FROM humble beginnings eight years ago, Astrak Group has grown rapidly to become one of Europe’s key suppliers of excavator undercarriage parts.
With trading companies in the UK, France, Germany and Denmark, Astrak provides a complete range of excavator undercarriage and wear parts for virtually all machine makes. Extensive stocks of rubber tracks, track chains, sprockets, idlers, rollers, rubber pads, bucket teeth and cutting edge are held available for immediate delivery across Europe.
Working with companies of all sizes, Astrak Group supply most of the major UK construction and plant hire companies with quality parts, backed by an excellent service.
Having started in the office supplies industry after following his father into business, Richard Paterson, Astrak’s Managing Director, believes his training in a dynamic blue-chip industry focused on marketing and customer service has given Astrak a unique advantage in the construction parts world. He explained, “Anything we’ve done, we’ve tried to do properly. We haven’t been all things to all men; we’ve focused on certain areas and our aim is to be the best in these areas. We’d rather do a small number of things very, very well than have a one-stop-shop approach.”
Astrak’s European companies have provided the business with a broad market view and strength of purchasing power, with the company able to react to demands, trends and developments throughout the continent. Although locations are varied, the principle and vision remains the same.
“Our vision is simple, and that’s to be the best supplier of excavator undercarriage parts in Europe. And our mission is to increase our customers’ profitability by offering quality, value for money products in the fastest delivery time. We focus on reducing equipment downtime and in each transaction we will be driven by fanatical customer service rather than our own profitability,” added Richard.
With an annual growth rate of 25% year-on-year for the past four years, Astrak Group recognise that having a high achieving team is critical, and have an ongoing recruitment program to keep up with the development of the business. Within their key product ranges the company promote five distinct brands: TerraTrack rubber tracks, ProTrack mini undercarriage parts, DuraTrack undercarriage parts for steel tracked machines, DuraLine rubber pads and GeoTip G.E.T products.
When asked what sets Astrak apart from competitors, Richard said, “I think it’s a number of things. There’s our marketing strategy, the passion for the business, believing and investing in what we’re doing, the service element and the stock availability. We are always striving to do better in every area of operation.
“We believe 100% in what we’re doing and we’re always learning. So we’re always making adjustments and changes. We never stop developing here: whether it’s a system, product or strategy. We’re always looking to tweak what we’re doing, to improve what we’re doing. I firmly believe if we stop progressing we’ll go backwards. We’ve got to keep moving forward.”
Key strengths at Astrak is their extensive stock availability, flexibility and fast turnaround time. Orders are taken up to 5pm for next delivery and Astrak count product quality, customer service and reliability amongst their leading strengths. The company has a dedicated marketing team, in-house and face-to-face sales team, accounts and purchasing teams, as well as warehouse staff and trained fitters.
Although 2015 will only be their eighth year in operation, having already become Europe’s leading supplier of rubber tracks, the company’s sustained success and promising future continues to inspire the business owners.
“Everyday is a highlight for me. I can just see so much scope in the business and loads of opportunities for us,” said Richard. “And I think it’s really important that everyone in the organisation believes in the vision. We have a fantastic team that are totally motivated and absolutely passionate about their job. If somebody has the right attitude and is willing to work hard and go the extra mile, there is a great future for them here at Astrak.”
Whilst Astrak are working to develop and influence the market around them, how has the industry changed since their arrival in 2007?
“People are more willing to look around, more willing to change. People are much more broad-minded and the industry’s more changeable. I think the market’s becoming more competitive. The whole construction equipment marketplace is much more globalised than when we joined eight years ago. Whether it’s a benefit or not, it’s a fact. The world’s got a lot smaller. Globalisation has affected every part of our lives and the construction industry is no different,” explained Richard.
With plans to further expand, develop new product ranges and consolidate the skills that have brought Astrak success, the company looks set to continue the rapid growth they started in 2007. “We had no idea back then that Astrak was ever going to be more than an after-hour’s hobby. It’s gone way beyond what we could ever have believed, and there’s plenty more scope yet.”