Deborah Services Limited (Deborah) – a specialist in the provision of non-mechanical construction equipment – is investing £6m in its hire and sales division to re-model its 28 branches and open four new branches across the UK and Ireland over the next two years.
The decision to invest in new branches comes as demand outstrips supply due to the recovering construction sector.
The newbuilds will run alongside the branch refurbishment programme in which training rooms and demonstration areas for key products will become a major feature.
It is not just economic recovery that is driving Deborah’s investment programme but also a deepening of the relationship between customer and supplier. Roger Hastie, divisional director at Deborah, explained: “Customers want more than just a one-dimensional relationship with their suppliers. They want first-class equipment matched with knowledge, which we are well-placed to deliver.
“Over the past six months we have seen demand for non-mechanical construction equipment increase by 40%. If we had the equipment and space to hold more, we could see that figure grow by another 20%. The industry as a whole has grown at approximately 13%, so we have increased our market share. Although a lot of that is to do with product availability and reliability.”
Mr Hastie continued: “New equipment, which saves time and money, while improving overall health and safety, is in high demand and we are responding to that demand.
“All of the branches currently undergoing refurbishment will have training rooms and a boardroom which customers can use for their own business needs. Demonstration areas for products such as Rhino Deck are also being built where our fully-trained staff can show how the equipment should be used, limiting the chance for accidents on-site.”
Deborah’s refurbishment programme started in September 2014 at its Bournemouth branch. While the warehouse remained in-situ, a new office area and customer facilities have been built.
Each refurbishment is expected to cost between £250,000 and £500,000, and will include a trade counter, offices and space for new product lines, as well as standardising the layout and design of each branch.
Plans are already well underway for Deborah’s Birmingham branch and new facilities in Cardiff and Nottingham.