The mobility industry at present is failing to invest in future generations and is fast approaching a succession crisis, which could see some small dealerships close or cede to larger businesses.
That’s the view of Recare’s managing director Richard Holland-Oakes, who told AMP that he knows of around five successful dealers in the south of England who have not got a complete exit plan or family succession for the business.
Mr Holland-Oakes, whose retail business is based in Oxfordshire, said that even the manufacturing sector of the mobility industry is at risk, citing a large number of managers who have been in the sector for decades but are now nearing retirement age with “very few youngsters coming through”.
“Although it is very recognisable that everyone is replaceable, it is the build-up of knowledge in these individuals that is going to be hard to pass on,” he said.
“Also, it is noted that just being a good clinician in this industry isn’t everything. It doesn’t make you a successful business owner or necessarily make you a good member of senior management.”
But Mr Holland-Oakes added that Recare is in the fortunate position of being a family-run business with a clear succession plan.
“Although as the managing director I still have a few years behind me before giving up the job, it is nice to know that the next generation of the family is pushing forward.
“As the younger generations move into the family, there is an evident change to develop more modern and media-based channels for consistent development, enabling Recare to maintain flexible with the movements within the industry.”
The Recare boss believes that to ensure a positive, youthful energy is maintained throughout the industry, companies should be more willing to employ younger staff so they can develop their knowledge both clinically and in the running of the business in terms of profit/loss accounts, stock rotation and cash flow, for example.
Mr Holland-Oakes added: “This planning ahead is ensuring the security of Recare both within the industry, as well as remaining as a family business and consistently upholding family values in our awarded customer service.”