Classic Lifts End of Year Message

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Adrian Crane, our Managing Director has communicated his annual message for the end of 2023:

2023 has been an extraordinary year for Classic Lifts. It started with the news of the significant investment into Classic from HIG Capital and ends with the acquisition of Bullet Lift Services and Bullet Training Services. A well established and respected, Midlands based, service orientated company that joined the Classic Lifts family on 21st December.

What else has happened in between?

On a similar theme of acquisitions Classic Lifts also completed the acquisition of Southern Counties Lift Services in August this year. SCLS are a localised maintenance company who, along with their 900 service units, have quickly become part of our London & SE and Southcoast regions and we welcome the SCLS people into our organisation. You will notice I say our “Southcoast” region as the Stour Lifts name and organisation became fully integrated into Classic Lifts during 2023.

Classic Lifts became part of the andwis group which operates under the philosophy of Expertise, built in. We are a group of sister companies that all provide industry leading Technical Building Services directly and locally to our customers via new equipment and maintenance. The primary andwis members are CPS Building Services, Classic Lifts, Synecore, Meesons and Ace Fire & Security. The whole Andwis Group currently employs over 700 people has 14 offices locations in the
UK and has an annual turnover of around £120m.

Organic growth has continued in our branches throughout and we have continued to invest in people to support our growth. 2023 brought new people into our Midlands, Southwest and Southcoast branches who now have new lifts and major modernisation departments. These additions complement the excellent work that these regions have been doing in the established service and repair areas. To support the future generation, we also had an intake of 12 new field apprentices in September 2023.

A company’s strength is its people and I’d like to personally thank all of our staff for their contribution in 2023. Working with a great team of people who all want to provide excellent customer service and quality products means we are all pulling in the same direction.

Though there have been difficulties too with the sudden surge in inflation in 2022 and two large customers going into administration, but the continued hard work of our people has enabled us to grow and strengthen our position in the UK lift market and the table below provides a summary of some key measures and our overall company performance in 2023 – our 33rd year in business. Figures include the results from Classic Lifts and SCLS combined but not Bullet.

Measure2023 vs 2022 (Year over year improvement)
Number of employees+17%
Number of service units+20%
Service dept turnover+16%
New Lifts/Mods installed-10%
New Lift/Mod turnover+12%
Company turnover+14%

As you can see from the figures above the company performance was good in 2023 and I re-iterate my thanks to all staff for their continued support and good work.

What can we look forward to in 2024?

Investment, efficiency and sustainability are key to any business and 2024 will see a significant change for Classic Lifts with the introduction of a new service management system. Our existing system has served us well since 2010 but our size and scale need a software system that meets the modern-day requirements of our customers. SimPRO will be introduced as a pilot into our Sheffield office operation early in 2024 with the full rollout throughout Classic following shortly after. SimPro will also be used on our projects side so for the first time we will have a joined-up system for both installation and maintenance. This along with the enhanced and automated reporting capabilities will drive our efficiencies of scale.

Our investments will continue and despite the difficult economic climate we anticipate further growth for Classic in 2024 and we predict our maintenance department growing slightly faster than our projects sector although I suspect our re-focused major project sales team will be doing all they can to secure the orders necessary to change this trend.

An interesting statistic is our turnover split between projects and maintenance has traditionally been 60/40 in projects favour. At the end of 2023 it’s now 55/45 and we anticipate it becoming 50/50 by 2025.

The andwis group will continue to grow and the interactions between the group companies will increase as we develop items like shared central services, procurement initiatives or cross sell between the businesses.

Due to our size another key area for us in 2024 will be our Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) approach. Our combined goal is to minimise our own environmental impact whilst supporting our customers to upgrade their buildings, reducing carbon intensity and increasing efficiency. At the same time, we’re focused on building a sustainable, well-governed working environment for our diverse teams to thrive in.

Business is a team “game” of course and each member of the team plays an important part in making Classic Lifts successful. Our Installations and Service contracts represent the lifeblood of the company, and I can’t emphasise enough how important it is that we deliver these well and continue building good relationships with our customers. I’ve said it before but will repeat it again: How we carry out our core on site work of servicing, repairing, installing and testing lifts, along with how we present ourselves really makes all the difference.

In 2024, we will continually improve our employee skill and knowledge levels, develop our customer relationships to allow the workflow to continue and of course to work safely. Our Risk Assessments and Method Statements (RAMS) are continually reviewed and staff must read these and feedback any detail that they think needs improvement. Our most important message to our team is to work safe.

Thank you to all of our staff, customers and suppliers for their contributions in 2023, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your families.

Adrian Crane
Managing Director
Classic Lifts Ltd

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