Willowbrook Plant Services Ltd


In the middle of 2008, whilst many companies were experiencing hardship, a small group of engineers saw an opportunity to offer their service expertise in the world of construction equipment, establishing Willowbrook Plant Services
Playing heavy

In the middle of 2008, whilst many companies were experiencing hardship, a small group of engineers saw an opportunity to offer their service expertise in the world of construction equipment, establishing Willowbrook Plant Services

Willowbrook Plant Services Ltd entered the market at a very challenging time on the financial calendar, yet clients jumped at the opportunity to have access to the knowledge and experience of the company’s founders, as they sought alternative solutions to purchasing new machinery. “We have built the business on the strength of our service and parts background that has grown its reputation by employing highly skilled staff with experience and vision. Not a lot of people were buying machines, so repair demands were much greater. Operating as a service and repair outfit, we were quickly able to establish links with some of the bigger clients in the country,” announces sales director Brian Conn.

As demand saw the business quickly triple the amount of engineers on the road, in 2009 the company secured its role as a sales dealer for the Takeuchi mini excavator range. Complementing the Willowbrook Issue 113 bnew path, it was soon after, in 2011, that Willowbrook was awarded a similar contract with Hyundai, further bolstering its strengths. The product range has been so well received that customers are now leaving other brands to benefit from its initial cost savings, fuel efficiency, lower maintenance, cab ergonomics, and all round performance.

The combination of sales and service has seen turnover rise from £230,000 in its first trading year to a massive £16 million predicted for 2015. “We have really driven through the success of the sales, and built on the service experience that the guys brought across when the venture was first established. It has been a meteoric rise, we have obviously had a lot of growing pains in between, but we have been fortunate by the fact that we got in with the right brands at the right time,” says Brian.

With a steady stream of service and repair work, the agreements with the Takeuchi agency and the Hyundai agency accelerated the business. Takeuchi, with the brand that it has in the market place has always been a strong seller, so as Brian explains: “It was always a case of just sticking with it, keeping in contact with the customers and progression would be inevitable because the product almost sells itself. Securing the Hyundai contract in 2011 took us onto yet another level, because not only are the machines priced correctly, but they compete now with what’s perceived as the best in the market. So we have built on that, growing our engineering capacity with more engineers, and gradually been awarded more area by the manufacturers, based on the success we have had in the past.”

It was during 2014 that further developments in its growth were made, with the company signing an agreement with Maximus Crushing and Screening Equipment. Geographically, the company is responsible for the sales of the equipment for much of the country. “The early days have been successful, selling a handful of the units so far, and we hope to increase that to about 20 units this year. Over the last 12 months we have seen everybody who has held off for the last few years get back into buying mode. All manufacturers have been selling machines, but of course, when that Willowbrook Issue 113 chappens, competition can become fierce, prices get tighter and deals get tighter. Certainly now the market recognises our presence and sees that we are a true contender, matching to the likes of Hitachi and JCB in our areas,” explains Brian.

As the company continues to grow, it looks to future recruitment through two main channels, recommendation from within the industry and personal connections, ensuring that the business is able to continue to grow a team that complements the well established close knit community that it has for so long used to maximise its full potential. “We also have two apprentices employed, one which is finishing next year and the other has two years to go. They have both proved well worth the investment, and it is definitely the way to go forward,” Brian adds.

In 2014, sales of the 14 tonne Hyundai unit amassed a 50 per cent share of the business, as Brian points out: “There is a massive market for this size of machine and we have taken great success from it. Priced correctly, it is a true competitor to the likes of CAT and Volvo. Either side, sales of our eight tonne range, and 20 tonne range have also amassed to a substantial amount.” In time, and in line with the growth of the business, a depot down in the M25 region or one further North may be established, depending on how much area it gains from current contracts. “There has always been talk of regional expansion, and this will inevitably lead to the requirement of another depot. But as we look towards the future we are searching for a telehandler contract, with the likes of Manitou or Merlo, as well as another dumper agreement such as one with Bomag or Thwaites. Bolting such additions onto our offering would certainly be a great enhancement to the portfolio,” he concludes.

Willowbrook Plant Services Ltd

Services: Dealership and service provider for construction plant


Willowbrook Plant Services Ltd