Trevor Chard secures lead role

Trevor Chard secures lead role: Reesink Turfcare’s new East Anglian branch in Burwell between Cambridge and Newmarket, which will open this autumn has appointed its branch manager. The successful applicant for the role is Trevor Chard, an industry – and Reesink – stalwart.

Trevor Chard is a name well-known by those in the golf and fine turf industry having been national accounts manager for Reesink Turfcare for 25 years. The move to branch manager is, he says, one that will give him a new experience and challenge, along with the opportunity to share his knowledge from years in one of the company’s key customer-relationship roles.

Trevor Chard secures lead role

Trevor Chard secures lead role

Trevor comments: “The opening of the East Anglian branch is widely-anticipated for customers in the area, and I am really excited to be heading up the branch. I’ve worked for Reesink for years and loved it, but it was time for a new challenge in a role with fewer miles travelling the country. The new branch will focus on dealing directly with customers, adding value and building relationships, and that takes the part of my role that I’ve loved so much up until now and continues it in a new and fresh way.

“The branch has an extensive catchment of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire and includes some key Toro customers. Our role will be to provide those customers, and new ones, with dependable maintenance and genuine parts after-sales service. There will be a demo fleet to use for new business and a range of other services available such as NSTS testing and on-site servicing.”

Similarly to the other Reesink branches, the East Anglian one will be an independently-run business, about which Trevor says: “Removing the element of being centrally-controlled and being more local to our customers will allow us to react quickly. We will be focussed on fast, easily accessible, friendly help and support.”

The East Anglia branch will follow the same successful business model applied by Reesink Turfcare to the Sheffield Park branch in the South East and the Livingston branch in Scotland. David Cole, Reesink Turfcare’s managing director, says: “Each Reesink branch location is tasked with providing a focused, ‘full-service’ support to our customers. Delivering on our promises across the sales, service and parts support of all our brands, but under one roof with a locally-focused team.

“When investing in a new location, the leadership of that branch is of paramount importance to ensure that each individual shares and understands the Reesink passion for machinery and a down-to-earth approach to providing solutions. When filling that role for our new investment for the East Anglian region we quite rightly encouraged internal applicants to step forward, but they had to win the position based on skill set, experience and above all, attitude, against outside candidates. We are very pleased that Trevor won through in the process.

“We look forward to our Burwell location opening in the early autumn, and know that Trevor, Liam Pindred, the service manager and the rest of the team are excited and ambitious about making a difference to our customers across the region the branch will serve.”

The opening of the branch will be celebrated with an Open Day, to be announced in due course, providing the opportunity for customers to tour the new facility and talk to the team, which includes five service technicians, a service manager, parts supervisor and four Reesink sales representatives, about what best suits their needs.

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Council cutback challenges

Council cutback challenges: Council workers are maintaining enough grassland in Argyll and Bute to cover the entire area of Monaco – but sometimes struggling to be available to cut it.

A report has revealed that two million square metres of open grassland space is maintained by the authority’s staff – equivalent to the size of 257 Hampden Park football pitches.

Council cutbacks lead to challenges

Council cutbacks lead to challenges

It also says that parts of the area have not had their grass cut to specifications as determined by the council, with competing demands including burials and bin collections.

The budget available for grass cutting has also been reduced by more than 15% since the 2013/14 financial year.

A report on the issue will be discussed at a meeting of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee on Thursday.

The document, written by Kirsty Flanagan, the council’s executive director with responsibility for roads and infrastructure, said: “Over the course of last year there were a number of service delivery issues in Cowal, and to a lesser extent across the wider council area, where grassland maintenance had not been carried out to the pre-determined specification.

“This was due in part to a limited level of resilience within the team, an ageing demographic in the workforce, and a number of sickness absences, some of which were medium to long term.

“With the exception of Cowal, the rest of the council area was generally delivered to the specification, although the same limited level of resilience exists across all the council area.

“The current specification has been formed over time, and originated from historic grass cutting schedules that were in place prior to Argyll and Bute being established as a local authority in 1996.

“In recent times those historic schedules have been amended through a succession of budget reductions.”

The report states that all sports fields in the area are scheduled to be cut 21 times a year, with other facilities, such as amenity areas and cemeteries, subject to different specifications by area. These vary from 12 in Bute to 17 for Lorn and Lomond.

She continued: “Reducing the number of cuts any further is not considered to be achievable in terms of delivering meaningful savings.

“Fewer cuts mean the grass is longer when it is cut, so the time to complete the tasks increase and the strain on equipment is greater.

“This would lead to more equipment down-time and greater maintenance and/or replacement costs.

“The current service standards are achievable within the existing budget, staffing and machinery framework. However, resources are so closely matched to those standards that there is limited, if any, resilience to respond to issues which inevitably arise.

“Decisions are having to be made on a regular basis to prioritise what work can be carried out with the available resource.

“It is not unusual for our operational supervisors and managers to be faced with competing demands, including digging graves/burying the dead, collecting bins, making safe potentially dangerous defects and grass cutting.

“Inevitably, but unfortunately, grass cutting often has to be left.

“Last year, in one of the administrative areas, there was an unusual increase in burials over a period which meant that very little grass was cut.

“Although the provision of a grass cutting service is a non-statutory function, the effective maintenance of public open spaces supports the economic development and growth of the area both in terms of attracting tourists as well as new residents.

“Providing and suitably maintaining sporting facilities also supports another strategic priority – allowing people to live active, healthier and independent lives.”

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Lead Success For SALTEX Exhibitors

Lead Success For SALTEX Exhibitors: Five months on from SALTEX 2018, exhibitors are continuing to report a high conversion rate from leads they generated at the NEC last year.

SALTEX 2018 served up a show to remember at the NEC, Birmingham, with exhibitors hailing it as the most rewarding exhibition to date. Sales teams have since been working on converting a high volume of leads into new customers and many companies have reported hugely successful results.

Lead Success For SALTEX Exhibitors

Net World Sports, a sporting equipment designer and manufacturer, made its first appearance at SALTEX 2018 and it was an excellent debut, according to specialist sales and development lead Robbie Hayter.

“SALTEX 2018 has been a phenomenal platform for us, so much so that we’ve already booked our stand for 2019 and have secured an even bigger space.

“At the show we unveiled our new FORZA Alu110 360° football goal wheels which attracted huge interest from football clubs. We have since sold a large number to Premier League and leading international clubs.

“SALTEX allowed for the introduction to many established pitch contractors and we are now working on one project which includes supplying FORZA Alu110 goals and two-tier shelters to Colliers Park, Wrexham (FAW National Training Centre) in collaboration with CLS Sport.

“We also had the opportunity to network with many top grounds people and have already supplied and installed indoor football protection netting for West Ham United FC’s indoor academy training centre – a lead that came from SALTEX.”

Net World Sports was not the only exhibitor to gain valuable connections with Premier League clubs at SALTEX 2018. Fivesquared, a brand of Earlsmere, is a vibration management provider, and director Jeremy Hoyle claims that the company has benefited from engaging with such a diverse audience.

“The quality of visitor seems to be better than ever and there was a great mix covering all avenues of grounds and sports turf. As a result of SALTEX we have picked up some fantastic work within the Premier League as well as from a large number of schools and colleges.”

Garden & Hire Spares has also reported an increase in sales since exhibiting at SALTEX 2018 according to sales and marketing director Malcom Mullender.

“We picked up a couple of major national accounts as a direct result of having a stand at SALTEX and have seen an increase in sales from a number of accounts. We have already committed to have the same stand at SALTEX 2019.”

Laurie Davies, director of SPA Power Machinery, revealed that the company is placing more orders with suppliers just to keep up with the demand for the products that were launched at SALTEX 2018.

“At SALTEX we launched our new range of Westermann weed and moss brushes which has been highly successful. We are now placing regular orders with the German suppliers and have received great feedback from customers who have purchased since the show.”

Overton UK increased its presence at SALTEX 2018 by taking three stands and that decision has already been justified according to director Guy Overton.

“SALTEX was an exceptionally busy and successful exhibition for Overton UK, especially for the Mean Green electric commercial mowers, which attracted new dealers and led to many demonstration enquiries. We also launched the new Overton battery powered vacuum litter collectors and as always, the NIMOS WeedRippers got a lot of attention.

“Since SALTEX we have also received a large number of orders for the electric mowers, litter vacuums and the WeedRippers.”

Commenting on the success of the SALTEX exhibitors, Charles Neale, event sales manager, said: “We understand that exhibitions are all about brand awareness and gaining a return on investment. Exhibiting at SALTEX provides the platform for success in all areas.

“It’s great to hear that over 90 per cent of our SALTEX 2018 exhibitors obtained new business at the show and re-bookings for SALTEX 2019 stands are already over 80 per cent.”

SALTEX 2019 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham on October 30 and 31.

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Toro Lead The Way At Celtic Manor

Toro Lead The Way At Celtic Manor: The latest Toro fleet, which includes greens, tees, fairways and rough mowers as well as utility vehicles, for Celtic Manor marks a relationship spanning a quarter of a century.

And the reason why is because Toro is “head and shoulders above the competition”, says director of golf courses and estates management, Jim McKenzie MBE.

Toro Lead The Way At Celtic Manor

“We originally chose Toro in 1993 because it was the only machinery manufacturer that could deliver us a full fleet of machines, or the closest to it anyway. That sums Toro up, it has always led the way and been market innovators, and that’s why the relationship has lasted.”

Machinery was replaced as and when, but in the main every three years from 1993 to 2008 when Jim decided it was time to agree to a five-year partnership agreement: “Toro and Lely, as Reesink was then, were our preferred suppliers for many years. And the timing was right to formalize the deal in 2008 with us hosting the Ryder Cup in 2010, to have the back up and support that being in such an agreement brings as we took on one of the world’s biggest sporting events.

“Our Toro fleet is as complete as it’s possible to be. We have literally hundreds of bits of kit. And the reason for that is because Toro holds its value and ages well. Toro is part of our image. They look good for many years, and as a result we tend not to sell on the older machines as we replace them. They continue working on estate developments and with the gardening team.”

And at Celtic Manor there’s always something over and above the usual to be getting on with! Whether that’s the redevelopment of all the courses, preparation for The Open and the Ryder Cup, or coming up soon assisting in the planting of thousands of trees around the £4.5 million International Convention Centre Wales which is currently under construction. As Jim says: “We had pretty much every bit of machinery involved in the redevelopment of the courses and the events, and the Workman in particular will be stepping up to the plate when it comes to the woodland management for the ICC. They’re so dinky and can get to all the places a tractor can’t.”

With so many machines at his disposal and his experience of using them over the years, is it possible to pick a favourite? Jim, who was awarded his MBE for ensuring the conclusion – with a helping hand from Toro! – of the 2010 Ryder Cup despite half of the average monthly rainfall landing on the Twenty Ten Course in just two days, says yes.

Step forward the ProCore 648 aerator. Favoured by Jim for its versatility across the three world-class Championship courses, the golf academy and the 9-hole municipal course Caerleon Golf Club: “The ProCore is excellent for all fine turf aeration applications. The club is built on old farmland and is well drained, and hollow coring with the ProCore helps ensure the ultimate condition of the turf.”

But it’s not just the machinery that counts, Jim says the partnership with Reesink and local dealer Ted Hopkins, is just as important: “There’s always been a really good synergy between us, Ted Hopkins, Reesink/Lely. It just works and has done so for 25 years!”

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