Plant and tool hire company says Y.E.S to employee ownership

Plant and tool hire company says Y.E.S to employee ownership

(from left) Lisa Johnstone, David Johnstone, Alex Johnstone and Eddie Nicholson

Falkirk-based equipment hire company Your Equipment Solutions (Y.E.S) has made the move to employee ownership and handed its hard-working team control of the business.

The firm has secured the future of 29 jobs by placing the majority of the shares into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

Y.E.S provides tool and plant equipment for hire, into a variety of markets with construction a large proportion of its turnover, but with such a diverse and well-stocked product portfolio Y.E.S has also penetrated the DIY, petrochemical and utilities markets.

The firm is enjoying its 10th year of operation and is on track to achieve another record year in 2022, recently opening a second branch in Dundee.

David Johnstone, founder and MD at Y.E.S, was a senior director at HSS Hire before using his expertise to start Your Equipment Solutions in 2012, which has grown exponentially ever since.

Looking to secure the future of the firm while fulfilling his goal of retiring at age 55, David made the decision to hand over the reins to his staff.

Fellow directors Lisa, Alex and Eddie are similar ages to David and share his thoughts on the future of the business.

David said: “Your Equipment Solutions has reached an incredible milestone. As founder, I’m at a point where I’ve passed down my vision and purpose to the staff over the years and they have embodied it in everything they do.”

Some members of the YES team are David’s wife Lisa, son Ryan, daughter Danielle and brother Alex. Even grandson Jamie is well known by staff and customers.

David added: “As clichéd as it sounds, we are one big family at Y.E.S and when looking into my succession plan, employee ownership was the perfect option. I’ve always had the view that if the company does well, the staff should do well too – and this is just one of the ways I can repay their hard work.

“I’m confident that the more than capable team are going to continue the business’s constant commitment to quality products and services, as well as its strong values in charity and local community, which is something that wouldn’t have been guaranteed should I have sold the firm.”

To mark the company’s move to employee ownership, and to reward the Y.E.S. team for their loyal service over the years, the company is paying a special bonus of £1000 to each employee.

The hire business is a community partner with Falkirk FC and Stenhousemuir FC and also sponsors Falkirk Rugby Club and various golf courses. Y.E.S also carries out numerous charitable and community-driven initiatives in the surrounding area.

David added: “This is extremely important to me, and the EOT will allow us to continue to develop our support and understanding of what our local community needs and where we can help”

David will slowly start to reduce his working hours at Y.E.S over the next three years in a bid to reach his goal of retirement at age 55, leaving the day-to-day running of the business in the capable hands of Y.E.S’s dedicated staff.

The company’s accountants, Motherwell-based Turner Accountancy, introduced the idea of a sale to an EOT to David. Director Damian Turner said: “David has built something quite unusual and very special at Your Equipment Solutions. The EOT is a good fit and will protect that unique culture and provide continuity for both employees and customers.”

Turner’s account manager Andy Gunn added: “Y.E.S is a firm full of dedicated, committed staff, so to be able to play a part in handing the business over to them was excellent. It was a privilege to be present for the announcement to staff and see how welcomed the news was.”

David called upon employee ownership expert Ownership Associates to ensure the transition to the increasingly popular business model was seamless. The specialist firm has now helped more than 80 businesses transition to the EO business model.

Carole Leslie, director at Ownership Associates said: “There was a real sense of family and community at Y.E.S and it was an absolute pleasure to assist David in handing over control to his loyal staff. The move has allowed David to smoothly exit the business while ensuring its longevity, values and job security aren’t impacted.”

Douglas Roberts of Lindsays provided legal advice for the transaction.

Douglas Roberts said: “We were delighted to offer our expertise in easing the transition for Y.E.S into employee ownership. It was very rewarding to find a people-led solution for an excellent people-first firm.”

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