The Groundsman

November 2015

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24 the Groundsman November 2015 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions sking Chris Clark to reflect on his four years at the helm of Rigby Taylor is akin to asking a groundsman about the advances he's made in achieving an award-winning pitch. He'd much rather focus on the here and now. Chris took the company reins during recession and it is clear that strategic improvements have been introduced to the company that leads the field in the supply of sports turf grass seed and amenity consumables. Rigby Taylor, he says, has the enviable position as the largest national turf solutions provider both in market share and in the number of nationwide technical sales representatives who provide an industry-leading portfolio of products as well as unrivalled expert advice, back-up and solutions for customers of every size and in all sports turf and amenity areas. "It was a privilege on being executive chairman of Rigby Taylor, a terrific company that has been built on many years of tradition," says Chris. "But taking on such a role during recession was a challenge; the target of growing any business then (as now, to be fair) was not easy. Golf clubs, for example, were suffering badly and it was clear that the sports turf and amenity industries generally were increasingly seeking more economic solutions as budgets were being stretched. "Our first task was to address the historical view of Rigby Taylor as being a company that deals only with the 'top- end' of the market. We had to 'reinvent' ourselves." This 'hearts and minds' process, he reveals, included a complete appraisal of the product range. He continues: "I only had to spend one day visiting customers to appreciate the diverse needs of the industry and its A Reflections on industry challenges Rigby Taylor has been transformed into a company that can provide grass and amenity supplies to suit all agronomic and budgetary demands, as executive chairman Chris Clark explains By: Colin Hoskins needs; it is clear that the demands of a village bowls club are different to those of, say, a master greenkeeper or a Premier League grounds manager. They will all have differing agronomic requirements and, of course, different budgets. What we had to do was to ensure we could provide all the tools needed to fix every situation." A raft of changes were made to make Rigby Taylor an across-the-board contender – for every product and at every size and type of sports and amenity site - not least the optimisation of its product ranges. "We've transformed what were Chris Clark: "Our team provides customers with appropriate and cost-effective solutions" IOG AWARDS 2015 headline sponsor rigby taylor

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