCS’ annual User Day, held at Henley Management College on 16 September. Proceedings began with the Annual General Meeting of the software specialist’s User Group. No MCS personnel attended by convention, to ensure free and open discussions. During the election of officers, David Butler of CBL was voted in as Chairman.
Richard van der Knaap, MCS Chief Executive, kicked off the rest of the day with an overview of the hire industry’s current status and future prospects. Aided by statistics from Catherine Stratton’s Plant Hire Investment Report, he said the industry had enjoyed a good year and, consequently, MCS’ sales escalated. Additional staff had been appointed.
Guest speaker Paul Sherlock of Commidea discussed the implications of ‘chip and pin’ technology and how credit card transactions can be integrated into hire management software for quick and easy reconciliation. Nick Thomson described new software that allows customers to visualise their business with multi-dimensional graphs. Business information can be analysed in different ways to measure productivity and performance. Information for hire and sales showing revenue overtime, by depot, customer and equipment group were demonstrated.
MCS’ R & D Director, Mark Nolan, explained how hire companies could take steps towards achieving a paperless office, and said that savings in costs and time could be made using an electronic document store, fully integrated with MCS hire solutions. He also demonstrated an extranet facility, which enables customers to order equipment for hire on-line, notify collections and other transactions at any time, day or night. An electronic log provides customers with email notifications of each stage. The Day ended with a cruise down the Thames, enabling users to discuss the latest MCS developments.
Makita saws help disaster restoration
Fifty Makita chainsaws and safety equipment have been air freighted to the devastated Cayman Islands for disaster recovery work. Within hours of the Islands being ravaged by hurricane force winds, the Crown Agents issued an urgent order to the Huddersfield-based Aire Group, a supplier of rescue equipment and systems.
Aire wired the order to Makita distributor, West Skeiston Services of Dumfries, and the stock was immediately packed at Makita’s Milton Keynes headquarters. Aire arranged the shipment, with one of the first consignments of aid being flown into Grand Cayman by a group of European charities at the request of the Cayman Government.
Aire’s Chief Executive Richard Bailey states that “the Makita saws are urgently needed to remove fallen trees and get the roads open so that emergency supplies and medical help can move around freely.” The fifty Makita saws include the DCS 7900, DCS 7901 and DCS 7301 professional models with 45cm chain bars.
More GAPs being filled
GAP Group has announced plans to open five new depots this winter. The Glasgow-based company plans new depots in Maidstone and Inverness this November, followed by Oxford in February, with on-site depots in Colchester and Worthing to follow. Douglas Anderson, Managing Director, explains that “whilst GAP has had a national presence since the April opening of our Portsmouth depot, we still have a few gaps to fill in. We are excited to be opening in Maidstone, Inverness and Oxford. We believe there are strong opportunities for further growth in each of these areas.”
The on-site depot in Colchester will supply Sir Robert McAlpine with a full range of tools and plant for the £2 billion Colchester Barracks project. Finally, an on-site depot in Clapham, near Worthing, West Sussex will serve Minerva Accord. GAP now has more than 50 depots and hopes to achieve its goal of 60 depots by 2006.
Rapid's Silver celebration
EHN was privileged and honoured to be invited to Rapid Climate Control’s 25th anniversary celebrations at the Celtic Manor Hotel in early September. The centrepiece of the weekend was a Gala Dinner attended by over 160 staff, customers and suppliers. A series of raffles and an auction of sporting memorabilia helped the event to raise £5,000 for Rapid’s chosen charity, CLIC, Cancer and Leukaemia in Children.
Founded by Joint Managing Directors John Dempsey and Barry Payne, Rapid has grown into one of the UK’s leading suppliers of portable air conditioning, heating and installed air conditioning systems. The Directors comment “in the early 1980s, portable air conditioning units were quite basic, as they needed filling with water which, in turn, needed constant replenishment. This all changed when Rapid found a manufacturer in Italy which produced the Splendid 'Ecos' range. Since that time 'Ecos' has become the most popular and reliable portable air conditioning unit on the market. Over the years we have also introduced many innovative products into the UK and have worked to distinguish Rapid by offering the latest technology, backed by an excellent service and maintenance record.”
Rapid established itself in the south-east of England, and has since opened branches in Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol during the 1990s. In 2002, the company also acquired Heatbusters, followed by Air Trembath Hire last year. “Heatbusters is one of the UK’s best known names in the hire and sale of portable air conditioning and the acquisition has reinforced our position as one of the UK’s leading specialists. It also led to the restructuring of the company to form three divisions: Rapid Sales Direct, Rapid Heatbusters and Rapid Air Conditioning.
“The purchase of Heatbusters was also very timely as it enabled us to expand our range and stock levels of portable equipment, ensuring that we were well-equipped to cope even during the record-breaking temperatures last summer when demand was at its peak. The outcome has been a tremendous increase in turnover in the hire and sale of portable units.” For the details of Rapid’s latest product launches, see our Heating & Lighting Market Report.