Passionate Hirer Awards 2016 Winners
This year's Passionate Hirer Awards, presented during the first part of the Executive Hire Party, was even more of a special occasion than usual. Not only was the 2016 Winner announced, but, to celebrate Show 10, previous Winners since the Awards were introduced in 2008 were also re-assessed for the Passionate Hirer 10/10 Awards.
For the 2016 Passionate Hirer Award, a shortlist of four hirers were nominated from 870 depots throughout the UK and Ireland visited by the Show National Visitor Campaign team over the months over the months from September.
Following 'mystery shopper' visits and calls to their depots, four Finalists were scrutinised under a broad range of criteria including: overall layout and presentation of premises, competence of staff with emphasis on team effort and willingness to go that extra mile, efficiency in handling orders and enquiries, quality of both hire fleet kit and transport, commitment to staff training, product innovation and a willingness to explore new opportunities.
The Winner, achieving 55 points out of a possible 70, was YHC Hire Solutions, which has six branches covering Somerset and Dorset. The Judges' citation read, "YHC Hire Solutions clearly shows great passion and commitment in offering a wide range of services from a vibrant depot network in south west England, strategically placed to offer excellent service to all its customers. A modern website, informative catalogue, clear corporate image, provision of training facilities and helpful and knowledgeable staff also impressed the Judges."
MD Andrew Parker (third from left) is pictured receiving the Award from Luke Mace of sponsor, Mace Industries, with the rest of the YHC team.
For the Passionate Hirer 10/10 Awards, 10 Finalists were selected from the 15 previous Passionate Hirer Award Winners. The Judges selected those hirers that had previously scored the highest number of points, adding a 'weighting' for those that had featured as both Winner and Runner-up in different years.
Without the candidates' knowledge, the Judges first 'mystery- shopped' each Finalist to satisfy themselves that standards had not dropped, reporting that, without exception, each is, indeed, continuing to set high standards. They then visited and interviewed the principals of each company to assess what had changed since their previous success, with particular emphasis on new products on offer, and additional 'value added' in the form of complementary ancillary services such as training. Investment in team building, training of apprentices and sales personnel, as well as corporate image, were also high on the Judges' list. Their relationship with customers was also re-assessed, to find the features that made the Winners stand out and innovate in ways that set them apart.
Dromad Hire of Dundalk was announced as the Passionate Hirer 10/10 Award Winner in the Outstanding Single Depot Hire Company category, having previously been a Passionate Hirer Award Winner in 2011.
The judges commented that "recent new initiatives and expansion of services proved a winning combination. Dromad is to be congratulated on its customer focus and investment in new technology. The company is a truly Passionate Hirer, offering a range of support services that do not detract from its core business principles."
Pictured are Dromad Hire's Managing Director Seamus Byrne & General Manager Ronan Cotter receiving their award from Matthew Hill, MD of sponsor, Obart Pumps.
The Runner-Up in the Outstanding Single Depot Hire Company category was P.E.T Hire of Crewe, also a previous Passionate Hirer Award Winner in 2011. The Judges said that, "P.E.T. Hire has recently moved into impressive and well thought-out new premises. The company goes from strength to strength, and continues to impress as a 'hire focused' one-stop centre with a loyal and growing customer base.
PET's Carl and Barbara Banks are pictured receiving their Award from Andy Gibb, MD of the Ricoh Arena.
The Passionate Hirer 10/10 Award Winner in the Outstanding Multi Depot Hire Company category was Smiths Equipment Hire. Based in Blackpool, with eleven strategically placed depots within the north west of England, Smiths was the first Passionate Hirer Award Winner in 2008. The Judges' citation reads, "The company has really turned up the heat in recent times and has achieved great consistency of performance across its depot network. Smiths has well-motivated staff who have the ethos of working for the company, rather than their individual depot. Well-presented literature and website and a range of customer support services produce a winning formula for this well-managed, family-owned hirer."
Pictured are MD Thomas Smith (centre) and Marketing Director David Turner receiving their Award from Rebecca Bryson of sponsor, JCB.
The Runner-Up in the Outstanding Multi-Depot Hire Company Passionate Hirer 10/10 Award category was KDM Hire of Northern Ireland, a previous Award Winner in 2009. The Judges commented, "KDM Hire is an impressive operation with a broad range of hire inventory. In addition to separate service centres for all types of equipment from small tools to large plant, KDM has repair and manufacturing facilities for a comprehensive range of site accommodation. The company services the whole of Northern Ireland from two well-located depots."
MD Keith McIvor, left, and other KDM team members are pictured receiving their award from Andy Gibb, MD of sponsor, the Ricoh Arena.
The other Passionate Hirer 10/10 Award Finalists were CP Hire, Freemans of Telford, Kentec Tool Hire, The Hireman, WHC Hire Services and Your Equipment Solutions.