EP EXPERIENCES – EP Dealers share their story

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At EP Equipment we have a global dealership network. We know that the key to grow is support our dealers and get their feedback. Recently our Community Manager, Giulia, has been speaking with our dealers from Europe to see how their journey with EP is going.

How did your relationship with EP begin?

Totaallift is a family company started 75 years old by the grandfather of Tom and Esther, shortly after the war with big digging machines and excavators. “We met EP at a colleague dealer event, and EP German Sales Manager, Julian Buter was working there. We had a customer asking for an electric pallet truck, so Julian advised us the EP Electric Pallet truck with a Lithium-ion battery would be what we needed. We didn’t know anything about EP or their products, but we delivered that electric pallet truck after some internal research.

EP EXPERIENCES – EP Dealers share their story

After that the customer was very happy and started telling everyone about it and saying that they could buy it from Totaallift! Initially we didn’t have the idea of becoming EP dealers but we started looking at the brand and for Tom, one of the owners of the company, it looked perfect because EP has very good pallet trucks and forklifts with a very competitive price and zero maintenance. This was interesting also because at that moment in time we were doing high levels of maintenance on forklifts and the mechanics.

EP EXPERIENCES – EP Dealers share their story
EP EXPERIENCES – EP Dealers share their story

So, we tested the machines with some customers and at the beginning no one was believing this could be a good product because the price was so competitive that it wasn’t possible! All the customers were telling us that they were sceptical. We tried it and the dealers and customers were very happy with it, the machines were incredible. And so, we started to buy from EP and also began to import the trucks. A very important thing with EP is that they have a dealer network in Europe, also the support, parts in Europe so we mainly communicate just with European people which is great for our team.

What is the material handling market like in the Netherlands? Why does EP work?

The second hand machine market is very difficult for people to navigate because the prices are very high for second hand machines. The higher the price of secondhand machines the better it is for EP and you can get a brand new machine at a great price point. Also very important is that people want to drive electric, above 4t you can’t drive with an IC engine indoors, so you must get electric, it’s a law from the NL government so there are a lot of inquiries for electric machines. People are investing and looking for electric forklifts, so that’s a good thing for EP and for us here at Totaalift. There are people that use forklifts for 2/3 hours a day and just want an electric forklift with no maintenance so also in this case EP is the best option for them.

Why does EP work?
Why does EP work?

My favourite product from EP is EFL353 Forklift with 3500 KG capacity, Lithium-ion. I like it for its good performance and compactness. Now we are four years EP dealers for the east part of the Netherlands. At first, we bought from EP Belgium and now in the last two years we started buying full containers straight from China and we import EP in the east of Netherlands and we only sell to the end customer. We are happy with the good simple products, with the great range of machines at good price. The team of EP is very good.”

Tell us about Cedecar…

“The company Cedecar is a company that exists from more than 30 years in the forklifts market. Cedecar mainly does rental, sale, and repair of forklifts. Forklifts rental is our main source of business. The company has 17 employees of technical service, sales, and administration. We have a quite modern installation, and we are in the zone east of Madrid, close to the airport.

 How have you found your experience with EP so far?

I can say the work that EP’s Spanish sales manager, Colin Ballard, has done here until now is spectacular I am very grateful, and I have a fantastic relationship with him. Also, with Sales Assistant Smiley we have a very good communication. People always say things can be done better but for me the truth is that the product surprised us very much since the beginning and keeps on surprising us because everything we bought from EP is giving us very good results. And we didn’t expect that. This great experience pushed us to buy machines directly from China in containers.

What is the Spanish material handling market like?

The market is difficult and complicated, in Spain also there is much competition and there are many manufacturers. The EP products have a big future and are incredible. Right now, in the market, at least in Spain for what I know, EP is in a moment where it is very difficult for other brands to compete with. EP has a good product and a way of working that for us is very good, very satisfying.

How do you find the services and support from EP?

We have an EP Care account; it is very helpful in the after sales. We also ordered spare parts in your DC in Belgium and the experience was very satisfying. We hope it continues going this way in the future. I am very motivated with the product, and I hope that step by step we can do more things together. Our customers are very exigent so when we add a new product to our range, we try it ourselves first. It may seem strange what I am going to say but I lowered my point of view and say I think that is not important how much improve but that you don’t get worse. What I mean is you are doing very well, and you need to continue this way, it doesn’t have to be different in the future because you are on a very good path.”

Tell me about CC Heftrucks and your journey with EP…

“CC Heftrucks belonged to TVH group.  My father and Paul Thermote started TVH company in 1969 and after my father died, I sold my shares to my brother, and he is running the company now. The company was growing and growing and twenty years ago they bought the company CC Heftrucks. CC Heftrucks was a small Yale distributor for a region in Belgium. I joined the company here 15 years ago, and here we do mainly secondhand forklifts, we also rent forklifts but mostly we sell second hand forklifts and last year we sold 500 units. So, half stays in Belgium and the other half goes abroad in France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Tell me about CC Heftrucks and your journey with EP…
Tell me about CC Heftrucks and your journey with EP…

TVH has been working since long time already with EP. At first, I was not so enthusiastic, but I was forced to work with EP because of TVH. We are working with EP for one year now and we are satisfied about the relationship we have. I am really happy with EP and the machines because in the beginning I was afraid about the Chinese quality, my father imported 30 years ago Chinese machines and we had a very bad experience with that, but with EP it goes very well.

What is the status of the material handling market in Belgium?

The market in Belgium is difficult for the moment because prices are rising, and the delivery times are quite long. With EP you are able to deliver in very short time and at a very good price, so this is great and helps you stay competitive, congratulations! The market is very competitive, every competitor is present in this small country. Belgium is very small, and all importers work in the same area, in the Flanders in Belgium. Before there were a lot of industries, coal and metal industry but they all went in bankrupt in the 80s.”

What is the story of DE RONDE & DRUBBEL and EP?

“We’re from Antwerp and we’re a family business that has been existing since 1941, so 82 years. We sell forklifts but we also do rental and technical service. We also buy and sell secondhand machines of course.

I first heard about EP on Internet; my role consists in taking the existing organisation and modernise it a little bit and improve everything that we can, this also involves our product range. I’m constantly looking for new products to update our range. Then the first contact with EP was one year and a half ago. There was this fair in Antwerp, the logistics fair, which takes place every two years, and I was in contact with Mike. Because I asked something about a product, he contacted me, and we invited him to visit us and things started rolling. There’s a lot of older guys in the company here, so they’re always a little bit more conservative. So, at first, I had to convince them by only adopting the smaller range of the products. We’ve been selling the warehouse equipment since beginning of 2022. I started working on their minds a little bit and then since last summer, so only like less than a year ago we started selling the forklifts, the bigger trucks as well.

What was your onboarding experience with EP?

During my onboarding with EP I did everything digitally. If I needed anything I would just go, look on the website and I would just watch videos. I watch all the videos online just try to stay updated on everything that happens through the online trainings; then the older guys, whenever they need to know something, they just ask me.

Any feedback for our team?

I don’t really have any bad feedback; I think only positive. I think compared to our other brand, EP is a lot more modern in every aspect of the enterprise. Website is very easy to use, even for people, older people that are not very tech savvy. Community building is alright through LinkedIn, especially in this business, because, I mean, community building in this old school business doesn’t happen a lot. Order process is good, I mean, I don’t really have bad feedback to be honest. That’s good, only positive that’s very good.

Any feedback for our team?
Any feedback for our team?

What is your favourite EP Product?

My favourite product from EP is EPL154. I think that that’s the one that we’ve sold the most but this is not the only reason why I like it. First of all, it’s a good product, just the product itself is good and second of all, in that kind of range of products, the competition is huge and so the war on prices is. There are other brands that sell these machines without earning a single euro. They just sell it at cost price. And it’s different with that machine, it’s different with the EPL 154 because the margin on that small product is actually pretty good even for it to be in such a competitive area of the market.

Are we growing together?

We’ve just begun working with EP and as I already told Mike, for me the numbers really don’t matter. For me, the most important thing is that mentally we have grown a lot last year mentally in the heads of our sales guys, in the heads of everyone here, we’ve fully adopted a second brand into our company. Just the fact that we were able to adopt a second one and broadened our market is for me very important. And right now, we’ve been selling the forklifts for six months or something. So, we’re only getting started and the fact that we have mentally adopted that is for me the biggest win and the numbers will follow this year, next year, it’ll only keep growing organically. So that’s my goal: grow together as we’ve started great.” We are very happy with the continuous growth of our global dealership network and we care about our community. Constant contact with our dealers allows us to make sure that they are satisfied with EP but also to get a feedback for further improvements.

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