Success breeds success for Dennis
Dennis, the manufacturer of precision mowing machinery and turf care products for professionals, reports on-going growth thanks to a booming grounds maintenance market.
The Derby-based company achieved sales growth of 21% in 2003 and anticipates a further 22% expansion for 2004. "This is due to increased business in all sectors, such as bowls, cricket and soccer clubs, as well as local authorities," says Managing Director Ian Howard.
"Over the past two years, weather conditions have generally encouraged strong grass growth, requiring durable maintenance machinery. Managers are also seeking to maximise effectiveness by choosing multi-tasking equipment that can undertake several jobs."
Epitomising this approach are Dennis' 'FT' and 'G' Series of walk-behind cylinder mowers. These can be fitted with interchangeable, quick-attach cassettes, allowing one machine to undertake additional tasks such as verti-cutting, scarifying and aeration.
"We have experienced great success from various marketing strategies we have implemented to promote these machines, "says Ian Howard.
"More and more turf professionals are hearing about the machines and requesting demonstrations, often alongside competitors' equipment. More often than not, we are winning the business."
The latest unit from the Dennis stable is the G660 multi-tasking mower, a compact but heavy-duty 66cm-wide machine that undertakes many essential turf care tasks.
The company believes that much of its success lies in the strength of its Dealer Network. This covers the UK and is supported by three Dennis Sales Managers, dedicated to customer service. Dealers have quick access to the full range for demonstrations on professionals' own turf.
"For many customers, their local Dennis dealer is a valued resource," says Ian Howard. "They can help with machine selection, offer training and provide on-going maintenance and backup."
Dennis has overcome several challenges in achieving its success. "Like all manufacturers, we have had to face increases of up to 80% on raw material costs, particularly on iron and steel. Electricity and gas are also increasing. While we are absorbing much of these rises, a proportion must be reflected in our prices. Nevertheless, our manufacturing efficiencies and buying power enable this to be kept to the minimum.
"We are successfully offering sports clubs a range of low-cost finance options, in conjunction with a major finance company. To date, many clubs have purchased their Dennis equipment this way, spreading costs over several years," says Ian Howard.
"Ultimately, all our design and manufacture is driven by the customer, in terms of comments on product improvement or suggestions for totally new concepts. Their views are highly valued, and always welcome."