Directors' Focus

12/14/2023 12:10:00 PM
When former American president Barack Obama said: “A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things,” he could have been referring to Dennis Eagle.


In 2023 our business has been through an immense amount of change, with three new directors, a new accounting system, a new engineering facility, and the challenge of adapting to the new General Safety Regulations (GSR), to name but a few.
So, in this article, we have asked all six directors to share the highlights and challenges they and their teams have been through this year and to look at the opportunities and their ambitions for 2024.


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Keith Day, Managing Director


“This year there were several changes in the leadership team. I took over as managing director after Kevin Else retired at the end of April following 10 years in the post.

“We also welcomed two new directors to the board: Engineering Director, Jon Sayers and Operations Director, Terry New. Both have been with the business for over a decade, so their appointment is a symbol of the longterm stability of our team which I hope has been reassuring to colleagues and customers."

Andy Uttley, Finance Director


“We have enjoyed a strong financial performance so far this year with steady orders and really strong aftermarket sales.

“We have introduced a new paperless invoicing system, and given that we deal with 7,000 invoices per month, I’m delighted to say this went without a hitch. The time to process an invoice has dropped significantly and has resulted in savings across the business."

Terry New, Operations Director


“We started 2023 with a very good order book and I am pleased to report we have delivered the highest volumes of body, chassis, and cabs we have ever seen. This is a fantastic performance from everyone involved.

“As part of this performance, the Blackpool team has implemented a £500k project to increase cab capacity by improving production line layouts.

“In 2024 we have exciting investment plans and I will be focussing the team’s
effort on Continuous Improvement and further improving our environmental credentials. We already have ISO14001 accreditation and comply with Scope
1 & 2 of the Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting regulations. We will now focus on the voluntary Scope 3 and will continue to plan for our journey to net zero.“

Richard Taylor, Sales & Marketing Director


“We have weathered the challenges of the pandemic, Brexit and the Ukraine War, and the business is going into 2024 in a strong and stable position.

“This year we proudly lead the UK’s commercial EV market, with a 42% share of sales of all UK commercial vehicles – not just refuse -, which underlines the strength of our brand and the quality of our products. This is a major achievement and demonstrates we are constantly challenging ourselves to ensure we value every order we win.

“We secured fleet eCollect orders from Veolia for Westminster and Kingston Upon Thames contracts, and there are encouraging opportunities for
continued eCollect orders despite constraints caused by the lack of charging infrastructure. The Irish market continues to recover well after the pandemic, and our 3 distributors are performing well and increasing
market share. In Australia, our distributor Penske is on course for a record year in 2023. They continue to win key contracts meaning the outlook
for 2024 and beyond looks extremely encouraging.”

Jon Sayers, Engineering Director


“It’s been a really busy year for me and my Engineering team with a big focus on the expansion of our product portfolio which now includes UK, European, US and Australian models. They all have different specifications and requirements, depending on the market.

“As we have increased our product portfolio, we have responded by increasing the size of the team to 83 people, up from 21 when I joined in 2011, and this year moved into a new testing and development engineering facility at our Warwick HQ

The move went smoothly and the increased space has allowed us to improve the efficiency and productivity of the department.

“In 2024 the new GSR requirements will create greater demand for electrical sensors to enhance driver awareness and reduce the risk of collision with other road users. The changes we have already introduced mean we are well prepared to respond to customer demand."

Geoff Rigg, Aftermarket Director and President at Dennis Eagle Inc


“This year we’ve done well at ensuring UK aftermarket service has continued to perform well. This is largely due to our ability to recruit and retain good people at a time when there is intense competition for staff. One of the key reasons people want to work for Dennis Eagle is that we offer them the opportunity to build a long-term career within the engineering industry.

“Our parts on-time delivery has been very good and we are seeing more online orders, with 30% of parts now being ordered via our EPC website. This is a trend that will continue to grow."

We’ll leave the final word to Keith Day: “Economically 2023 has been challenging with high inflation driving up our cost base and reducing the spending power of our customers. These pressures will continue in 2024, as costs are still rising even though the rate of inflation is falling. We are responding by looking at ways in which we can be more efficient and by adding more value to our vehicles.

“If we continue to make the progress we have made in the past 12 months, I believe we will continue to thrive in the year ahead.”