Lennox bringing new jobsite storage line to North America
Patrick FlanneryNews Mergers, acquisitions, entries and exits Supplier stories
Armorgard, a U.K.-based supplier of jobsite storage and transportation solutions, has entered the North American market with a plan to distribute partly through equipment rental channels. North America manager, Bob Lennox, answered some questions about the new venture.
CRS: How did you come to represent Armorgard in North America?
BL: After Western Global was acquired in 2021, I reached out to Armorgard, whom I knew from shared customers in the U.K. market. I admired their innovative and premium quality products and proposed to work with them to launch the range in the North American market. The following year-and-a-half of exhaustive market research (including the use of a market research agency from Chicago) resulted in a solid plan to launch a modified range of North American-ized products throughout the United States and Canada. Armorgard was founded in 1989 by Paul Mitchell and is now run by his four sons, Wayne, Terry, Bruce and Reuben.
CRS: Why did you think Armorgard products would work here?
BL: The market research resulted in the development of a patent-pending UltraLock locking system. UltraLock’s universal design makes it compatible with a multitude of padlocks. Padlocks can be added in seconds with a hardened steel security bolt. When the three-point shackles are engaged with the multi-spur mechanism, they interlock smoothly yet strongly thanks to their industrial-grade stainless steel hardware.
CRS: How are you getting Armorgard into customers’ hands?
BL: After reviewing the marketplace, the decision was taken to launch the range of material handling and jobsite storage products solely to distributors in the specialty tool and fastener channel as well as the rental channel. We are working with three multi-line representative groups in three key geographies to start with, with all other geographies covered directly by us. We are based in Winnipeg with an administration office in Cambridge, Mass. Products will be warehoused in Woodbridge, Ont., due to its proximity to the Ontario market and in West Virginia due to its proximity to the east coast of the U.S.
CRS: What does the ownership structure look like?
BL: Both Armorgard USA and Armorgard Canada are wholly owned subsidiaries of Armorgard UK, which is headquartered in Fareham. All the products are manufactured in Europe, are top quality and feature innovative designs that are exclusive to Armorgard. The North American launch means Armorgard products will be available throughout the entire United States and Canada.
CRS: Who are Armorgard end-users?
BL: Armorgard products are particularly suited to end users in the mechanical HVAC and electrical space, but really apply to any construction professional looking for more security for their tools and more safety for the way in which they handle materials. The approach is to set up distributors in a very selective and limited way in both the rental and specialty tool and fastener distribution channels.
CRS: Tell us about your team.
BL: Between Armorgard staff in North America and our three key manufacturer representative agencies (Donwin Marketing in Ontario) we have over 20 sales personnel out in the field promoting the brand. The inventory will be fully stocked in January of 2023 and distributor onboarding has already commenced starting with the specialty tool and fastener distributors association (STAFDA) trade show in San Diego in November, and we will follow that up by introducing ourselves to the rental industry at the ARA show in Orlando in February.
CRS: Give us an idea of what products Armorgard offers.
BL: We sell a range of jobsite tool storage boxes, heavy-duty jobsite cabinets and an innovative cutting station for safe cutting of metal and wood. We also have a site station which is an ideal portable office for the job site. Finally, we have our innovative flatpack site buildings which we call the Forma-Stor. Additionally, we have the rubble truck which is an all-steel crane liftable item to handle debris on the job site
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