Stunning growth within its Aftercare division was a key driver behind the West Midlands-based Bevan Group’s move to an impressive new headquarters.
Turnover for the multi-faceted company’s Aftercare operation, which maintains and repairs commercial vehicle bodies and ancillaries, has shot up from £1.3 million to £6.3 million in just three years.
This achievement, coupled with continued expansion within its rigid truck and van bodybuilding, Graphics (vehicle livery) and Passport (assistance with European Whole Vehicle Type Approval compliance) operations, saw Bevan claim 15th spot on a recent list of the Black Country’s top 50 fastest-growing companies.
Completed shortly before Christmas, the move to its new home on the Wednesbury One industrial estate set the seal on Bevan’s 40th anniversary year. Ideally located, close to Junction 9 of the M6, the building features a fully-equipped, 17,000 sq ft factory and 5,000 sq ft of comfortable, stylish office space.
The Bevan Group has made a substantial investment in its new headquarters – refurbishment and installation costs alone total almost £½ million – but the development has already contributed to a significant uplift in efficiency and increased revenues.
Underlining the strength of the business, Bevan has retained the production facility in Amber Way, Halesowen, which has also served as its head office since 2006 and is now undergoing a major facelift, as well as a second base in Blakeley Hall Road, Oldbury. The company additionally owns the Bevan Specialist Products operation in Stone, Staffordshire, and Supertrucks, a specialist manufacturer of glass-carrying vehicle body systems, which is based in St Helens, Merseyside.
The Aftercare division’s 44 field-based engineers provide commercial vehicle operators nationwide with planned and emergency support covering ancillary equipment such as cranes, tail-lifts and roller shutter doors, as well as bodywork of all kinds.
They are managed by a team of 27 operations controllers located at the new headquarters, where four of the main bays in the factory have also been assigned to Aftercare.
Simon Dryburgh, whose success in growing the Aftercare business was reflected by his recent promotion from General Manager to Director, recalls: "When I joined Bevan in 2013 we had four people in the office and 11 vans out on the road.
"I recognised, however, the huge potential to expand the operation by providing customers with a comprehensive portfolio of fast, efficient maintenance and repair services, undertaken either at their premises or, should the need arise, at the roadside, on a 24/7 emergency call-out basis.”
The Aftercare division’s success is underlined by the fact that between them its fully-trained engineers now typically work on an average of 250 vehicles every day.
"Our philosophy is all about getting the job done, whatever it takes, to restrict vehicle downtime for our customers to an absolute minimum,” continues Simon. "None of our competitors can match the extensive package of support services that we offer, and as we’ve consistently delivered on our promises so the good news has spread by word of mouth within what is still very much a ‘people business’.”
Bevan’s Aftercare division is now a trusted partner to some of Britain’s biggest fleet operators and vehicle rental providers, who value the administrative and other savings they make by dealing with a single supplier.
"We’d outgrown our previous control centre in Halesowen so the new headquarters has allowed us to move to a new level,” adds Simon. "But I’m determined there will be no let-up in our growth strategy – there’s plenty more business still out there and we plan shortly to recruit our first Aftercare sales specialist, while also promoting our service once again at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show, to ensure that we exploit these opportunities to the full.
"Our aim, within the next five years, is to double the number of operations controllers we employ, at which point I’ll be knocking on the door of Group Managing Director Anthony Bevan and telling him we need a new, bigger office!”
Visit our separate Aftercare Response website where you’ll find more information about the service that has now become a business in itself.