Yarwoods names new MD

Peter Yarwood with Henry Brain, who takes over as MD on January 1

HENRY Brain will become the new managing director of Yarwoods from January 1.

Henry, who most recently spent ten years with the Kinshofer Group, is joining the excavator attachment specialists as a result of owner Peter Yarwood deciding to reduce his workload.

Peter explained, “I’ve known Henry for 15-plus years and actually wanted him to join the business about ten years ago. We’ve built up a mutual trust, which is important because it’s like handing your baby over. There’s a lot of years of my life in this business and Henry is sympathetic to my values of how the business should be run, and for us that’s all about fair deals and providing quality products and service.

“If we say we’ll do something, we do it. We do it when we’ll say we’ll do it and we do it with what we say we’ll do it with. We hope to be completely black and white in what we do and that’s a reputation that we’ve built up over many years.

“I’m still excited and interested in the business, but a five-day week is getting harder for me now. Some mornings when I wake up and the sun’s shining, golf’s a bit more attractive!

“I started thinking about doing this eight years ago before the crash, but we had to readjust, which we’ve now done. We got out of the mining sector and we don’t fabricate any more.”

The core business for Yarwoods today revolves around the hire, sale, service and repair of excavator attachments of all sizes. Yarwoods are dealers for both the Japanese Toku breakers and the German Kinshofer / Demarec products.

Henry is already doing consulting work for the firm and is excited at the prospect of taking over the day-to-day running of the business in the New Year. He explained, “Originally my background was agricultural engineering, but I moved into the construction industry around 1998 and since 2000 I’ve been working solely with attachments on excavators.

“In 2000 I joined Digga Europe (now Auger Torque Ltd) and was responsible for setting up a dealer network and sales. The company quickly picked up a very good product reputation and I focused my attention geographically on Birmingham north and Scotland, so even though I haven’t up until now lived in Scotland, I’m pretty familiar with and, most importantly, comfortable with working here as I have developed some great friends and customers during that time.

“In 2005 I was employed by Kinshofer UK, the German attachment manufacturer of primarily demolition equipment, who also offer a range of scrap-handling equipment, as well as attachments used in rail and civil engineering. I worked there for ten years, building both the Kinshofer and Demarec brands and looking after their dealers. In fact, Peter was a customer of mine when I was at Digga Europe and at Kinshofer!

“The only thing I hadn’t done up until now was breakers, but I’m learning fast from Peter, and I’m fortunate to have an experienced team around me who are well versed in matching the right product to the application as well as many years of experience in the maintenance and repairs of breakers, so I have plenty of good back-up.

“What appeals to me about this role is that it’s something different, not only continuing to work with the products I know so well and trust, but also working with a whole new range of equipment, and also more direct contact with the end users.

“Ultimately, the new role is going to give me more responsibility as I’ll be taking on more of the day-to-day running of the company, which is one challenge – and not a small one!

“I’m looking forward to getting involved in taking Yarwoods forwards, in our strategy, our marketing, and developing the staff around me – the whole thing excites me. I’m comfortable with a pair of overalls on and I’m comfortable dressed to meet the bank manager. We’re currently already in negotiations for an additional franchise which is in line with our core products.”

For Peter, Henry’s appointment signals another milestone for a business which has been going strong for more than three decades, with depots in both Airdrie and Barnsley. He said, “This business was registered in 1983, and was borne out of what was my family’s business. At that time we were agents for Montabert and ESCO. We were the first to bring Rammer hammers into the UK. Then we got the offer of Toku breakers, which has been a mainstay of the business for 20 odd years.

“Five years ago we started with the Kinshofer and Demarec franchises as we recognised that we needed to broaden the base of the range of what we were doing. We couldn’t rely just on hammers, so we’ve introduced a number of other products into the market.

“We don’t put flags up and aim for the number one position. We’re not interested in that, or badge collecting, we’re just interested in selling to quality customers who understand our products, and understand what service is all about.

“We want to be in the light, not the limelight. It is both of our intentions that Yarwoods will continue be a major force in the market for many years to come.”