CP & E -
Contractors Plant & Equipment
2010 Vol 1 Issue 1
[Executive Viewpoint - “Not The Biggest . . . But The Best” . . . cont]
"We have managed cash flow very carefully and by the end of last year we began to see first signs of stabilisation. Stocks are zero and we only retain a small stock of UpRight machines worldwide. These are replenished as units are sold.
"Prices are beginning to firm, which would indicate that other manufacturers stocks are also virtually cleared. This makes it viable now to push ahead with new product introductions – and the industry will probably say that Bauma 2010 signalled the end of the recession.”
New challenges in a changed market
UpRight now has the challenge of moving forward, having successfully manoeuvred itself through the recession with its reputation enhanced, because, Richard Tindale says, the company has consistently given customers confidence in the company’s financial strengths and assurance on product availability.
“The market is going to be different and growth is not going to be uniform across all industries. The first demand will be for utility platforms – small, highly mobile and versatile machines for low-level access requirements – up to 6 m”, says Richard Tindale.
“This will be our first focus, and we have recently introduced a new series of machines for this sector and our stand at Bauma 2010 will reveal a whole lot more - in this sector but also across the range.
Another challenge is in North America where we need to place more emphasis on small electric units for which there is a significant demand but Snorkel is more structured to sell larger machines.
"We also need to work on the brands. Although there are some strong arguments for retaining two established brand names, this causes logistical problems and a potential for confusion with the situation - especially in the global age where marketing on a regional basis is all but impossible.
"How best to do this is not yet decided – the last thing we want to do is undo the good work that has taken place in building up the reputation for high quality, durable, reliable, productive, versatile and cost-efficient powered access solutions.
“I can reassure our customers and our distributors that it is not our objective to be the market leader by pricing and selling direct to rental companies and others. We will be the market leader in the second tier customer base, selling through a well-established distribution network to deliver consistent service and contribute to a steady growth.”
“Initially, we will put emphasis on small machines. Does that indicate a change of direction? I think it is more getting back to our roots - this company started with aluminium staging. Even when we were not selling booms, this company sold over 8,000 electric scissors lifts a year. We invented the electric scissor in 1993 and health and safety regulations are driving customers to us.
“However, be assured, we have no intention of reducing the product offering and we will maintain a full line. As we come out of recession, I see our product mix, in revenue terms, of 30% from utility machines, 40% from electric products and 30% from big construction scissors and booms. We will have a wider distribution network adding more to our existing network of over 150 independent distributors.”
And the competition?
“We are confident that we can grow our customer base by developing new markets. But we have to look east, because I believe that Chinese manufacturers will begin to promote their products more aggressively.
The challenge for them is complying with the different regulations that are demanded in different parts of the world, and the demand of customers for product reliability and fast, efficient product support service. These can only be provided locally.
“What am I forecasting for 2010? In such times it is not easy to put figures down but I believe that UpRight can achieve sales growth in excess of 20% over 2009. That has to be a step in the right direction. We are positive about the future and will continue to be a source of powered access platforms around the world.” [CP&E]
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Content compiled and edited by:
Roger Lindley MCIM & Nick Johnson
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