Q & A with GreenMech’s Martin Lucas, Sales Director at the British manufacturer, which supplies of a range of professional wood chippers and green waste shredders.
GreenMech machinery is British designed and manufactured. What do you think it is that sets you apart from global competitors and how do you compete in such a competitive market?
One of the things that sets us apart from many of our global competitors is that we are predominantly designing our products to suit the European market where specification, quality of build and price all have to be wrapped up within a tight 750kg package. Although more and more people are taking their trailer test, the sub-750kg product remains the dominant requirement across our region. GreenMech have always had a culture and strong desire to design, develop and manufacture customer ideas which has helped us to build a strong international business.
Aside from the UK market, which other country has strong sales for GreenMech products and why do you think this is?
As well as our manufacturing facility in the UK, we operate warehouse, sales and support facilities in both France and Germany – giving us a platform to grow our market penetration in both of these regions. Across Europe, and in many countries around the world, we partner up with distributors, including as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Russia.
What is your personal favourite GreenMech machine / model and why?
My favourite machine is still the CS pedestrian/gravity-fed chipper and the main reason is that it always surprises customers with what it can do! Generally on a demonstration, they will start with some small twigs and as they begin to see its performance capability, they get bolder and bolder and, before you know it, you have some sizable branches going through.
With sustainability and the environment affecting the buying habits of many within the UK industry, how is GreenMech keeping pace with changing demands?
Although the “No Burn” rule has been around for a long time, we still have customers that have only just starting to look into the alternative methods of wood and green waste disposal. Chipping, shredding and use of the residual waste has moved on, and our business has grown in parallel. On the back of consumer demand, in recent years we have introduced more petrol-powered machines into our range and with our latest release, the EVO 165 range, we also looked at further reducing noise output. By introducing an additional fan to provide extra air into the system, and a new lined bonnet, the EVO has become one of the quietest chippers on the market – which is particularly important for those carrying out work in residential areas.
We are witnessing a global pandemic never seen before. How is GreenMech coping with the challenges set by the Covid-19 crisis? How has it affected the supply chain and manufacturing of your products and how have issues been overcome?
Like all companies we have had to balance the safety and wellbeing of our team, with the financial aspects of the business. Very quickly after news began circulating about an imminent lockdown, ten of our main component suppliers had closed which left us no alternative but to go into lockdown ourselves. We went down to a skeleton team to look after parts, technical support, sales and administration and because different countries went into lockdown at different times, we thankfully continued to see orders from some of our international partners. Here, many of our customers decided to use the additional time they had to service and refurbish machines, so our parts department saw a consistent flow of orders. Now as lockdown measures slowly start to ease, we are gradually seeing more of the production and office staff returning to work.
What do you feel is the company’s unique selling point that has helped in its success?
The appetite to design and develop new products has been our biggest asset, along with the continued desire to manufacture all of our products under one roof. This flexibility to turn feedback into functional reality has given rise to a number of industry-leading innovations including our independently adjustable, patented SAFE-Trak system and round disc-blade chipping technology.
Can you tell us about any forthcoming developments with GreenMech and if and when any new products will be released to the market?
Stage V engine implementation across the range remains our main focus, however, we do also have a few new products up our sleeve. If you want to find out what we are launching, we would encourage people to come and see us the many trade shows we attend such as the Salonvert, GaLaBau and APF Forestry Machinery events.