On the 15th of September, Bott held an industry event, Building British Fleets, to celebrate the opening of their extension to the Van Fleet Conversion and Enhancement Centre in Ashby.
The event was supported by key industry partners; Penny Hydraulics, Ashwoods Lightfoot, Maple Fleet Services, Vauxhall, BT Fleet and the Freight Transport Association, as well as input from Bott’s workshop equipment business. Delegates enjoyed industry seminars from the FTA and Bott as well as providing a great networking opportunity, along with some good food!
The £1.1 million extension will add 13,000 square foot to the facility and create around 20 new jobs in the local community. This brings total investment in Ashby to over £5 million, and signifies their ongoing commitment to developing the business as part of the local community. This marks a remarkable journey which began 23 years ago with two individuals in a tiny workshop with a big vision. Kevin Woodward, Managing Director of the Vehicle Enhancement Division, was enthusiastic about Bott’s future in Ashby, saying, “We have access to a very skilled workforce, with a good work ethic and, in terms of logistics, Ashby is so well connected.”
Bott’s goal is to provide businesses and tradesmen with tailored van conversions that let them work efficiently and safely. From design to manufacture and installation, the quality and service that comes as standard with a Bott product has been so high that many of the UK’s leading businesses have come to rely on them to provide fleet conversions and cutting edge solutions for even the most unique and challenging situations.
During the last two decades of growth Bott has become a true one stop shop for both fleet and specialist customers, the company has invested in key areas such as compliance and electrical technology and vehicle graphics to provide services which deliver for their customers. In addition, the company has developed close relationships with key supplier partners, enabling the company to access a comprehensive range of capabilities resulting in a seamless customer experience.
The extension was officially opened by Councillor Richard Blunt, and brought together many of Bott’s core customers and partners. The opening was a chance to celebrate the success of companies who invest in Britain, to create a strong and vibrant future for businesses and their local communities.
Penny Hydraulics based in Chesterfield, has been the lifting equipment supplier to Bott for over 20 years. Penny Hydraulics design, manufacture, install and service a wide range of lifting equipment and has its own purpose built premises housing its manufacturing and assembly plant, carrying out all the functions of a fully integrated company with design, manufacturing, quality control, aftersales support and nationwide service operation.
Bott has lifting equipment requirements which range from Penny Hydraulics SwingLift range of electric cranes with capacities as low as 100kg and bespoke boom lengths to suit small car-derived vans, to PH hydraulic cranes with over 7 metres of boom reach and capacities over 3300kg, as well as hydraulic loading platforms for vans from their range. Jessica Penny, General Manager of Sales at Penny Hydraulics comments, “We are proud to have an excellent long standing business relationship with Bott, so it was fantastic to collaborate to celebrate the opening of their new facility this week.”
There are distinct similarities between the two businesses which contribute to their synergy. Jessica explains “not only are both Bott and Penny Hydraulics based in the East Midlands and manufacture their products in the UK, but we also have many shared values when it comes to business, with innovation, creating better working environments, efficient working and user safety at the heart of what we do. This has without doubt contributed to our combined success. ”
Kevin Woodward, Managing Director of the Vehicle Enhancement Divisions at Bott ltd recalls a particular event 20 years ago which solidified the relationship between the two companies, “I remember on one particular occasion, being asked by a customer if we could fit cranes into the back of vans and at that time, I had no idea how this could be done. I think in those days, I found the number for Penny’s in the yellow pages and arranged for John Penny to come to our old Coalville facility; to discuss my challenge.
He did no more than arrive in his old Volvo Estate complete with suit and tie.
I discussed my particular problem with him and after duly listening to me, he gave a wry smile and proceeded to advise me that he had brought one of his cranes along in the back of his Volvo; along with his overalls. He said if I was happy for him to work with one of our engineers, there and then, he would show us what we needed to know and do to fit a crane into the back of one of our vehicles.
He duly stripped out of his suit, togged up with his overalls and spent 2/3 hours on site showing us the ropes. I have to say that even after all these years that particular recollection sticks is my mind as the ultimate ‘can do attitude’.”
Penny Hydraulics has recently announced a record sales year with an annual turnover of £6.1 Million, almost 10% growth on the previous financial year. The company is partnered with industry leading professional and trade organisations and are approved commercial vehicle converters for major vehicle manufacturers including Renault, Nissan and Volkswagen. In addition to this, commercial vehicle body builders worldwide from USA to Australia and Hungary to Benelux, choose to partner with Penny Hydraulics to sell lifting applications all over the world.
Penny Hydraulics Ltd (www.pennyhydraulics.com) is possibly best known for its market leading range of hydraulic lifting equipment, vehicle mounted cranes and vehicle mounted platform lifts as well as goods lift solutions such as the Cellar Lift drinks delivery hoists and Mezz Lift, mezzanine floor lift range.