EPS in demand
26 August 2020
Like so many businesses, Yorkshire-based EPS Hire Centres initially closed its doors when the lockdown was announced and wondered what the future held.
“We locked the gates at our depots in Sowerby Bridge and Mytholmroyd, and put a sign up asking people to contact me on my mobile if they needed urgent help,” Director Jason Fielden tells me.
“We furloughed all the staff, leaving just my father, David, and I to collect equipment from the many sites that had closed.
“We expected to do hardly any business at all, so we based ourselves at the Mytholmroyd facility which we were in the process of improving with a mezzanine floor, concrete yard and various electrical works.
Relentless customer demand
“However, demand from customers was relentless. Sites reopened and needed equipment, so we were back at work as normal after three weeks,” he says.
“Normally about 15% of our turnover comes from domestic customers, but during lockdown it went up to around 40%. Account holders also paid us promptly, so cash flow wasn’t affected as badly as we thought it might be at the start.”
EPS has bought new equipment to keep up with demand, including a Takeuchi 1.6-tonne mini excavator, a 1.5-tonne dumper from NC Engineering, and Snorkel self-propelled boom lifts. Another new addition is a Euro 6 compliant Scania truck.
Adapting to change
Jason says that, as a family-run independent, the business is flexible enough to adapt to market changes.
“Just before the 2008 financial crisis, we were kept flat out serving contractors who were converting old textile mills into flats, but that market disappeared in the recession. You just have to react, adapt and find new opportunities with a bit of determination, and we're confident about the future."