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How Training Helped Ainscough Crane Hire

Martin AinscoughOur conversation with Martin Ainscough, who together with his brothers founded Ainscough Crane Hire, was so full of useful information, that we’ve had to split it into 4 parts.

In this post, Martin talks to our MD, Diane Banister about the work they did together, and how training helped the business. We worked with Martin and his Leadership team over an 8 year period, developing and delivering Hire Controller, Sales and Management Development Programmes.


I’m interested in your take on training people development. The work that we did together and how that impacted the business.


You were a good advisor to us definitely.

I think you have to be prepared to listen. Some people say a consultant will tell you something that you already know. Now that isn’t necessarily the case. You have to identify what you need and then it’s about bringing someone in with the right relevant skills, because certainly we didn’t have anyone in our organisation internally who could do that, so bringing someone in specifically to get the key messages through to our people was essential.

The fact that all of the work you did was stuff that we all fundamentally believed in, the simplification, the looking after the customers, the service, the price.

Without any shadow of a doubt you must have done something right because we grew that business from being a £3 million business to a £30 million business in tough times; and that’s the proof of the pudding.

Not in easy times when business was easy to come by but when you had to fight for the business and still retain profitability and not just do it at any price.

I think it was about putting on all of those disciplines and procedures into the day to day activity and getting people, especially sales people used to working to a system.


But your instinct was to invest in training when you could have been justified in saying that we’re not going to invest this money in the people. Your instinct was, we’re not going to grow the business without training people and developing them….


Absolutely, that’s why we did it.

Absolutely why we did it, we recognised that we needed to develop our people.

Now I’m not one as you know who does training for training sake but I’m a massive believer in that you can’t expect everyone to know everything, people appreciate it and it’s a great motivator for your people.

You know we also introduced all sorts of things if you remember like Team Ainscough, it was all about saying you’re part of this team.

Don’t just come to work and don’t care.

Come to work because you want to work, because you’re proud to work for Ainscough, you’re proud of what you do and you’re proud of your achievements.

If you said to me genuinely what is your proudest achievement, it’s how many people have worked for us that have gone on to be phenomenal; Your Chris Turners, Your Steve Hitchins, Your Andy Staffords and John Such and so many many more as well and drivers, people who worked for us, working all over the world, literally in Australia , all over the world doing stuff.

With stuff that they hopefully learned with us.


And working on amazing projects as well.


All on fantastic projects, really prestige projects yes. So you’ve got to develop your people, you’ve got to first of all give them a good culture and then you have to give them the tools to do the job.

Just to finish off, recruit attitude, train skills.

Don’t be looking for the best crane driver or the best sales person. Bring someone in who has passion, good attitude, who’s willing to learn, to listen, to do it your way, then teach them.

You’ll find our other posts here

Part 1 Growing the Business

Part 2 Finger on The Pulse – why utilisation matters

Part 3 Risk & Reward

If you want to grow your business, why not get in touch now. We can explore the challenges you face, and develop a blueprint which will help you move your business or team forward.

Call us on 0845 450 0988 or get in touch.