Power Equipment Australasia

THE JOURNEY BEGINS The decision to acquire Morton's Machinery in 2022 was a significant one for the new owners, says Gareth. Morton’s had a loyal customer and contractor base, making it a business opportunity that was too good to pass up. The new ownership is determined to continue the legacy of the brand, offering the same high-quality gardening equipment and service that the community has come to rely on. OVERCOMING INITIAL HURDLES The change of ownership was not without its share of challenges. With the transition occurring during a busy season, the new management had to essentially start afresh with supplier accounts, leading to some customer frustrations. The initial shortage of stock and parts required tremendous effort to get back on track. “The team worked diligently to reassure customers that Morton's remained a one-stopshop for all their gardening equipment needs,” says Gareth. KEYS TO SUCCESS IN THEIR AREA To maintain a successful business in their area, Morton's Machinery emphasises persistence during tough times, consistency in customerfacing service, and hard work of their highly experienced workshop team, which excels in providing top-notch equipment repairs. “Honesty, communication and positive customer interactions are key to customer satisfaction,” says Gareth adding, “We want all our customers leaving our shop, fully loaded with information to be able to make the right choice of equipment and/or fully satisfied with their repairs. It's very important for us knowing our customers are happy with the pieces of equipment they've purchased but also knowing they have left here knowing how to use the products safely.” Service and repairs are also the backbone of Morton's Machinery. With over 150 combined years of servicing machinery experience, the team of highly qualified mechanics boast of unappareled expertise and will go the extra mile to meet customer satisfaction. THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 With regular lockdowns, restrictions and irregular supplies, COVID19 was a challenging one for many dealerships. The pandemic had a mixed impact on Morton's Machinery. On one hand, the demand for gardening equipment and enquiries surged as people spent more time at home. However, the increased reliance on online shopping and supply chain disruptions resulted in occasional stock shortages during this period of high demand. “With everyone stuck inside, the non-stop enquiries and sales we had during this time was nothing like we had never seen (in a good way),” says Gareth. THE ONGOING CHALLENGES As in any business, there are many trials and tribulations amongst the successes, and steering a dealership comes with its share of ups and downs. We asked the Morton’s Machinery team on what was the most challenging aspect of their business? “With the cost of inflation in Australia, it has been really hard to predict this as a seasonal business, especially with this being a new business venture for some of us,” says Gareth. “There will always be a need for gardening equipment with customers and contractors with sales and servicing. The hardest part will always be independent stores like ours competing against the “big box” shops. In saying that, what we can't offset with price matching, we can more than make up for in after sales service and many, many decades of industry experience.” LOOKING AHEAD When it comes to future of the OPE industry, Gareth believes batterypowered equipment will continue to garner interest among customers. Any new products recently that the team is excited about? “Not a new product but the GTA26 hand-held pruner is like a mini-chainsaw. They fly off the shelves and we cannot stop raving about them. They are a crucial piece of gardening equipment you don't know you need until you've used one, then you wonder how you've managed without one! It’s the best kind of birthday/Christmas present,” says Gareth. NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2023 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 25