About Us... Our Story so Far
Let us take the pressure!
Mark Tonks and Helen Baker founded Hydraulics Online in 2004 with the ambition of creating a specialist, independent hydraulics company that could compete with bigger, more established industry players.
Building on Mark’s 13+ years of experience in the industry, and Helen’s 12+ years in finance – including 8 years managing strategic change projects for Barclays and Britannic Assurance plc – the pair set about establishing new trading relationships with existing contacts in the industry, and creating the infrastructure needed to bring their idea to life.
Mark explains: “We knew what we wanted to do; how we wanted to be different – to offer valuable and trusted technical advice to every customer. Even though we are an online business, for us, it has never been about just shifting boxes.”
“I’m not sure if we were brave or crazy starting out on our own,” says Helen, “but we had a really clear idea about building a brand that ‘did what it said on the tin’. And I’m so proud that we’ve been able to retain our independence in terms of our supplier base, so our customers know we have no bias. We really can offer the best advice and solution for each and every customer, because we’re not tied in any way.”
Timeline – Back to the Future
If it’s hydraulic, we can design it, supply it, solve it or repair it!
- Dec 2004: Incorporated Hydraulics Online Ltd
- Mar 2005: Started trading from a home office
- Mar 2006: Working with 32 regular customers – many of whom are still with us
- Apr 2007: Began accepting card payments
- Apr 2008: Moved into dedicated premises for the first time
- Jan 2010: Recruited our first member of staff
- Nov 2010: Nominated for “exporter of the year”
- Jan 2011: Expanded into bigger offices
- Feb 2012: Grew to serve more than 1,000 customers around the world
- Jul 2013: Launched hydraulicsonline.com alongside hydraulicsonline.co.uk
- Feb 2014 Achieved ISO 9001 quality management accreditation with the British Standards Institute
- Oct 2014 Conserved ground-breaking hydraulics of the past through our first project with Concorde: nose move at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford
- Jun 2017 Supporting the future generation of ground-breaking hydraulics with our support or the HypED team at University of Edinburgh and their Hyperloop project
- Nov 2017: Double award-winners in the South Cheshire Chamber 2017 Business Awards: scooping ‘Excellence in Customer Service’, ‘International Trader of the Year’ and highly commended as ‘Ambassador of the Year’.
We currently work with nearly 3500 customers from nearly 130 countries around the world – delivering excellence in hydraulic consultancy, design and supply.
Over 2600 social media followers connect with us to keep in touch worldwide.
Between them, our technical team has more than 80 years of experience.
And we work with more than 140 suppliers – so you can be guaranteed independence.
Your brand is in safe hands
Because hydraulics is usually a part of a larger product or service, we are very cognizant that – especially for our OEM customers – if we don’t get it right, it affects your reputation… how your own customers see you. So we don’t simply aim to get it right; we will always seek to leverage our expertise to help you create additional value and competitive advantage in your own marketplace.
Whether it’s a small one-off job, or an enduring relationship delivering complex services, we always strive to exceed expectations. Like so many of our existing customers, we want you to feel you are ‘so glad to have found us’.
Technical support is absolutely crucial for us and the technical and customer support Hydraulics Online offers is fantastic and really valuable. Their knowledge and their independence put them ahead of everyone else. (Technical Director, Materials Handling Equipment Provider – read more…)
Our design is different to existing market solutions so this expertise is important to us. Hydraulics Online has a clear track record in getting involved with interesting challenges, so they are the perfect partner for us. (President of HypED, the UK Hyperloop team – read more…)
Hydraulics Online has always been fast, friendly, and competitive, but we value them most because they are innovative and can find answers to the really tough problems.
One phone call and a couple of photos and you knew exactly what we needed. A well-impressive, friendly service and I will be contacting you in future for all our hydraulic requirements.
Hydraulics Online is dedicated to being competitive in terms of price and delivery, and superior in terms of quality of service compared with other suppliers
From around the corner to the other side of the world – whoever you are, whatever you do, if you need hydraulics you’ve come to the right place:
- Sourcing quality equipment from over 140 hydraulic manufacturers and suppliers;
- Renowned for consistently providing practical, trusted advice and design solutions;
- A genuinely integrated service offering;
- ISO 9001 accredited company.
Ultimately our offering means that many customers choose to rationalise multiple supplier relationships and move to a single source of supply with hydraulic engineers who really feel like part of your team.
Meet more of the Hydraulics Online Team
“We’re Celebrating an Award Hat-Trick!”
The Hydraulics Online team is celebrating a super night of wins at our local chamber of commerce’s annual awards – we picked up awards for our ‘Excellence in Customer Service’ and as ‘International Trader of the Year’, and were highly commended as an ambassador for South Cheshire.
What lies behind our success? READ MORE
“International Hydraulics – Ain’t no Mountain High Enough!”
At Hydraulics Online, we always like to go the extra mile for customers… but sometimes designing the hydraulic systems and sourcing obscure, or even obsolete, equipment is the easy part of the order.
One of our Technical Sales Team, Ian, talks about the excitement and challenges of being a truly global business… READ MORE
“Rigour and Professionalism aren’t just for Blue-Chips!”
We might pride ourselves on our friendly and flexible approach here at Hydraulics Online, but that doesn’t mean we skimp on rigour or ensuring best practice.
Our Finance & Administration Manager, Joanna explains… READ MORE
“A Personal Story – Helen, Co-Founder of Hydraulics Online”
We grab a word with Hydraulics Online Co-Founder, Helen Baker. As Operations Director Helen has the strategy and big picture firmly within her sight, but she isn’t afraid to roll up her own sleeves to deliver on that vision.
Here she talks about driving the business forward, capitalising on marketing opportunities, and shaping the organisational culture… READ MORE