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EXECUTIVE REPORT


Artisan makes eight


When Artisan Hire was presented with the 2017 Passionate Hirer Award at the Executive Hire Show in the Outstanding Multi-Depot Hire Company category, the citation included the Judges’ observation that they fully expected that the Swindon-based business would soon be “continuing to grow its depot network and further develop its operation in the near future”. And the company has done exactly that, having opened a new depot in Basingstoke last May and re-located its Oxford branch to larger premises at the end of August.


This brings the Artisan depot network to eight, covering a wide part of southern and south west England, with the others comprising Chippenham, Filton (near Bristol), Melksham, Staverton (near Gloucester) and Yate, as well as the Swindon headquarters. This continues the steady growth of the operation since the original single-depot Artisan Hire business in Swindon was bought by Directors Chris Comer and Jason King in 2000.


Artisan’s Basingstoke depot is on a busy trading estate.


Award-winning Artisan Hire has continued to expand its operation and is adopting new initiatives to further enhance its operational efficiency. Alan Guthrie reports from its new depot in Basingstoke.


a supermarket and other businesses and this means that we are visible to many potential new customers. The building covers an area of 6,000ft2


and was just an empty shell when we got the keys.


We have since fitted it out to meet our specific needs, adding the hire desk, a mezzanine floor to store seasonal equipment, workshops, customer toilets and displays of consumables and PPE by the counter. We have come to the conclusion that we do not need to allocate extensive space for a showroom. Our customer base of mainly small builder and tradesmen generally know what they want to hire, so we display items that they might want to add while they are in the shop like gloves, goggles, diamond blades and one-shot oils, which offer a good return and move quickly.”


The Basingstoke depot currently employs six people along with one part-time member of staff, and Depot Manager is Jason Hearne. Not surprisingly, a considerable investment has been made in new equipment for the new location’s fleet requirements, such as aluminium towers from Euro Towers, including advance guardrail versions, Belle hydraulic breakers and compaction plates, Hilti electric breakers and other tools, and Husqvarna cut-off saws and diamond drilling machinery.


Jason King, right, with Manager Jason Hearne, centre, and Assistant Manager Mark Savory at the Basingstoke hire counter.


“Opening in Basingstoke was a logical next step in our on-going expansion,” Jason told EHN. “We established our location in Staverton and Oxford in 2012 and Yate in 2016, to meet increasing demand from customers who were taking on work over a wide area, and the new facility continues this growth further south and east. Basingstoke and nearby towns like Reading and Newbury represent a strong market and from this depot we can reach more easily into places like Southampton, Winchester and parts of Greater London.


Busy trading estate location


“The new depot follows what has become our typical ‘model’, being located on a trading estate with nearby builder’s merchants,


25 “We added Husqvarna


PG 280 floor grinders throughout the fleet last year, having seen them at the Executive Hire Show, and they have proved popular with builders and contractors for preparing warehouse surfaces prior to painting them, as well as for levelling out imperfections in recently laid concrete,” said Jason King. We have also introduced a variety of Husqvarna’s gardening and landscaping products, including long reach hedge trimmers and chainsaws. Other recent purchases include more Master heaters from Hire Supply Co along with models from the company’s latest range of LED work lights which offer excellent illumination with reduced energy consumption and greater durability. And we have bought more Trime X-Eco LED mobile lighting towers from MHM.


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