By keeping focused on its roots, Thompsons is more popular than ever with smaller tipper operators

Tuesday, 26th April 2016

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With its business increasing by a factor of eight over the last 15 years, much of Thompsons success has been due to its ability to provide large numbers of bodies to the tipper industry’s biggest fleets.

Looking at this issue the other way around, one of the key reasons such fleets increasingly choose Thompsons bodies is simply because Thompsons seven factories can provide such a high level of continuous production capacity.

But what of all those operators who may perhaps only buy very small numbers of tippers a year? One might imagine that Thompsons sheer size could even be seen as something of a deterrent in their choice of bodybuilder.

But no. If anything, the reverse is true as Sam Metcalfe, owner of Yorkshire – based building supply and landscaping business Samco Ltd clearly demonstrates.

“Our firm typically buys one or two tippers a year” says Sam, “and now they are always Thompsons Loadmasters. For strength, durability and reliability, these bodies are the absolute tops – there’s nothing to beat them at all. Buying new trucks is a critical purchase decision for smaller operators, so their spec has to be exactly right. Thompsons bodies might cost a bit extra, but you get that money back – and more – in the truck’s residual value.

In our experience, a premium chassis with a premium Thompsons body is actually the most cost – effective tipper to own. It really is that simple.”

But Thompsons success with smaller operators isn’t just about products alone. Every bit as important is its ability to communicate with its customers, each and every one.

“Knowing our customers 1 to 1 keeps us fully focused” says Thompsons Director Simon Shields. “We always have to remember that smaller fleets are still the bedrock of our industry, and it’s usually they who first provide the crucial feedback as to how we can improve either our products or our business.

The core of the UK tipping industry is still the large number of small to medium sized privately owned operators, probably running between 5 and 20 vehicles and whose trucks are often the key assets of their businesses.”

Meeting the needs of tipper firms like these is how Thompsons started off over 40 years ago, and which still underpins its business today. Today, well over half of the Thompsons Group’s total sales are still to the small and medium fleet sector.

As Sam Metcalfe also says:

“I like the fact that if I have an issue on anything, I can ring Thompsons. I also like the fact that I will already know the person at Thompsons who I’m ringing. This business is all about talking to people.

Best of all, I know that Thompsons will always respond.”

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