Richard Greenwood has survived several takeovers, met stringent demands for ROI by Brambles management and negotiated a ground-breaking group employee agreement with a militant union.
“I like to win. I’ve always had a strong, desire to be the best in the market,” says Greenwood, Coates Hire Group Manager — Products. “For me it’s about doing what’s fair for the customer and what’s fair for the business as well.”
Originally from New South Wales, over 22 years Greenwood worked his way from a business degree graduate who joined the Wreckair management training program to a commercial manager who started a new area of business for the company in pumping and groundwater control.
Then he made the move to Queensland as state manager. During his tenure he took a year’s leave of absence to take on a role as a project manager for Strachan & Henshaw Engineering in Bristol, in the United Kingdom, broadening both his experience and his vision.
“Then in 2002 Coates Hire and Wreckair merged,” he recalls. It was the beginning of a period of turbulence in the industry that saw Greenwood move to AH Plant Hire where he worked as General Manager over Queensland and the Northern Territory. Three years later AH Plant Hire was acquired by National Hire and he briefly added Western Australia to his area of responsibilities, until in 2008 National Hire bought Coates Hire.
“I found myself back at Coates Hire again,” he says. After a hiatus during a management reshuffle the then-General Manager Adrian Manning invited Greenwood to return to the company as Operations Manager. This developed into his spending four years as Sales and Marketing Manager for Queensland, the longest serving incumbent in that position. In this capacity Greenwood, Manning and the team achieved more than 40 per cent growth for Coates Hire in Queensland over an 18 month period. “Then I moved to become National Group Manager — Products, still based in Queensland, which is my current role.”
And the key to his performance achievements? “I have always seen the equipment hire business as a solutions-based business.”
Greenwood is equally clear about where he would like to see Coates Hire in the future.
“Coates Hire is number one in the market place and there is great potential for the business to expand offshore into the Asia-Pacific area to do business with New Zealand and our Asian partners.”
He believes greater organisational efficiencies have an important part to play in achieving growth. “I’d like to see optimal equipment, financial and time utilisation plus availability of our assets in order to help deliver the best service to our customers.”
Greenwood also wants others to have similar opportunities to the ones that helped advance his own career. “We encourage young people coming into the business and help them grow their careers.”