Scaffolding Association members, UK System Scaffold Hire (UKSSH), have announced the acquisition of the former HAKI UK Head Office and logistics hub in Tamworth, in a deal that also includes the purchase of £1.5 million of HAKI systems. UKSSH have also revealed a major recruitment drive and their response to COVID-19.
The HAKI UK Head Office
It is a “return home” for UKSSH Managing Director Gary Griffiths, who started his scaffold career as a yard hand at the Tamworth site some 35 years ago and who explains that UKSSH’s strategic plan always included a Midlands operation and – as many of his senior team reside in the area – the Tamworth facility presented the ideal opportunity.
The Tamworth site (which will undergo a substantial refurbishment) will operate in addition to the company’s current site in Chesterfield, with the purchase reflecting both UKSSH’s impressive growth over the last few years and its ambitions for the future.
“The acquisition further cements our relationship with HAKI as their preferred Hire Partner and will obviously make it easier for us to service our existing customers in the Midlands and the South, but it is also a strategic move which will put us in a prime position to support major infrastructure projects such as HS2 and the construction programme leading up to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022”
Gary Griffiths; Managing Director, UKSSH
Major Recruitment Drive
UKSSH’s expansion has also been great news for an otherwise depressed jobs market, with the creation of seven new posts that again reflect the company’s commitment to customer service, as Gary explains:
“The Tamworth purchase doesn’t mean that we are diluting our efforts in the North of England: In fact, just the opposite, so we have recruited Ashley Rookes to take specific responsibility for North England and North Wales. Ashley has been plying his trade in the Middle East for the last 13 years and has a wealth of experience. When he expressed a wish to “come home” we snapped him up as someone who not only understands the importance of UKSSH’s reputation for customer service but, vitally, has the knowledge to enhance our already impressive skill base”.
And the customer focus doesn’t end there, with the recruitment of Kelly Scarborough and Anne Stanley – who have years of experience in HAKI products – joining the customer support team in Tamworth.
The UK’s HAKI Experts
Gary continues to discuss UKSSH’s expertise:
“At its’ core, UKSSH has had a relatively small team who, between them, has built up getting on for 190 years’ experience at HAKI UK. It is a team that has managed product development, worked in some of the most demanding and challenging markets imaginable (including infrastructure and off-shore) and – perhaps most importantly – is a team that thrives in getting deeply involved in complicated projects.
I’m proud to say that our team has an unrivalled knowledge of HAKI products. We believe our attention to detail is second to none and that has been the crux of our success to date. As we expand, I am determined not to dilute those principles, so I won’t recruit unless I know that it strengthens the team.”
Quality not Quantity
Coming as it does just after the hiatus caused by the Covid crisis, the Tamworth acquisition is also testament to UKSSH’s philosophy of quality not quantity, as Gary further explains:
“A few years ago we made a conscious decision to concentrate on high end projects where experience, knowhow and customer service were not only valued, but would prove to deliver real benefits and cost savings to clients.
We put a dedicated site support team in place and realigned our product range to support our new strategy.
Over the last four years the strategy has paid dividends. Not only has UKSSH achieved consistent growth, but we have strengthened our client base with new – blue chip – customers, achieved a very robust financial situation, and developed a reputation as the go-to specialists for projects requiring in depth customer support and hands on guidance.
The result has been an impressive portfolio of work featuring products like the Haki Bridge System and Public Access Staircases.”
Responding To New Requirements Post COVID-19
Gary also says that the requirement for social distancing on site and the need for companies to work smarter has also meant that he has seen an upturn in enquiries in the last few months:
“The HAKI system is the only one built around 3 metre horizontal modules, which means that adopting our products automatically helps to maintain social distancing. In addition, the sector is inevitably under pressure to make up for lost time with companies looking for new ways to manage their costs and improve profitability in order to recover from the impact that Covid-19 has had on their business and more and more scaffold contractors realise that our products and knowhow mean that we can help them with that recovery”.
The company has also spent the last few months developing their own range of products to complement the Haki range – including their Security Gate System which fits all Haki site stairs – and will shortly launch an online resource to demonstrate to safety officers, project managers, scaffold designers and surveyors how some of their unique products, such as the UKSSH Loading Tower, deliver major advantages that can not only save costs but also help achieve the “new social distancing norm” on site.
The purchase of the Tamworth site and £1.5 million of stock may seem like a brave move in the current climate, but it is a decision that has been made with a very clear vision for the future of UK System Scaffold Hire.
SOURCE & IMAGE CREDITS: UKSSH