Caterpillar dealer Finning has responded to the upturn in demand across its UK and Ireland territories, committing to spend £10 million on two new facilities: a national parts centre at its spiritual home in Cannock; and a state of the art branch in Dublin.
The purchase and fit out of a purpose built warehouse facility in Cannock, will see the existing national parts distribution centre, currently housed at its Cannock head office, completely move to the new premises in the summer. In addition to the new parts facility Finning has also purchased a new six-acre site, including a state of the art branch with workshop facilities in Dublin, aimed at supporting the expected growth in the Irish market.
Commenting on the deal, Neil Dickinson, managing director for Finning UK and Ireland, said: “All of the indications are that the construction market is recovering. It is vital that we invest so that we can help our customers make the most of the new opportunities. In the UK, a key part of this strategy is to invest in our parts service capabilities. With this new state of the art operation, we will be able to deliver an enhanced service to our customers, whilst redeveloping the existing parts store to add further capabilities to our head office.”
Evidence for the upturn is seen with the last three months Markit monthly purchasing managers index (PMI) for the UK construction industry which all report an expected increase in activity. While this is good news for the industry some investment is required for the industry to take advantage, with David Noble chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) noting that this greater activity is squeezing supplies and lengthening delivery times.
Neil continues: “Clearly our customers are having to invest to meet increased demand and it is important that we also invest to support this drive. As part of our investment strategy, we have also secured land in Cannock, next to our headquarters to allow us to plan for further expansion in the future as the economy picks up.
Investing in Ireland
The new £5 million facility in Dublin has two storey offices, a showroom, a parts warehouse and two large workshops. The building stands on a six-acre site and was purpose-built by its previous owners to support the sale and service of plant and equipment.
Neil Dickinson: “We really believe that, like the UK, the Irish construction market is beginning to gain momentum. Our market share in Ireland has increased significantly and we aim to further grow this for core and smaller machines over the next few years.
“There are also huge opportunities for our Power Systems division in Ireland, with some big deals expected for data centres around Dublin and we are working hard with partners to win even more business.”
Finning UK and Ireland general manager, Gary Meggarrell, added: “Since the Caterpillar dealership transitioned to Finning in 2010, it has been a key part of our strategy to secure the right facility from which to run our operations for the long term.
“We are now well placed to service all of Ireland with three facilities located in Cork, County Antrim and Dublin. Our new facility in Dublin will become an important part of the Finning Group infrastructure with ample room for expansion.
“Operations will continue in the company’s current Dublin facility at Greenogue until quarter two of 2014, when the new site will become fully operational.”
Neil concluded: “Now that the economy is showing real signs of picking up, it is important for us and our customers to invest and make the most of the opportunity. Not only will our investment in the UK and Ireland help in the short term, it will be a real important spring board for our long term strategy and future growth.”