Company profile: Double A

lewis
By lewis April 12, 2018 05:57 Updated

Double A, which distributes golf course machinery throughout Scotland for the likes of John Deere, Lastec, Tru-Turf and Campey Turf Care, is one of the largest turf dealerships in the UK. Tania Longmire finds out more about this Fife-based company

The Double A Trading Company or, as it is better known, Double A, is owned by Sandy and Aileen Armit who started their business working from home in 1996. Today they have depots in Cupar and Aberdeen, and employ 33 people. Theirs is one of the largest turf dealerships in the UK and their location in Cupar, Fife allows them to serve customers across Scotland with their wide range of market leading turf care equipment including Campey Turf Care Products and Lastec Mowers. Through Fife, Tayside and Aberdeenshire they are John Deere turf dealers – a dealership they have been proud to have held since 1999. Double A is also UK distributor for Tru-Turf greens’ rollers and Sweep ‘N’ Fill brushes.

John Deere at Gleneagles Hotel.
Photos by Julie Howden

In 2011 Double A was awarded the title of UK Professional Turfcare Dealer of the Year, with the judges commenting: “The Double A Trading Company is a highly professional operation with excellent management and total commitment to aftersales support.”

As a dedicated turf dealer, Double A has built up a complete portfolio of products and services for its customers covering all aspects of the business, including service contracts, contract hire, repair and maintenance plans, detailed estimates, overnight parts delivery and a range of finance options to mention a few.

“Todays head greenkeepers and course managers are looking for a complete package from suppliers and we strive every day to make sure we are able to meet their demands,” said Sandy who, as Managing Director, continues to drive the business forward from the company head office in Cupar.

“As we have grown we have continued to look to source high quality machinery to give our customers the tools to improve their courses and the aftersales service and training they need to make sure their machines are running at optimum performance. One of our most popular services are our annual machinery clinics we hold in February and March. We invite local golf customers to attend a day’s training session where we mix classroom and workshop sessions showing greenkeepers best practice in how to set up cutting units, carry out daily checks and operate their equipment making sure they get the most out of the investment they have made.”

John Deere at Gleneagles Hotel.
Photos by Julie Howden

Finance is also important to golf clubs and Double A uses John Deere Financial to provide the flexible finance clubs require to spread the cost of operating equipment. “Many clubs continue to operate old machinery, spending thousands of pounds keeping them running when they could use that money to finance either a new or good-used replacement,” said Sandy. “John Deere Financial has helped us save our customers money by offering low interest flexible finance on a range of new and used equipment. We have often found that the money saved by not repairing old equipment more than covers the monthly finance cost of a new or used more efficient and reliable machine.

“Our used equipment business is growing with customers unwilling or unable to afford the cost of new equipment now increasingly looking for good, refurbished equipment which meets their needs but without the high ticket price of a new machine. This type of purchase can work for many smaller clubs when the machine is purchased along with a service contract ensuring the machine is serviced correctly during this ‘second life’.

“Recently John Deere have launched Expert Check, a 75 point check programme which we carry out on our John Deere used equipment, with this full check over customers can see that any used machine we sell has been fully serviced, checked and is ready is for work. Using this scheme a good used machine can give many more years of service to a golf course.”

Not content with success in the Scottish market, Double A is also celebrating 10 years of distributing Tru-Turf rollers across the UK. “The Tru-Turf roller has been a great fit for our business,” said Sandy.

“We started by looking after Tru-Turf in Scotland and when the opportunity came to expand into distribution it seemed to be the right move at the right time and it has worked well for us and for Tru-Turf.” Double A added the distribution of Sweep ‘N’ Fill brushes in 2014 and again this has been a great success for the company, stated Sandy.

2017 saw Double A and John Deere win the contract to supply Gleneagles Hotel and Golf Courses. “This was a great contract for us to win,” said Sandy. Gleneagles Golf Courses and Estate Manager Scott Fenwick, when speaking about the move to John Deere, said: “The adoption of hybrid electric mowers, satellite guidance and telematics fleet management systems dedicated to turfcare, such as those provided by John Deere, means we can look forward to keeping Gleneagles at the forefront of European and world golf.”

Among the John Deere machines now being used on all three championship courses are the pioneering 2500E hybrid electric greens’ mower and the latest A Model PrecisionCut and TerrainCut fairway, surrounds and rough mowers, which feature the advanced TechControl display on the operator’s CommandArm control console.

Double A is currently delivering the second phase of equipment to Gleneagles and is providing many of the services listed above including parts supply, installation training and through in-depth machinery clinics for Gleneagles’ greenkeepers which were held in Double A’s training room at their Cupar head office.

“We really wanted to make sure all of Gleneagles’ greenkeepers were up to speed with their new John Deere equipment so we arranged a series of clinics throughout February covering aspects of setting, daily checks and operation in preparation of the season starting,” said Sandy.

“Our staff have played a major part in our success over the 22 years; over half have been with us for more than 10 years. That stability means that we know our customers and they know us and we have built many, many great relationships with our customers and our suppliers over the years.

“All staff have their own training plan which identifies which training courses they require to carry out their job within Double A. These courses are booked up in advance with John Deere and our other suppliers to ensure we are up to speed with the new products and systems coming through as well as refresher training on existing products. We also use Safety Aide for all our on-site and online health and safety training and surveys.”

Being in business for 22 years doesn’t mean Double A is standing still. The company has recently added GreenTek to its golf product portfolio. GreenTek supplies a full range of attachments for compact tractors, utility vehicles and greens’ mowers. “We have been fortunate to team up with some of the leading players in the turf business, Campey Turf Care have introduced some of the most innovative products in the golf industry today with Dakota, Vredo, Immants and Air2 G2 all becoming household names in the industry. John Deere are also continually investing in their product line and in recent years we have seen QA5 quick adjust cutting units, Tech Control operator controls and the widest range of hybrid mowers in the industry. All of these products give us a good solid product line to offer our golf customers,” added Sandy.

Looking to the future, Sandy believes that customers will be looking hard at the whole life experience of their equipment and what ‘life support’ they can expect from their dealer. “When budgets are tight it makes sense for customers to look at where their long-term support is coming from, machines are expected to last longer and be continually reliable nowadays and whether that is new, used or refurbished equipment, customers want best value and minimum downtime,” he said. “That is where reliable technically advanced equipment and timely supply of parts, on-site service and training become the most important factors when purchasing equipment and we look forward to continue growing our business and providing our customers with the products and services they demand from a professional turf dealer.”

Double A is based in Eden Valley Business Park, Cupar, Fife and Wellington Business Park, Altens, Aberdeen. Tel: 01334 657602

Web: www.doublea.co.uk

 

lewis
By lewis April 12, 2018 05:57 Updated

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