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Dorset-based maritime firm Marine Components International (MCI) has landed a range of orders for its Bennett Marine trim tabs product from distributors and dealers serving boatyards across Europe, despite the COVID-19 outbreak severely disrupting the industry.
MCI managing director Andy Scott said the company is stepping up to support US-based Bennett and is now acting as the sole supplier to all the manufacturer's distributors in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.
Bennett’s global headquarters in Florida is still taking orders from EMEA countries with MCI continuing its role as Bennett's warehouse facility for the region.
“Our 5,500sqft warehouse in Poole remains operational and is very well stocked so we are able to step up and support EMEA region orders coming through Bennett in America, as well as our own office,” Scott said. “The last week has seen us packing orders for Bennett’s trim tabs for distributors in Norway, France, Poland, Denmark and Holland. So, it’s great to see that the boatyard industry is still operating as best it can, business is still being done.
“And in the case of Bennett it has a very strong and important product range being the only company offering electric and hydraulic trim tab solutions for boats ranging from 16 foot (4.88 metres) to 100 foot (30.48 metres). Boatyards like this, as a big benefit is that they can stick to one product, and really get to understand how to install, integrate and operate it, across a range of boat sizes.”
Scott added that MCI has been able to support its OEMs and boatyard client base with product and technical support throughout the lockdown. He also noted that there is cautious optimism within the sector of a ‘V’ shaped recovery when the lockdown is eased around marinas.
“We undertook a major reorganising of the warehouse recently, streamlining our operations and ensuring we had the right products and parts in the right quantities. That is really paying off now as we have more than enough stock here to keep our clients supplied for the next few months at a time when the manufacturing supply lines are severely disrupted, so getting new stock could be tricky for some boatyards.
“This is a big message we also want to get out to ship chandlers who may be struggling for equipment and are also preparing for a big increase in orders when marinas are allowed to reopen.
“Easter is usually the time when the leisure marine industry starts to kick into action and we anticipate that hectic period will happen around May-June time as people rush back to their boats for leisure time without being in a crowded environment.”
Scott said he is also lobbying Government through trade bodies such as the Society of Maritime Industries to offer more help to companies operating from premises with a rateable value up to £50,000. He said businesses in this rateable value band, like MCI, were being offered minimal support through loan schemes and that more grants should be offered, rather than just ‘cheap debt’.
Elsewhere, just before the outbreak, MCI appointed AllBoat Services in Plymouth as its dealer for Bennett Marine trim tab products in the South West of England. AllBoat Services will be carrying a broad range of stock and will offer strong technical knowledge to assist with all types of installations.
For more information, visit MCI.
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