Technical Panels Special Vehicles (TPSV) are specialist cash-in-transit (CIT) manufacturers. Established over 30 years ago and has expanded their composite panels manufacturing business, to specialize in both CIT and prisoner transport fit out, TPSV has carved a niche for themselves as product specialists.
Operational and regulatory requirements make the CIT and prisoner transport markets extra challenging. Technical crews need to adhere to protocols set out by insurance companies and industry bodies that are unique to each country. Additionally, sales lead times for these vehicles run slower in comparison to other automotive modifications.
Michael Tiller, General Manager of TPSV, based in Thailand, delves into what it takes to stand out as an industry leader in a specialized market. Adapt to remain on top “Adaptability has never been more crucial to businesses. TPSV was early to adapt our offerings to clients’ needs. By fitting CIT vehicles with composite material rather than steel, we were able to keep each vehicle lightweight, allowing for clients to pack more into each vehicle without running the risk of overloading.”
There are variety base cash-in-transit vehicles in each country such as the 1 ton pickup truck. Adaptability allows companies to be more resource efficient. By creating a kit of internal components like sensors and doors that stretch to fit different vehicle sizes, the TPSV team saved resources and time on creating new components for each client.
Local market knowledge
Michael adds that acquiring local market knowledge is crucial for the business. “If you’re able to understand the unique nature of the niche market you’re operating in; you can set yourself apart. This is where research and deep market knowledge come to play.”
However, TPSV technicians can work on any vehicle platform as they build the composite panels in house. Many customers will purchase their own vehicles and then send them for the CIT fit out. TPSV receives customers’ vehicles in its tax free zone manufacturing facility in Thailand, performs the complete fit out and then sends the vehicles back to their destinations.
Know your customers
The CIT business is particularly tough because of how purpose-built it is. On the sales side, targeting is everything – this business demands intimate knowledge of each clients’ needs, budget availability and buyer readiness. An inquiry for a vehicle can take up to two years to complete from the point of initial contact.
“The cash in transit business is very specialized. After a certain amount of time you get to know the market very well. The sales process is very targeted, you’re tracking 30 company contacts and keeping them in the loop,” states Michael.
In niche markets, it’s paramount to understand your clients inside-out. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to keep the conversation running. TPSV has a full-time sales manager speaking with customers every day.
Through deep customer knowledge, ongoing sales efforts and nurturing customer relations, TPSV has secured customers from Australia, across the Asia Pacific region and to the Middle East including G4S, one of the world’s largest security services companies.
You always want to be accommodating, but especially so in specialized sectors. With the number of competitors already lower than in other markets, doing so helps you shine.
For TPSV, this means adapting equipment to match clients’ operating systems. Each customer in the cash-in-transit business has their own internal system that crew members must follow during day-to-day vehicle operations. These systems deal with everything from how to exit the vehicle and who can access the cash vault. By being accommodating, TPSV is saving clients the headache of running multiple internal systems.
A specialized market is risky in many ways – overreliance on one client and not reaching potential customers are just some of the scary bits. But by applying these lessons, TPSV has found ways to reach and nurture the right customer relationships and shine in its niche.