November 18, 2018

Quick Reach – continual progress

David and John Barton, Directors

In the 12 months since Construction Industry News last caught up with Quick Reach the powered access and telehandler hire specialist has continued along the upward trajectory that has seen it rapidly increasing the range of equipment it can provide to customers.

“We are now entered our fifth year of trading and it is crazy to think how quickly the time has flown by,” explains David Barton, Director, who set up the business with his brother John in April 2014. “Since we last spoke, we acquired Specialized Access in Scotland and our equipment portfolio has grown markedly – we now have in excess of 1,000 machines, with the support of some great Manufacturers.  Quick Reach are now able to provide an even wider range of plant and are one of the select few hire companies that can supply equipment that can work at heights of over 25m.”

Quick Reach recently took delivery of four Genie Z-80/60 and four Genie ZX-135/70 articulating boom lifts, at the same time opting for a five-year service package. The Z-80/60 has a maximum working height of 25.8m and outreach of 18.3m. The ZX-135/70, meanwhile, reaches up 43.1m and out nearly 21.3m, making it one of the biggest models on the market.

David Barton adds: “These models are technically sophisticated and require specialised skills to keep them properly maintained. Thanks to the full service option that includes two annual visits, maintenance according to the recommended service intervals and replacement of parts by Genie experts for the next five years, we have the peace of mind in knowing that our new machines will be fully operational at all times. The booms were bought with specific projects in mind and they have received some great feedback on the benefits and productivity values they have brought to the operatives”

As it has broadened its product range, Quick Reach has also ensured that it has added to its workforce to further cement the service element it is able to offer. “We’ve progressed significantly over the past few years and we’ve still got the fire to keep this momentum going by being customer lead and market driven. Integral to our success is how we deal with our employees, customers, suppliers and the wider community, John and I feel this is essential in the continued success and development of our business. We continue do a lot with the local community sports club, individual up and coming sporting stars and are keen supporters of various charities where we’ve raised thousands this year.”

Given the rate of expansion that Quick Reach has seen already, it is testament to the management of the business that it has been able to oversee this process relatively comfortably so far. “Of course there are challenges involved in developing any business so quickly, as you have to keep a close eye on cashflow and your ability to fund the purchase of new plant,” says Mr Barton. “It’s certainly an ongoing process and we’re always looking at market developments and our financial performance to make sure that we can develop the business in the manner that we want to. Thankfully we’ve been fortunate enough to build a strong client base that is continuing to grow, which in turn has provided the revenue required to maintain our progression.”

The strong client base that has provided the foundation for Quick Reach’s development hasn’t come about by accident, with the company’s emphasis on customer service and continual investment in its plant portfolio proving key. “We are a very customer-focused business but this is only made possible by the quality of our workforce and their dedication. They all have a real desire to strive to do better and grow with the business. This has been essential in our ability to move the company forward in the manner that we have.”

Another crucial factor behind Quick Reach’s growth has been the relationships it has been able to build with its own suppliers. “The manufacturers have been brilliant in their support, particularly Skyjack in the early years and more recently Genie with the bigger products. They have both been a tremendous help in underpinning the growth we’ve seen.

“We had always planned to move into the large boom market and achieving this goal allows us to not only look after a percentage of a client’s workload but all of it. This obviously gives us a much greater range of work to go at, as it has opened up considerably more revenue streams, both with new and existing customers. This has proven particularly beneficial as we prefer to be selective about the clients that we work with rather than merely being a general hirer.

“Of course the Brexit issue is concerning because no-one knows what effects it will have on the wider economy and the construction sector in particular. Thankfully we do have many projects in place that will take us beyond the start of Brexit and this is where our focus will be, in the meantime, we are working hard to identify other opportunities in Industry.”

As Quick Reach’s product portfolio has expanded so has its geographical reach. It is now able to cover the whole of mainland UK with sites in Scotland, Manchester, Doncaster and London.  There is appetite for a further depot in Birmingham subject to funding.  As a consequence of its forward-thinking approach, although there will undoubtedly be hurdles ahead, as there is in any industry, the company looks well placed to continue building the momentum it has developed over the past four years.

“We continue to have a really strong desire to keep growing the company in the months ahead,” concludes Mr Barton. “There’s some really strong national operators within the marketplace, some in my opinion performing better than others, we’re determined to get to that level and further develop our UK-wide coverage. Whether this is achieved by organic growth or via acquisition is still to be determined, as we’re willing to keep all our options open. We’re a very aspirational company but we will only grow in a sustainable manner by taking on the right opportunities and working with companies that share similar business values.

“Ultimately, however, it is all about the team we’ve been able to put together and their ability to provide the level of service that our customers require. Our people are our greatest asset and by getting that side of the business right, coupled with having a strong product range, it will allow us to keep moving forward as a business.”

Given the progress Quick Reach has been able to achieve so far, it looks like the company has all the bases covered as it strives to keep its forward momentum going, it won’t be long before the market leaders take notice on how QR are doing things.