Busy year so far for KPH bespoke horsebox manufacturers
Rounding up for the first half of the year and again we have been incredibly busy! Both bespoke Aeos 4.5 tonne and Helios 7.5 tonne horsebox models are selling really well at an almost even pace. Our Helios 18 tonne and 26 tonne horsebox models are very much on the increase, in fact, so much so that we have taken on new team members and allocated extra manufacturing bays for our HGV builds.
As always, Health and Safety has been a priority and we have made several major changes to how we operate onsite. In anticipation of new legislation for welding fumes, the workshops have new extraction systems and increased air quality for the whole team.
As the number of vehicles in build has increased, we have upgraded our traffic management onsite completely. All staff and customers now park on a new dedicated car park away from the buildings. All deliveries are stopped by barriers at the site entrance and drivers then report to the office to have one of our banksmen deal with the delivery. We also allocate one of our banksmen to each horsebox moving around the site to protect staff and customers from reversing vehicles.
Workshop cleanliness has, as usual, been one of our focus points. The increased number of horseboxes in build has also increased the foot traffic in the workshop. Our fixation with site cleanliness not only increases safety, it directly transfers into how we treat everything from workshop tools to goods in trust (customers’ horseboxes). It is also why we are happy to pay a little extra insurance and walk customers through the workshops. These little details are continually ingrained into every member of the team as it directly effects quality. Few companies show customers work in progress and it is where we always shine!
As a little side note, from the very first day of KPH, we wanted to be as open as possible and show customers both build quality and our manufacturing process. These are points over the past decades we are proud of and they will always be a big part of the company.
Still bucking the Brexit trend
Firstly, it would be difficult to round up any previous years without mentioning the continuing Brexit debacle. We can report that although this past few years has seen plenty of scaremongering and tales of woe, KPH have continued with our measured expansion and sales have increased substantially. This is a testament not only to our policy of increasing product quality each year, but also increasing customer service. It also highlights how our focus on using UK manufactured products wherever possible is working to great effect in our sector. It is worth pointing out that nearly every single supplier has tried to pass on price increases due to Brexit and in almost every case we have simply put extra time and effort into sourcing a UK supplier for the same or improved quality products!
Leviathan changes for KPH
We have continued our measured expansion throughout the year and part of this has been a big focus on new staff members, along with the very positive step of internally promoting new team leaders to each department. …and we still have some exciting career opportunities available. It is worth adding that team building for the whole business is always one of our high priority items.
The new purpose built KPH fabrication workshop has been one of our biggest recent investments and is continually busy, making all of our horsebox parts including locker doors and a whole host of bespoke stainless steel items.
We have continued to invest in plant and new tooling, coupled with better facilities to improve the workplace for our employees.
The Finance and Administration Team
This consists of Janet, Russell, John, myself with of course, Izzy and Gem to ‘meet and greet’ the customers. Although not clearly visible from the outside, the office has again seen big changes. We have streamlined many procedures throughout the business and we are all extremely focused on customer service. This remains a priority and is an area where we continue to shine! Although we are very serious about service and product quality, we keep the office a fun place to work. It is a pleasure to turn up each day and have a happy workforce and wagging tails!
Innovations for our horseboxes
Being a forward thinking company, innovation is always at the forefront of our horsebox design. A good portion of our innovation comes through research and development, with a specific focus on longevity, increased strength and lightness. As you would imagine, good payload allowance is an ongoing endeavour and one where we test and tweak construction techniques and even materials constantly. Rest assured, we only make changes where it benefits customers and their horses. As we expected, the net has tightened yet again on overweight horseboxes and more roadside weighing. Sadly, the market is still flooded with new or used overweight horseboxes and it seems payload still remains an industry-wide problem.
We think it is fair to say, payload will always be an ongoing battle and for this reason have invested in onsite weighing facilities that are an added benefit to our customers and it also means we can talk facts. We are constantly testing new ideas and working hand in hand with manufacturers, universities and customers to develop new products and systems that have practical benefits for our horseboxes and the horses they transport. Innovation, coupled with ‘stunning’, is our goal and the real fun is building it into every horsebox and ‘blowing our customers minds’!
The past months have been packed with innovations and they range from adding a full stainless steel ramp to the Aeos horsebox range all the way through to improved solar and auxiliary systems. From our very skilled fabrication team there have been refinements to our stunningly beautiful stainless steel horse partitions and horse doors as well as a myriad of improvements all aimed at better quality and improved longevity.
Proud of our horseboxes
If you follow us on social media you will have seen a recurring theme, with quite a few pictures titled ‘proud of our horseboxes’ or ‘proud of our manufacturing’ or even ‘made in the UK by our skilled craftsmen’. At KPH, this is a fact you can take as read, it is something we cannot teach, but is from the heart and applies equally to every member of the team. Each commission is a journey and has received the same meticulous attention to detail from each member of the team. We are ‘proud of our horseboxes’ and post the very same pictures on social media as we post to our customers to show build progress each week. You will notice we don’t push sales or employ sales people, instead our happy customers are our ambassadors and we simply post the facts, including payloads and some stunning pictures. We answer any questions that follow and let customers make up their own minds, without pressure. Whilst we post more general images, interested customers can request more detailed information from our Contact Us page, where they can tick boxes for information about specific models.
Happily we can report that it is a great first half to the year. We have invested in infrastructure, new team members and equipment. We have seen many improvements and increased standard specification, payload and longevity across the range. For our customers, we have worked extra hard to keep the Brexit and government disruption to a minimum. We have invested in our team and have a happy workforce, taking pride in their workmanship.
We have also learned some important life lessons over the past few months.
- A quiet man is thinking man. A quiet woman is probably mad!
- Customers cannot own enough horses.
- Our dogs are true masters of mindfulness …and they inspire us to fully take in each moment as well!
And finally we would like to express our thanks to our loyal customers; we value your patronage and appreciate your confidence and we hope you can see that we do go the extra mile. For the future there are many new projects planned and customers can rest assured we will not stand still or compromise on our high standards. We hope you continue to follow us on social media where you will see us serenely swimming upstream like swans, but believe us when we say we will be furiously paddling underneath!
So roll on the rest of the year and don’t forget to pop in anytime if you are passing, our kettle is always on. …oh and don’t forget life is too short to drive a boring horsebox!!!