Based in South Cheshire, England, Hydraulics Online is an independent award-winning, global hydraulic solutions provider delivering a highly personal service to thousands of customers worldwide
We have done this completely organically – we don’t pay for leads or ‘clicks’; committing instead to delivering excellent customer service.
Whether for 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’.
How it all began
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 and product-led 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 and team 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 selling online and just shifting boxes. We want to make sure every customer has the opportunity to get bespoke advice and support; advice that is relevant to their individual circumstances and application.”
Organic, customer-led growth
“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 business that put customers, not products, at the heart of everything it did.
“That meant being independent in terms of our supplier base; sourcing from the market as a whole: it wasn’t the easy or quick way to establish ourselves, but we felt it was the right way.
“We now deal with 140 manufacturers and suppliers, and our customers know we have absolutely no product bias; we recommend what is right for them. We really can offer the best advice and solution for each and every customer, because we’re not tied or incentivised in any way.”
Our story so far
Dec 2004: Incorporated Hydraulics Online Ltd
Mar 2005: Started trading from a home office
Mar 2006: Working with 32 regular customers
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 Institution
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 ‘Excellence in Customer Service’, ‘International Trader of the Year’ and highly commended as ‘Ambassador of the Year’
Mar 2018: Working with the UK’s Department of International Trade to encourage more UK businesses to trade overseas
Significant words and numbers
To date, we have worked with over 3500 customers from nearly 130 countries around the world – delivering excellence in hydraulic consultancy, design and supply.
Our technical team has nearly 100 years’ experience and works with 140 manufacturers and suppliers, helping our client achieve things that they often dare not even dream are possible.
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.