They say that necessity is the mother of invention – and this is certainly true of the birth of SCH (Supplies) Ltd. Back in 1986, Managing Director Andrew Rodwell became frustrated at the lack of suitable lawn care attachments to fit to his garden tractor. Not being one to back away from a challenge, Andrew set about designing and manufacturing the attachments he wanted and started selling them to friends who had encountered the same problem. The very first SCH brochure was a simple, black and white four page leaflet, but from little acorns mighty oaks do grow, and the company now print in excess of 50,000 copies of their freely distributed, full colour brochure. The 2017 copy runs to 80 pages.
As the years passed, other ranges were designed and manufactured. Garden trailers, sprayers, water units, spreaders and broadcasters and leaf sweepers soon became firm favourites. In more recent years, SCH have been designing an ever increasing number of units useful for the sports and leisure market. Gamekeepers, horse owners and sports facility owners among others, can now find all the machinery they need under one roof.
Everything changes, and all companies face challenges. SCH has survived two recessions and a devastating fire in 1995 which wiped out 95% of their stock and left the workforce struggling to cope. But Andrew has always been proud to say that no customers were let down, and normal service was resumed very quickly. Other challenges have included the influx of bulk shipments of flat packed machinery from the Far East. However, as Andrew says, SCH products will always appeal to those who want to take delivery of a ready built, robust item which will last for many years, not just for a season or two. The handful of original garden machinery dealers who were prepared to sell those new machines back in 1986 has now metamorphosed into a network of over 1,000 dealers throughout the UK.
One thing which has changed very little though is the fact that staff turnover at SCH is incredibly low. What this means for the customer is that there is a great breadth of knowledge available, from people who are proud to be part of a British manufacturing success story.