Reid Targets New Markets with Underhill Appointment

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Reid Lifting, a manufacturer of lightweight gantry cranes and other equipment, has been joined by David Underhill, business development manager, with the principle objective of raising its profile in new end user markets.

Underhill, who stepped into the newly created role earlier this year, brings a wealth of experience to the position having worked in external sales for nearly a decade. His previous role was with Holmbury Ltd., a major manufacturer of hydraulic quick release couplings and valves. There, Underhill was responsible for driving growth in the UK, Scandinavia, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia.

He said: “Reid is at a very exciting time in its life. I knew that it had an excellent reputation for product quality but supply has always been somewhat constrained. The move to a new factory and implementation of new business systems meant that lead times have drastically improved and there is now the operational capacity to take on new business. This role represents a brilliant opportunity to go out and spread the message to the market about a high quality and versatile product mix. I was drawn to it largely because of the opportunity it presented to lead Reid’s push into new markets, such as oil and gas, aviation, and rope access.”

Underhill has already set about building relationships with key accounts and prospective partners, with an eye constantly on project work in new industries. As he readily pointed out, Reid manufactures an ergonomic and versatile range of portable lifting equipment that can be widely applied in industry. He added: “Due to our in-house engineering knowledge, we are able to provide customised solutions, so clients can be safe in the knowledge that the equipment they are using is the optimum for the task in hand. Reid has invested heavily in addressing the issues surrounding alternative lifting solutions; in many cases we offer a safer, more cost-effective option.”

Customer focussed

Underhill is familiar with promoting a premium product to the market. Fundamental to success, he said, is developing a clear understanding of a customer’s requirements and working alongside them from order to after sales support. He explained: “Reid sells an excellent product but resources have, by necessity, been focussed on product and manufacturing, so it’s been rewarding to leverage my experience in establishing and developing relationships with new customers in key markets; we’re all excited by the opportunities that will create.”

It’s a well-trodden path for Underhill; previous roles have exposed him to much crossover with the lifting industry. “That said,” he continued, “compared to the breadth of knowledge possessed by my new colleagues, it remains a learning curve.” Underhill acknowledged that courseware of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA), the leading authority in the relevant marketplace, forms the backbone of an ongoing learning programme.

Underhill is part of Reid’s quest for wider, global recognition. He said: “Immediately, our main challenge is to communicate with our customers about Reid’s new manufacturing capacity and therefore greatly improved lead times. Longer term, the objective is to enhance our reputation as problem solvers in sectors that the company might not have traditionally been associated with. We have proven an ability to deal with large, technical, and international projects; we need to build on it.”

Nick Battersby, managing director at Reid, said: “We have spoken a lot recently about the reliability and versatility of our product offering, and it’s those core attributes that suit the portfolio to such a vast array of lifting applications. There is so much potential for increased usage of lightweight gantry and davit cranes and, buoyed by enhanced manufacturing scope, I look forward to supporting David as he creates and seizes those opportunities.”

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