Warwick Ward look to the future
Warwick Ward (machinery) Ltd. was founded in 1970 by Mr Warwick Ward and has become one of the largest stockists and suppliers of new & used earthmoving and waste recycling equipment, and spare parts in Europe.
As the largest independent CASE dealer in Europe and certified to ISO 9001:2015, the company offers an outstanding, comprehensive, and professional service with competitive pricing to cover all equipment needs. A strong belief of the company is that both customer service and technical back up are paramount to the success of any dealer/customer relationship and as such a specialist sales team can facilitate whatever the requirements are.
Over the past 10 years, Warwick Ward has continued to expand the business by adding premium complimentary brands such as TEREX Ecotec, KEESTRACK crushing and screening equipment and more recently TEREX Recycling Systems to their portfolio of products.
The company now have depots in the North, Midlands, and the South where resolute service teams can provide an outstanding aftersales support on all earthmoving and recycling equipment across the whole of England.
An extensive hire fleet for both long-and short-term hires, with the support of our fully equipped workshop and nationwide service team and transport facility, ensures the provision of a comprehensive service to all their customers in the UK offering a ‘one stop shop’ for all earthmoving and recycling equipment needs.
Recently the company opened a "Centre of Excellence" at new premises in Barnsley which will house the company's bespoke training academy and develop future employees. The academy will provide fantastic opportunities for both apprentices and qualified plant fitters.
So, to get a thorough understanding of how Warwick Ward have progressed the HUB-4 team went over to the new centre to meet Ashley Ward who is Joint MD.
He explained the philosophy behind the company’s growth strategy. “Business up to the start of covid was particularly good but like the majority of companies in our sector, sales of high value cap-ex equipment came to a grinding halt overnight once Covid restrictions were imposed, albeit service and parts sales crucially continued. When we realised that it may be sometime before a return to normal, we decided to gamble on the recovery being more of a sharp ‘V’ shape and that stock availability would be critical to our ongoing success. With that strategy in mind, we were bold in difficult circumstances in placing substantial forward orders with our brands. Fortunately, that vision very much played out as restrictions lifted as in the end the demand was such that we needed even more stock than we had ordered! We calculated high demand as our customers would need to freshen and replace their fleets having not done so for the best part of a year.”
Warwick Ward have always had a strong position in servicing the waste recycling sector and during Covid continued to also see a strong demand for the hire of Case, Terex and Keestrack machines throughout that period, so for them there was never a slow-down on that side of their business. As demand then increased it was more a question of waiting for the OEMs to catch up!
Ashley, continued, “Like everyone, we did not have a crystal ball in the UK as regards the post-Covid world and although we appeared to be performing better than Europe, we just needed certainty and a plan. Our customer base across our existing geographical areas was thriving and there was no negativity in the market, which enabled us to concentrate on part of our growth strategy which is based on expanding the business into London and the Southeast. As a northern business we needed to get a foothold in the south and we knew that the Case and Keestrack brands were the vehicles to enable us to fulfil this. It was apparent that the expansion of our CASE territory was key to our strategic growth plan and the opportunity to take on the southeast was fantastic for us as this is where we could see a large proportion of our growth coming from.
“When we took on the additional territory for Case it was just pre-covid so although we knew it was an exciting opportunity, we are only in the last 12 months really seeing the rewards from the significant investment in our new depot in Harlow. Scott Bunting who has been with the business 12 years, agreed to relocate from our head office in Barnsley to head up the southern Case depot based in the south - a great demonstration of both his and our own commitment to the success of the project. We firmly believe there is a huge amount of potential over the next 5-10 years, now we have this foothold in the South.”
Building an equipment portfolio:
Ashley outlined the strategy, “From an early stage we decided to build our equipment portfolio and create a ‘one stop shop’ for all the industry sectors we represent. We only want to be associated with quality world renowned brands so with the CASE CE and TEREX ECOTEC brands well positioned and established, we then partnered with KEESTRACK to represent their crushing and screening equipment nationally. It is an incredibly exciting venture for us as the brand has enormous growth potential and there are lots of opportunities for us.
Where we are now:
Over the last six years the Warwick Ward expansion has been rapid, with 4 depots and one to be opened soon in the North-East, added to the recent opening of the new Centre of Excellence this year. The swift progress has included significant enhancements at board level with a new Operations Director and Financial Director appointed to work alongside current Sales Director Simon Causier.
Ashley, expanded, “We opened the new Harlow depot and then followed in Barnsley with the Centre of Excellence. It has been a sustainable ‘future proof’ investment in the infrastructure within the business to ensure we can deliver what we need to deliver.
“The new depot in the North-East is opening to back up the sales process for Case and Keestrack. We continually maintain our service presence in the market with numbers of support staff increasing every year. We currently have 25 service engineers in the UK and that number will grow. There is a huge amount of investment in the business with everything been ploughed back in to take us to the next level.
“Recruitment remains a challenge, good people are always hard to find. However, we are extremely focused on generating the next generation from within. So, we have apprenticeship academy programmes that have been running 4-5 years in every part of the business, which is reaping the rewards by installing the values that we have into the next generation. We need to open the eyes of the young people of the UK to look at the fantastic opportunities that our industry sectors can offer.
“We are very proud where we have come from and of where we are now – a £60+ million business employing 120 people.”
Investment in people:
Investment in people is a huge part of the Warwick Ward strategy as Matthew Godhard who is Operations Director explained.
“It is all about the future and it is one of the reasons we have opened the new Centre of Excellence which is the next step in our evolution. We need to invest in people and this site enables us to deliver the product to the customer and also how the customer perceives us. The other element is being able to deliver the training aspect. Take for instance our head-office, we have been there numerous years and it is a great site, but we have never had a facility where we could develop structured training programmes.
“This new Centre of excellence allows us to train our current team and apprentices onsite, as well as the regular visits to the Case, Keestrack and Terex factories for continuous product training. Covid did change our approach to training, and we had to embrace on-line training. The improvement we saw in the quality and engagement of on-line training I believe was quite significant in how we got the message across - this definitely did help! Along with this on-line and factory training, now, with our depots and this centre, we have the right training mix to deliver the future.
Product training is vitally important but its not just about the technical aspects, we need to understand how we work to together, understand how we present ourselves together, and how we can continually improve. Constant team building is the essence with the use of Microsoft Teams meetings becoming a daily part of this to enable us to move forward.
“The challenge though is finding good people to support our growth. We have gone from a small business into this year with a £60+ million turnover – it is a massive figure. We do not lose staff but as we grow, we need more great people to join the strong long-serving team we have; some of the team have been with us for over 30 years. I have only been here two years and I came to work in a family business with a great bunch of people with a great ethos. We are a big business which still maintains the same original ethos and family values.
“It is all about satisfying a demand, we can sell a machine, but it is imperative that we maintain the level of aftersales, so the object of this new facility is to bring apprentices into the business. We now have a considerable number of apprentices to train alongside our ongoing programme of training for all our team.
“We were promised by the Mayor and the Council lots of support and I am pleased to say that this has come through and they are planning a program for the apprentices to be trained locally along with at the Academy in York on a residential course for heavy plant.
“We are overcoming a specific challenge in that we are changing people’s perception of the business through our forward-looking investment and built upon our highly trained staff.”
CASE Construction is a leading global brand with more than 175-years’ experience and a long-standing and formidable reputation for manufacturing construction equipment with outstanding quality and built-in reliability. CASE Construction has an extensive history of producing equipment to service many industry sectors with wide and varied customer requirements.
Warwick Ward became a fully authorised CASE construction equipment dealer in 2006. Within a short space of time, they established themselves as Europe’s largest independent CASE construction equipment dealer, offering a full range of new CASE equipment, products, and services.
A wide range of CASE construction machines are available for purchase, operating lease, or short, medium & long-term hire.
The range includes:
- Wheel Loaders
- Compact Wheel Loaders
- Crawler Excavators
- Midi Excavators
- Mini Excavators
- Short Radius Excavator
- Special Application machines
- Backhoe Loaders
- Skid Steer Loaders
- Compact Track Loaders
- Telescopic Loaders
Terex Ecotec & Terex Recycling Systems
Terex Ecotec is an industry leader in designing and manufacturing of wood processing, biomass, and recycling equipment. Terex Ecotec offers a range of innovative machines, including electric models, which provide efficient production, low operational costs, and ease of maintenance for each customer
In 2016, Warwick Ward acquired the TEREX Ecotec franchise, and are now a UK distributor for the full TEREX Recycling Systems range. This has further strengthened the company’s position within the Waste Sector, and they have established a very strong working relationship with many of the UK's largest waste recycling companies.
The range includes:
- Slow, medium & high-speed waste shredders
- Waste Handlers
- Trommel Screens
- Recycling Screens
- Tracked Conveyors
- Metal Separators
- Modular Static Recycling Plants
Keestrack Crushing & Screening
Keestrack are dedicated to delivering best-in-class results for all our customers, so they design every Keestrack product from the ground up to be highly efficient and cost-effective, with many individual innovations coming together to set Keestrack apart.
This commitment to consistent improvement and the highest standard of engineering gives their machines the edge, with the capacity to process more tonnes per hour than other machines on the market.
With a focus on sustainability at the core of the business, Keestrack have already electrified many models introducing electric drive systems (e-drive) back in 2012 and now produce ZERO-drive machines without any combustion engines on board.
The range includes:
- Cone crushers
- Impact Crushers
- Jaw Crushers
- Classifier Screens
- Scalper Screens
- Dust Suppression