Speedy widening role beyond traditional hire

By Murray Pollok23 August 2010

Claudio Veritiero, managing director of Speedy’s UK & Ireland Asset Services business.

Claudio Veritiero, managing director of Speedy’s UK & Ireland Asset Services business.

Speedy Hire said its growing industrial and infrastructure related business was helping it develop wider outsourcing services beyond the simple ‘hire' of equipment.

Claudio Veritiero, managing director of Speedy's UK & Ireland Asset Services business, speaking at a press lunch in London, said these sectors were acting as a "test model for the new direction of the business. We've provided outsourcing services to clients like Network Rail, BAE, ExxonMobil and Corus, managing their own assets, as well as what they hire from us.

"This involves everything from procuring assets for purchase on their behalf if this is more appropriate than hire for them, offering testing, repair, inspection and maintenance of their tools and equipment, and broader asset management and project support on their sites."

Mr Veritiero said Speedy was offering support over the lifecycle of an asset; "If our customers want to own an asset, then we can help them procure it; if they don't want the financial liability then we'll hire it. If they need support with it, we can help test, repair and maintain it - and even transport it or train on its use.

"Hire remains at the core of what we do, but by broadening our mix of services we can become an integral part of our customer's supply chain whether they are a national contractor or local builder."

He cited the case of Speedy's work with Network Rail in supporting its maintenance teams; "Our role here is to support their own assets, not ours. Hire isn't always the answer, asset purchase sometimes will be. In this sense we're adopting a partnership approach."

The company is planning to extend the breadth of its offering, with consultancy services in areas like health and safety, sustainability, waste and lean construction.

Asked if Speedy was stepping outside the hire market, Mr Veritiero answered that the company was "stepping above" it.

Construction has traditionally represented around 70% of Speedy's revenues, but that reliance is reducing and is now closer to 60%.

Meanwhile, Mr Veritiero said the true impact of the Government cost cutting programme was still not clear; "They've moved quickly to cut back on major schemes, with Building Schools for the Future (BSF) being the most obvious example. But even with BSF those planned for quarter two have gone ahead. It's the longer term BSF projects that have been axed." He said that infrastructure projects, including water, waste and energy, continue to grow, funded by private sector investment.

On economic recovery he said there was still uncertainty; "There are signs of a private sector recovery, but it isn't happening fast enough or steep enough to give absolute confidence that it will address the gap that the public spending review will result in, so our outlook is cautious."

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