With the promotion of Stuart Browne to Operations Director - Sales and Service and a new engineer recruitment drive Hoppecke Industrial Batteries is initiating a change in culture to capitalise on its innovative technology and market-leading offer.
Stuart, who has been with the company for three years, will head up the operations side of the business with a remit covering sales, warehousing, service and rental. This new role has been created specifically to bring sales and service closer together and to ensure that service support meets customer needs both now and in the future.
Says Stuart: “We have a definitive offer for the UK marketplace in which sales and service are inextricably linked. They support each other, which is vital because our customers need them to work together seamlessly, now more than ever.”
“This move is about breaking down the internal silos and evolving our company culture so that we’re able to offer innovative, flexible and rapid solutions to meet our customers’ ever-changing needs.”
In 2018 Hoppecke introduced several innovations into the UK, including a new HF premium battery charger and a dedicated battery and charger rental service, and all engineers now carry loan chargers in their vans.
Adds Stuart: “Whilst our sales people are the operational face of the business, it is our engineers who have the day-to-day relationship with our customers. So, working in conjunction with sales our technical team can tap into innovative ideas that will help our customers overcome their logistics and materials handling problems.”
“During the past six months alone, by integrating the two departments to an even greater extent, we’ve been able to quickly bring to market some neat solutions that have immediately added value to our customers’ businesses.”
Hoppecke’s service business has doubled in size over the last three years both through organic growth with the existing customer base and unprecedented growth in rental, which is receiving strong orders from key industry players. The company is now recruiting two additional field engineers, which will bring the team to 30, making Hoppecke’s technical resource the largest directly employed team in the UK.
Jon Bailey, who joined Hoppecke UK as managing director in October 2018, says: “Our customers’ needs are becoming ever more complex and so our offering has expanded and diversified in line with this challenge. Whether it’s new or used products, rental, refurbishment or service solutions, including on-site energy storage, we’re attuned to the issues our customers face, especially those factors that distinguish the sectors in which they operate. As such, we want to be able, as an entire organisation, to move rapidly to deliver meaningful solutions.”
“It was clear to me that the company’s cultural mind set would benefit from putting customers at the centre of our operation. Now, our sales and service guys are close companions, working in the same office, with joint meetings and training/awareness sessions, of all which helps to bring us closer to achieving our goals.”
IT investment in 2018 enabled a series of business process upgrades to improve standards of service and maximise efficiencies within Hoppecke UK, including updating its dedicated engineering tool, SITs; the roll out of a sales app and the introduction of a new CRM system. As well as investing in the sales function through technology and recruitment, Hoppecke is now undertaking customer-focussed and soft skills training with its field engineers, empowering both sales and service staff to make decisions about bespoke solutions that will resolve unique customer problems.