It’s two years ago that we featured Skelton Plant Hire, based on our CT3 Business Park, in our news. We revisited this month to ask how they’d fared in those two years and what the next two may bring.
Jullian Ring, the Operations Manager, and Tim Skelton, the MD, had a wry smile on their faces when the question was broached. “Two years ago we thought the downturn had waned,” said Tim. “Trading was buoyant, demand was consistently strong and then in 2012 the heat of 2011 was cooled down by terrible weather in the first quarter, followed by a summer that most farmers couldn’t wait to get behind them! In the face of all this we were pleasantly surprised when we still managed to hit our sales targets.”
“One of the many strengths as a business is our large, diverse and loyal customer base,” added Jullian. “Over the last two decades of trading Skelton have built up an enviable client profile from all walks of business and commerce. At the serious end we have farmers large and small, builders, civil engineers, utility contractors and government departments, at the other end of the scale, high profile music festivals … and even a famous dress designer!”
Despite the individual characteristics of each client their requirements are all very similar … excellent service.
Skelton’s reputation for providing good quality, reliable plant is only the beginning; our office and sales team are courteous, understand the products and between them have a wealth of experience stretching back many years. Our in house plant operators, delivery drivers and engineers are competent, highly trained and experienced individuals. These are all important ingredients to running a successful operation.
In 2013 the fragile economic growth is starting to show in the construction sector and sales at Skelton are up 15% on last year, with an expectation of the same or more next year. Although at the same time costs are rising fast – with capital items up 15-25% in the last 18 months.
“Despite tough trading conditions we’ve stuck to our core values and have continued to invest in staff training and in new marketing initiatives,” explains Tim. “And the strong support from our supply chain partners has meant we have been able to deliver even on the most challenging projects: we delivered a very large contract within just 14 days, and managed to deliver 90 new items of plant from 5 manufacturers on time and to budget. Without solid relationships forged over many years with our supply chain, this would have proved more challenging.
“The company motto is ‘delivered right first time, on time’. If we keep on sticking to this we think the next two years could be even more rewarding!”
You can find out more about Skelton Plant Hire on their website at www.skelton.co.uk or by phoning them on 01304 840640.
More details on the Stour Valley Estates business parks and our other commercial properties to let can be found on this website, or by phoning our Property Manager Katie Dove on 01304 849210.