International growth for Reid Lifting23 April 2020
UK-based Reid Lifting was acquired by Pure Lifting in mid-2019. Daniel Searle spoke to the company about their plans for the business under the new ownership.
Reid Lifting, based in Chepstow, Wales, is a manufacturer of lightweight gantry and davit cranes. In 2019 the company changed hands, from former owner and managing director Nick Battersby to the then-recently-formed Pure Lifting.
At the time, the company stated that the acquisition would create employment opportunities, including positions in sales, marketing, and operations, while the company’s growth strategy would be centred around penetration into markets where the Reid brand was a relative newcomer, with North America a primary target. The company took its first step towards that goal with the establishment of Reid Lifting, Inc. in Bloomberg, Minnesota at the start of 2020.
Managing director Simon Luke, who took over the role from Battersby, explains the immediate and long-term priorities of the company.
“In the short to medium term, our aim is to focus primarily on our existing export markets,” says Luke. “We are increasing the sales and marketing support we provide to customers and introducing bespoke, translated materials to help our resellers, as well as improved product information and better training. Once these markets are performing as we want them to though, we’ll certainly be exploring new opportunities.
“We also have ambitious plans for both national and international growth. With significant new investment now in the business, we have a plan to develop and launch new products that are carefully aligned with our key market segments and that enable our customers to get even more functionality from our product range. Internationally, our main aim is to grow by appointing and supporting like-minded, progressive resellers in key targeted regions.”
The uncertainty around Brexit has increased the value of international markets, says Luke: “The UK is holding its own, but there‘s no doubt that the uncertainty and delays around Brexit have had some impact on the market here, in particular in large construction and civil engineering projects. With no clear indication of how the Brexit negotiations will progress this year, we remain extremely vigilant around the potential impact on the European market, with regular discussions taking place internally and with key customers around risk mitigation.
Overall though, our export markets are all performing well. We have a good spread of export customers across international geographies and we have just launched our US business, so feel we are well positioned to take advantage of whatever future UK trade opportunities present themselves.”
The company will also continue to develop and launch new products, adds Luke: “We will soon be officially launching the new range of ‘Portabases’ which we showed in prototype form at the 2019 Liftex show in Milton Keynes. These will enable us to supply our innovative, lightweight davit products to a wider range of customers and for new applications.
“Over the years, Reid has built a deserved reputation as one of the market’s true innovators, so we don’t intend to stop there. We have a product pipeline in place which will see us delivering a whole series of exciting new products over the next few years.”