A time to reflect and rev up – thoughts from UNTHA UK’s managing director
As industrial shredding specialist UNTHA UK embarks on a new year of business, managing director Chris Oldfield reflects on the highlights of 2014, before considering what 2015 holds in store…
“It’s the first week back in the office and it’s safe to say you don’t sense the mist of January blues that people normally associate with the post-Christmas return to work. The whole team seems re-energised following almost two weeks of hard-earned rest and recuperation, and there is laughter throughout our Boroughbridge HQ as we relay stories of time spent with family and friends over the festive period.
As we sit down to our first company meeting of the year, it’s clear there are other reasons why the team is characterised with such buoyancy. We take it in turns to share our highlights of 2014 and it is evident that, as an organisation, we’ve returned to work incredibly proud of our achievements from the previous year.
Exactly 12 months ago I presented an ethos I hoped we would all commit to – MOST: Motivation, Organisation, Structure and Teamwork. Cheesy though such acronyms may be, this punchy statement did indeed stick with us throughout the year. 2014 saw us significantly realign the company, providing everyone with a clearer understanding of their roles and responsibilities, and UNTHA UK’s vision moving forward.
It was this newfound structure and organisation which proved crucial to us securing three ISO accreditations last Spring, in recognition of our commitment to environmental, quality and health & safety standards. Achieving an ISO hat-trick, on the first attempt, is really quite unheard of for any business, and was a real testament to the continued efforts of all involved.
I suppose 2014 was the year we became much more productive as a team. We continued to upskill our knowledge, we increased our business efficiencies, and we developed smarter ways of working. All of this translates into greater added value for the client, which helped attract new enquiries at the same time as keeping existing customers happy. Our aftersales team deserve particular credit in this respect, having delivered hundreds of shredder services and maintenance inspections, efficiency assessments and spare parts packages, to optimise the ongoing operation of clients’ machines.
When it came to industry events, we once again attended a number of conferences and trade shows. We networked with peers, clients and prospective customers, and shared as much advice and knowledge as we could, to show how industrial shredding solutions can turn today’s waste into tomorrow’s profits. The most exciting event of the year by far was RWM, when the new UNTHA XR made its UK debut, and was met with incredible acclaim. We knew it would create quite a stir but the level of ensuing interest in this waste shredder has been phenomenal. So much so, we’ve recruited a new sales manager and RDF and SRF specialist – Gary Moore – to support our sales director with the ongoing penetration of the niche Waste to Energy market.
We welcomed other fresh faces to the team last year too – Liz, our company accountant, and Shaun, a highly-skilled service engineer. And watch this space because there might be one or two more new additions to the company as the year unfolds.
You see, we’ve already lots of exciting things in the pipeline for 2015. We’ve just invested in a new sales and customer relationship management (CRM) system for instance, plus new phones and tablets for the workforce. This will enable us to work even smarter, wherever we may be. We’ve introduced an employee suggestion scheme too, so that the entire workforce is fuelling the organisation’s continuous improvement, not just the management team.
We’ll once again be attending a broad variety of events throughout the calendar year, as delegates, but with a number of appointments in the 2015 diary already, we only plan to exhibit at RWM. This decision reflects the increased popularity of our North Yorkshire test centre, which provides us with the ongoing opportunity to showcase and demonstrate our machinery, in a real shredding environment. Clients love the opportunity to see the shredders working, using their own materials, which proves a much more valuable exercise than them only visiting an exhibition hall.
Beyond that, as tempting as it is, I’d rather keep our other revelations under wraps until the year unfolds. Engineering advancements will continue within our Austrian innovation centre, which means there will be some exciting shredding updates to share with you in a few months’ time. But you’ll have to watch this space to find out exactly what else we’ve got to disclose. We have to maintain some level of suspense after all….”
If you’d like to speak to the UNTHA UK team regarding your shredding requirements for 2015, have a query regarding your existing machine, or would simply like to say hello, please call the office on 0845 450 5388, email us, or complete our short enquiry form and we’ll be in touch.