Upright is prepared for a bright future

By Maria Hadlow24 November 2009

Darren Kell CEO of Tanfield, pictured by one of UpRight's new push around scissors, PAX8 from the pe

Darren Kell CEO of Tanfield, pictured by one of UpRight's new push around scissors, PAX8 from the personal access range.

Speaking at the UpRight distributor conference held last week in Dubai, Darren Kell, chief executive officer, of parent company Tanfield said, "With 2009 behind us we are looking forward and preparing for market recovery - we are ready for the next decade and the future is bright."

Part of that bright future is a number of new machines which will be rolling out over the next 18 months. Attendees at the distributor conference were able to get a first viewing of UpRight's new range of "personal access" equipment aimed at users in facilities management, shops, offices, shopping malls and so on.

Other niche products included trailer mounted booms and scissors, tracked booms and scissors and a heavily upgraded Speed Level. In addition the company previewed a number of prototype machines, of which more coming soon.

Mr Kell acknowledged that the past 18 months had been difficult and admitted that his 2008 predictions that the market would fall 50% in 2009 had been exceeded.

He believes that because UpRight acted more quickly and decisively than some of its larger competitors to reduce costs, and cut to the right level in the first instance the company is better placed to respond to the upturn.

Production volume is 70% down and staff has been reduced by 60%, "We did this early," Mr Kell said, "sized the business correctly and maintained the installed capability. Everyone working at the company now knows they are part of the rebuild."

Mr Kell told AI that he expects to be producing similar volumes of machines in 2010 as in 2009 with some steady growth, but no meteoric rise of volumes in 2011.

Not surprisingly at a distributor conference Mr Kell emphasised the importance of the company's distributor network, in UpRight's case this is no vain boast. UpRight sells only through distributors so cooperation and loyalty in both directions are key.

Mr Kell said, "Some companies use it [their distributor network] as a cost base they can grow and shrink. We are loyal to our distributors and they deal only with us... it is a holistic approach, serving end-to-end requirements- training, customer support and spare parts."

The Dubai location of the conference emphasised UpRight's commitment to distributors and their customers in that part of the world. UpRight has recently set up UPAME (UpRight Powered Access Middle East) headed up by Mick Wright - previously head of customer support.

UpRight now operates in 25 countries in the region (this includes North Africa, and India) and is seeking to identify and appoint more distributors in the region.

You can read more about the Middle East on line soonand read the full report in Access International's January/February issue.

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