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Hirer 's one-call pledge

Hewden streamlines operations and links up with dealer arm to offer a simplified one-stop hire service

NATIONAL hirer Hewden will provide the 'ultimate service' to contractors, especially large operators, as a result of a radical restructuring, according to managing director Nick Lloyd.

Mr Lloyd said the transformation of Hewden to a 'hub and spoke'operation with the consolidation of its specialist divisions, revealed last week in Construction News, would be further complemented by improved links with the materials handling and equipment sales operations at sister company Finning UK.

Mr Lloyd said: 'We see it as making it easier for the customer to do business.

'More and more contractors need to deal with all of the portfolio and now they will be able to rent short or long term to meet their materials handling needs or purchase equipment.

'The opportunity to present it all as a whole is a phenomenal argument for our customers. It is the most exciting thing to happen in my 36 years at the company.'

Mr Lloyd is taking on responsibility for administration of both the hire and sales side as part of an expanded role, which will also see him take control of Finning's materials handling business.

The moves, which will take place gradually, will see an unprecedented degree of integration at the hirer.Mr Lloyd said the firm's 3,700 staff would benefit as much as the customer.

He added: 'We have a very dedicated and focused group of people with a high degree of knowledge but over the years we have become 'over-divisioned'.

'Customers now are looking to deal with organisations that are joined up to a high degree.

'There was no real channel to channel dialogue between the sales and hire operations, so we are now putting them within arm's reach.

'The new structure will be letting the staff do what they do best, which is looking after the customers.Our current structure has made that difficult.We have the best network and the best resources; we now have to leverage it' He stressed that the change of emphasis would result neither in a reduction in staff nor in a wholesale change of equipment.

Mr Lloyd said: 'It will still have the same focus, expertise and personalities and the depots are not necessarily changing.

'The systems are changing, so that you will be able to call on any Hewden facility and they will be able to help with all the requirements.

'The theory is that a nut and bolt available in Falmouth will also be available in Aberdeen.

'We are not looking for staff reduction, in fact we would like to be in a position where we can grow to 5,000 people.

'We have absolutely no plans to sell the cranes operation and the only real alterations we will make will be to look at some of the lines that are not geared towards the professional contractor and those that have been added in small numbers of depots.

'For instance, I can't see us selling barbecues across the network.'

He said the restructured model would enable Hewden to build areas such as tool hire organically, rather than having to add depots.

He added: 'It is not a numbers game, it is a service game.'