As an official dealer for Mecalac, Hyundai and Takeuchi, Willowbrook Plant supplies heavy equipment to the construction industry in central England. The company prides itself on being a one-stop shop for sales, service and aftercare. After seeing turnover triple from 2013 to 2019, Willowbrook is now tackling the challenges of doing business in the era of COVID-19.
Willowbrook’s relationship with DLL started in 2010. ‘The strong trading partnership with DLL has helped us implement our one-stop shop strategy,’ says Harry Lorimer, co-founder and Managing Director of Willowbrook Plant. ‘Their retail finance solutions give competitive flexibility and help us deliver our promise to customers. Our main pressure is usually felt through stocking finance availability: DLL also provides support with this to enable us to maximise stock.’
‘The fact that we can stock, service and sell the machines, and provide after-sales support through our own network is invaluable for customer retention and growing our database through positive referrals,’ adds Andy Greensmith, Willowbrook’s sales director. ‘We try to put every finance deal we can through DLL.’
Adaptability and agility
‘Our loyalty is a result of the ease-of-use we receive from outstanding support both on the retail and stocking finance aspects and the trust we’ve built over the years,’ says Harry Lorimer. ‘Add to that the adaptability and agility DLL have shown in the crisis months, calling up to ask what else we need, what they can do for us and maintaining the relationship at a distance. We truly value the mutual trust.’
DLL account managers, Roman Przybys and Mychelle Dean, have collectively worked with Willowbrook for eighteen years on both stocking finance and retail finance. ‘We always try to sustain the strong trading partnership through quick turnaround approvals, signups, pay-outs and e-docs to help the customer do their business.’ The fact that DLL is also a vendor finance partner to Mecalac, Hyundai and Takeuchi intensifies the understanding of the business.
Willowbrook was the first customer Roman visited in person after the lockdown eased. ‘Normally we joke that we spend more time with customers than with colleagues. So it was great to see the Willowbrook team again, albeit in reduced form.’
Helping to negate the impact of COVID-19, Willowbrook’s existing plan to reduce the sales department and move to a different site helped to reduce overheads and to better weather the COVID-19 storm. The sales, service and parts department remained profitable throughout the summer and the company is doing its best to stay strong in its own right.
Future-proofing the business
Communication and transparency are now more important than ever, believes Roman Przybys. ‘Open and honest conversations are vital when times are tough. From our internal ratings perspective, a customer’s financial stability is now more important than ever. Which means we might say “no” to a request for retail finance for a Willowbrook customer. That’s when you need to have the open conversation with the sales team. Explain why we’re not willing to take on that particular risk. Equally, from our side, the suddenness of COVID-19 brought challenges and DLL needed to adjust to fully remote working. So we picked up the phone to keep the customer informed We’re each future-proofing our business in our own ways, but we always look for common ground.’
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