SHS are located in Brackley, Northamptonshire and have been an EP dealer since 2016. Bradley and Yarl at SHS are EP’s biggest suppliers of class 3 products in the UK with 80% of sales going into the transport industry. As the number 1 supplier of pallet networks in the UK the benefits of EP Equipment are not lost on the brothers who are experts in the material handling world.
Head of UK Sales Simon Manasseh put SHS as our ‘specialists in the UK for EP Equipment’s Class 3 product line up of warehousing equipment. Over the last six years the team at SHS have become the largest dealer for these products in Europe and as EP continue to innovate this sector, we look forwards to SHS further strengthening their market leading position in the UK with EP Equipment Class 3 products’.
Bradley Dunn, Sales Director at SHS gave us some of his time to discuss how SHS has doubled in size since the beginning of their 2016 partnership with EP.
Tell me about the history of SHS what is your story so far?
The history of SHS dates to 1998 as a family business started by my parents. We have roots that lie in manual handling as we specialised in equipment like the manual pallet truck, stack trucks and trollies. We were predominately specialising in an aluminium saturate which was unique to the market at the time going up against steel and at SHS a unique product with unique selling points is something that we love to offer our customers. It wasn’t until we moved from Surrey to Northamptonshire that we rebranded to SHS and established a more national presence as moving to a central position gave us the ability to cover the North and South with less difficulty meaning our services were more accessible to our wide-spread customer base. When myself and my brother Yarl, now Managing director of SHS, officially joined the company, we began to look at what the future held for SHS. This was when we realised that expanding from manual handling products was key to our growth. This is where EP came into things for us.
How did your partnership with EP come about?
When we were looking to expand, we just couldn’t find a unique product that would give us a competitive edge on the market. At the end of 2014 Yarl and I visited a trade show in Germany, and this is where we saw EP products for the first time. We were aware of EP prior to this but we had never sold products like those offered by EP Equipment before. SHS specialised in cheaper manual trucks and if we sold a lot of these trucks, it was a great success, but back then we were not even making 2 million in revenue. We realised very quickly that higher value, higher quality items like those from EP were the next step for SHS and our growth as a company.
Our first EP order was 4 semi-electric pallet trucks and at this point we didn’t really know much about importing at all. The products went into our catalogue and it wasn’t until we got an order from a small end user that needed the trucks for a specific application that we really explored EP further. We had a light bulb moment and realised the potential of the EP product. Still to this day in 2021 we continue to steadily increase our volumes of powered pallet trucks, and we are the biggest Chinese exporter for electric pallet trucks into the UK. Our continued growth means that this year we will achieve sales our sales target of around 2,000 pallet trucks.
Can you tell us more about how you grew with the help of EP Equipment?
In 2016 after 2 years of working with EP Products we took on our first Sales Executive to help manage the interest that was picking up steadily. Very quickly we began to target a specific customer base for powered pallet trucks in the transport industry, the same industry our first sale was made to. From this we added EP Stackers to our portfolio and quickly grew to include the JX1 and JX0 also. With the help of EP Marketing and Sales Director Bennit Schmieder we started to venture out to other dealers, we began our dealer targeted strategy and these dealers have continued to grow with us to where we are now.
By 2019 forklifts began to catch our eye and with the release of the EFL range we knew the EP Lithium-ion machines were the unique products we were initially not finding in the market. We have always been very careful to not lose the heart of our business, the class three products that are our bread and butter, but the EFL range of forklifts was a natural progression for SHS. Today we have a great balance of 25% dealers and 75% end users that come to SHS for EP Equipment. We have doubled the size of our team over the course of our partnership with EP and we are on track for 10 million in revenue this year.
Why does EP Equipment work so well in the transport industry?
The application of the powered pallet trucks was what really sold the machines to us. We identified that anyone with a tail lift should be using one of these powered pallet trucks and we hit this industry hard. The majority of our sales are into the transport industry and our salesman James really broke into networks and created a demand for EP products.
Now our customers know that if SHS is behind EP, then the products must be right for the application. I am proud to say SHS are the UK’s biggest supplier into the transport industry.
A key point to note with why EP’s range of powered pallet trucks work in the industry are that they are no bigger or heavier than manual trucks. Anywhere a manual pallet truck can go a powered pallet truck from EP can go and this is a key sales point to deliver to customers as they often perceive powered trucks to be larger, heavier, and bulkier when in reality it is the opposite.
Why have you chosen and stuck with EP Equipment?
There are 2 things that really stand out with EP. Initially the product itself is what drew me in. The innovative and sleek designs and the easy operation of the machines was not something that many other brands were offering on the market when we were looking to grow SHS with new and unique products, this is what initially attracted me. However, since working with EP the experience I have had as a partner has been amazing. I love working with companies that constantly push for numbers and give support to partners to help them grow and reach targets. This philosophy is in the DNA of SHS and is why I think we work so well together; I don’t like to sit still, I like to push forward and always strive for more. The EP team is a great support to SHS and really encourages this mindset. This is why I think we work so well together.
How is EP different from other brands you have worked with in the past?
I have never worked with any other brand and I don’t want to. I have no desire to work with any other brands, EP is part of the heart of SHS now and I don’t believe any other manufacturer is innovating at the same rate as EP. Many other dealers have worked with other brands like Jungheinrich but at SHS, EP is part of how we grew as a business and is in all our future plans for further growth.
What does the future look like for SHS and EP?
As a business with a bigger picture, we are now recruiting for more engineers and more sales staff with plans to move to a bigger premise. This is in order to fulfil all of our forklift orders as we explore the market further with the EP forklift range. We have a three-year strategy and growth goals laid out with plans to double our turnover. We want to continue to grow and continue to hit the market with the best products and we know that EP Equipment is the right choice going forward with these goals in mind.
If you want to join the lithium-ion revolution and be part of our EP Global dealer network just like SHS, contact our team today: firstname.lastname@example.org
SHS HANDLING. www.shshandlingsolutions.com
Unit 4 Farm Rd, Buckingham Road Industrial Estate, Brackley NN13 7EA