Back in April, our MD Marcus Brew reflected on three months at the helm of UNTHA UK, and his post remains one of our most popular blogs of 2020. So, fast forward another quarter, and he has once again penned some of his highlights and key learnings, from May to July.
Here, he talks customer engagement, enquiries, events and more…
There were only a couple of things I could have said with any real certainty when I wrote my last ‘view from the top’ blog, back in April. One, was that I sadly knew we’d still be grappling with the side effects of COVID-19, by the time it came to this second quarterly reflection. But also I knew we were as prepared as we possibly could be, for the months that would follow.
So, fast forward to this July post, and I am both pleased and proud of the company’s performance, on many levels, during this time.
Like many businesses we’ve experienced highs and lows, but our decision – as a global group – to knuckle down and press on with cautious optimism, means our mood has largely remained buoyant. We’ve tried to echo that optimistic outlook – sensitively – in all of our comms.
Earlier on in lockdown, for instance, we called out some of the media headlines for the worrying tone that was cascading throughout our industry. Of course, we knew that many operators were finding it tough, but scaremongering seemed more commonplace than spirit. So, we urged our peers to keep talking so that, collectively, we’d hopefully have the best chance of getting through this difficult period.
I was therefore delighted to be contacted by fellow Yorkshire firm Bright Green Plastics, regarding their plight to combine expertise, unite the sector and urge the government to rethink the PRN system. With the backing of MP Alec Shelbrooke, this is now really gathering pace and we look forward to seeing what happens next.
Not averse to sharing our knowledge wherever relevant, we also decided to take to the virtual stage at a number of industry events. We were joined by two fantastic speakers from Barclays Corporate Banking and Close Brothers Asset Finance, when we launched our 2020 event series with a finance webinar. Engagement was high, the level of questions was really thought provoking, and the resource has proven popular among those choosing to ‘listen later’ too.
Our popular sales director Gary Moore has also been sharing his expertise on both sides of the Atlantic, having delivered an online presentation to hundreds of delegates at the Waste Today trade show, for example. His ’10 steps to more profitable shredding’ slides are available to download from our website too.
All of this goes some way to explaining why the volume and quality of enquiries received over the last three months, remains high. Yes, the temperature of the environmental landscape is undeniably different. But ours is an innovative industry and many firms are still pressing ahead with projects – not least because in some sectors, savvy waste management, recycling and alternative fuel production is more important than ever.
In fact, in the last three months we’ve sold 20 industrial shredders, with the majority comprising neat turnkey systems inclusive of not just shredding technology but also the necessary ancillary equipment.
Our static and mobile XR waste shredder continues to make waves all over the globe too – particularly when it comes to the handling of more complex material streams such as tyres, metals and mattresses.
The guys at Niramax have hit the headlines, for example, having overhauled their SRF production line with our help. And we’ve just revealed the start of an exciting project ‘down under’ with the XR being used to process tyres for recycling and energy recovery.
That’s not all for the XR either, as we have further innovations to come from this series over the coming months. We said at the start of lockdown that we wouldn’t stop innovating, and we meant it. We know that through continued engineering developments we can tackle even tougher shredding challenges, through different torque drives and cutting configurations. And all the time, the priority is to keep running costs low, uptime high and operators safe.
Our colleagues matter too of course, and as many begin their physical return to our HQ, we’re working hard to provide not just a clean space but a vibrant one. As my last blog mentioned, our investment in technology meant we could keep working ‘together’ – albeit at a distance – with relative ease when the pandemic first hit. And this flexibility will be something we maintain, not just as a UK operation but when working with fellow UNTHA employees worldwide. But there’s something quite nice about being in the same building too, now that it’s safe to do so, of course.
If I am to gaze into my crystal ball and share my predictions for the next three months, I think we’ll continue to have more examples of organisations defying the headlines when it comes to the plastics and biomass markets, particularly. We can only go on what we’re hearing and seeing within our own business, and much points to ongoing innovation in this field.
There are more virtual events to come from our team, imminent product launches, and an exciting UK cameo for one of our newest machines. So, I look forward to coming back to you again at the end of the next quarter, to explore how August, September and October have unfolded.
Above all, please stay safe and I wish you the very best for your businesses and families, as we continue to navigate this extraordinary time.