The Time Ruthmann Cooperation
By Maria Hadlow30 January 2012
In the early part of 2011 Time announced that it would distribute the Ruthmann Steiger range of truck mounted aerial platforms as well as the Flexiloader and Cargoloader special transport vehicles in Denmark under the Time Danmark A/S name.
Later in the year a reciprocal agreement was revealed in which German truck mount manufacturer, Ruthmann would take over all sales and service activity for Versalift in Germany and Austria.
Eight months down the line Per Torp says the arrangement is going perfectly and from 1 January Time Danmark has been representing Ruthmann in Norway and Sweden as well. "Ruthmann has the opportunity to grow its van-mount and smaller 3.5t truck mount business while we can offer the big truck mounts to rental customers.," says Mr TorpFor Time that has meant finding new rental customers in Norway and Denmark so it has positioned new sales people to cover that market.
The cooperative agreement between the companies is something that Mr Torp says he is always looking to find, "Truck mount lift manufacturers are very protective, but which can really offer a complete line in the four categories of van-mount, 3.5t GVW, 30m to 100m trucks and insulated booms?
"In addition it is difficult to cover the [geographical] market as well."
Ruthmann has several highly professional facilities throughout Germany, which are able to cover the market, Time's salesforce has gone from three to between 10 and 12 and Time has already noticed an upturn in sales.
"For a successful cooperation says Mr Torp the two parties must have the same philosophy, sales structure, production values and be of equal size - a small company with large company can often give rise to fear of takeover.
"Ruthmann and Time both have professional owners who are deeply involved in the companies, and there is a short route to management. We also have the same view of quality and service; based, not on not price, but technology. That's why I believe it's successful," he says.
At the moment the companies are looking at the possibility of Time Manufacturing selling Ruthmann in the USA. Ruthmann already has some of its very high machines working on windfarms in the USA (see page 33)
There is also the possibility of the companies working on some joint machine development projects in the future , but these would be kept separate from the main businesses to stand and fall on their own merits - although Mr Torp says that management is keen they should succeed.