A Record Year in British Manufacturing for Penny Hydraulics
Penny Hydraulics is delighted to announce a record sales year with an annual turnover of £6.1 Million, almost 10% growth on the previous financial year.
The Chesterfield based company, founded in 1978 started and continues as a family owned business. Over this time it has grown to become the UK’s leading manufacturer of load handling equipment for commercial vehicles, factories and workshops, retail and licensed premises. The company which operates within 22 countries worldwide, also provides specialist mechanical handling for the Nuclear Industry, lighting hoists, as well as mining & tyre handling equipment. The company designs and manufactures its own products in the UK. These are serviced and supported by Penny Hydraulics own nationwide network of service engineers.
Vehicle mounted equipment sales account for 35% of Penny Hydraulics sales. Products include the Swing Lift range of electric cranes, PH, V and FV hydraulic cranes and the Load Lift, Side Lift and Tail Lift loading platform ranges for use on pick-ups, drop-sides and vans as well as Penny Hydraulics own range of electric winches.
Through its membership of organisations including the International Organization for Standardization and British Standard Committees, The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) and on The Association of Lorry Loader Manufacturers and Importers (ALLMI) Penny Hydraulics is well placed to understand the challenges and issues facing all load handling equipment users which gives the company a distinct advantage over other manufacturers. The four Company Directors are closely involved with the industry and actively participate on the bodies that agree standards and safety legislation. Richard Short, Penny Hydraulics Sales Director sits on the ALLMI board which is the UK’s only Trade Association devoted exclusively to the lorry loader industry. This has given the company a unique insight that enables it to deliver excellence to the industries it serves.
Lifting equipment sales are driven greatly by legislation. Working closely with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) the company always has a view of the next “big thing” in terms of campaigns, legislation and corporate responsibility. Richard Short, Sales Director comments, “A recent HSE campaign in the UK relates to Working from Height. Regulations on Working from Height have been around since 2005, but in recent years the HSE have started to actively promote these and look at organisations who could do more to comply. Part of this drive has been to prevent trips and falls from height. Penny Hydraulics has been actively involved with the HSE and their customer base to adapt existing cranes to make them operable at ground level but identified the need for a much greater portfolio of hydraulic cranes which could be operated via control levers or remote control from the ground."
Penny Hydraulics announced the launch of their new range of fully hydraulic PH Cranes at the Commercial Vehicle Show 2015. Introduced to meet the needs of the 1 to 18 tonne UK commercial vehicle market, the PH Crane range offers over 470 lightweight, user-friendly and innovative models. The range has between 0.5 and 5 tm lifting capacity with boom reaches up to 6.83 metres. The new PH Crane range incorporate full hydraulic control for even the lightest units. This type of control prevents the need to access the bed of the vehicle and coupled with the use of proportional controls, helps ensure smooth and precise load handling.
With over 41,000 existing contacts within Penny Hydraulics CRM as well as direct links with many of the original equipment manufacturers and almost all of the UK based vehicle builders, Penny Hydraulics have capitalised on this by offering a larger product offering to their customers, making the most of every sales opportunity and stopping them having to find an alternative supplier. A heavy investment in marketing has also played its part as well as poor weather conditions, in 2014 which led to an upturn in sales due to the increased number of highways vehicles required to maintain the road network.
Penny Hydraulics Managing Director, Robin Penny attributes a degree of the company’s success to a “cradle to grave philosophy” as he comments “we offer nationwide back-up through our own network of dedicated Service Engineers. Many of the company’s service engineers were involved in the manufacture of its products before they became part of the customer support team. This means that they have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the company’s products and the underlying engineering principles so that they can offer rapid response and very high first time fix rate if a customer requires assistance. We also take care of the regular scheduling of Statutory Thorough Examinations throughout the life of the products in accordance with LOLER legislation. I feel that this level of support and attention to detail sets Penny Hydraulics apart from other manufacturers and distributors in the UK.”
Building relationships with Penny Hydraulics existing key customer base, network of converters & strategic partners, combined with the companies geographical spread and the launch of the new PH Hydraulic Crane range has enabled Penny Hydraulics to further cement its dominance in the mechanical handling market and it is not just turnover that is at record levels for Penny Hydraulics. Profit levels are also on the increase. Managing Director, Robin Penny comments “this has been achieved by maintaining the same level of quality in our products, but looking at new production methods and running the business efficiently to keep our administrative overheads to a minimum, and reducing stock levels.”
It has not all been plain sailing for Penny Hydraulics, but the company is now determined to build on their success. Robin Penny states “our success to date has been achieved through hard work, an understanding of the market and our competitors and but most of all through understanding our customers’ needs. We have a wealth of knowledge, experience, drive and the willingness to achieve, the third generation of Penny Hydraulics want to push the business to the next level. By the end of 2016 we wish to have grown turnover to exceed £6.5m.”
The company has already recruited an additional 10 members of staff over the past year and is now recruiting again for further positions in its Chesterfield factory and offices. Plans are being drawn up to expand the current facility in terms of office space, production space and storage space to match the expected increase in sales. This work is due to commence in the final quarter of 2015.