With a company timeline stretching back to 1978, Generation UK has seen substantial growth and now operates as the largest scaffolding supplier in the UK.
Employing 266 people from 14 branches across the country, Generation’s head office is based in Oldbury, Birmingham and as their success increased so did their need for a reliable fleet of forklifts to serve their nationwide network of branches.
Boasting a 15-year relationship with Generation, Trevor De’Ath of Windsor Materials Handling stepped in to provide around 50 forklift trucks for the company – a mix of Doosan, Clarke and Komatsu models.
Trevor, who has a 25-year strong working relationship with commercial manager at Generation, Chris Baker, said the trucks had been well-received by staff at the firm.
“Although the lengthy working relationship did provide an opportunity to work with Generation, it also meant that there were free and frank discussions when it came to feedback,” said Trevor. “The trucks themselves have had a good response, but the back-up service has had particularly positive comments.”
Windsor is one of the few independent MHE providers in the UK with nationwide coverage and over 100 fully trained and highly skilled engineers. Thanks to a local one-stop approach for finance, hire, sales and maintenance, Windsor is able to add value via a quick, reliable and personal service. As part of the agreement with Generation, Trevor occasionally provides hourly and weekly key performance indicators to check efficiency is at its optimum for the fast-growing business.
Chris Baker, explains how peaks are unpredictable for the business. “There is constant volume. It’s always busy first thing in the morning and sometimes vehicles are queuing down the street. We use barriers during busy times to ensure traffic on site doesn’t get in the way of the operation.
“I joined Generation in 2003 when it was a £26 million company,” said Chris. “Since then we have experienced considerable growth and today turnover is at £80 million. This growth isn’t due to any drastic change in product – it is more about the economy. If construction is on the rise we see a bigger demand, and that’s not the only sector we supply.”
Throughout the years, the Windsor business has evolved to support customers from a variety of backgrounds. Generation UK also prides itself on supplying scaffolding to a wide range of industries; including construction, film and entertainment. In 2010, the company secured a contract to supply 5,500 tons of scaffolding equipment to Britain’s new aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth.
“This was our biggest single contract to date,” Chris continued. “Over 4,000 deliveries were made and from end to end the scaffolding we supplied reached 2,718 miles – the equivalent to travelling from Land’s End to John O’Groats three times.”
Owned by The Altrad Group, Generation UK is made up of four divisions; hire and sale, access, training services, and export. The hire and sale division is then split into two – heavy goods and light goods. The heavy side includes scaffolding and bulky objects, while light goods manages the smaller products.
“Sites catering for the heavy side are generally one or two acres to accommodate the bulky product and the four to five forklift machines that can be in operation at any one time,” continued Chris. “The lighter side is managed from warehouses, where usually only one forklift is required. It was great that Windsor were able to support both sides of the hire and sale business.”
With 40 years’ experience in materials handling and access systems, Windsor can offer its customers freedom of choice for every application – an important factor for the largest UK supplier of scaffolding products. Generation holds the highest volume of product and has the biggest turnover in the scaffolding industry.
Chris concluded: “This kind of success can only be supported by the quality machinery and outstanding service we have had from Trevor and Windsor Materials Handling in general.”
Windsor operates from twelve branches across the UK, offering materials handling and access equipment, for sale, hire and maintenance. Established in 1977, the business is now the UK’s leading independent supplier of Komatsu, Kalmar and Doosan forklifts, Baumann sideloaders, Atlet warehousing and JLG access equipment.