UNTHA UK talks Brexit
We know what you’re thinking… not the B word, AGAIN! But whether you love or loathe the idea of leaving the EU, there’s no getting away from the mounting impact that Brexit is having on British businesses. Or not, as the case may be.
Here, our MD Marcus Brew provides his answers to the most frequently asked Brexit questions to be posed to our team. So, why not have a read, and if there’s anything else you’d like to know, drop us a line. (Warning, get the kettle on first!)
- How do you think UNTHA UK will be affected by Brexit?
I know so many people are fed up of hearing about Brexit, but the stark reality is that the magnitude of change that we’re potentially facing in this country, is vast. For this reason, nobody – even the most experienced political analysts – can state what will happen next with absolute certainty. At the moment, Brexit is still a very moveable beast.
So, as a company, we’re monitoring the developments very acutely – after all we’re part of an international business. But that doesn’t mean we’re sitting ducks in the meantime. We’ve made plans to offset the worst possible outcome – a ‘no deal’ – in the hope of minimising disruption to our colleagues, existing clients and potential new customers, should that happen.
For example, we’ve increased our UK stockholding of critical parts, we’re continuing to upskill our UK team as part of UNTHA’s global training academy, and – instead of battening down the hatches – we’re innovating more than ever, to ensure every pound of investment in an UNTHA system creates maximum value for operators.
- Will Brexit change your relationship with UNTHA’s Austria HQ?
No. We’ve talked extensively about the potential impact of Brexit and the different paths that could unfold, and we’re pretty comfortable that we’ve made plans for every eventuality. We’re not a European company – we’re a global brand. A business of our size and with our geographical spread encounters risks – and opportunities – every year, so we have had this analytical, collaborative, problem-solving mindset for a long time.
- How will Brexit affect the price of UNTHA shredders and customer support packages?
All indicators are currently pointing to a large drop in the pound, should we end up with a ‘no deal’. This will inevitably have an impact on the price of all goods – it’s a sad economic eventuality of a weakened currency rather than a choice made by businesses such as ours. We would be wrong to say we can protect that.
However, in the event of a deal that the markets like, we should see the pound strengthened which would mean prices will drop! This applies to everything, from our shredders to our parts packages.
- Will parts take longer to deliver, post Brexit?
No. We’re investing a seven-figure sum to increase the range and volume of critical parts we hold in the UK, so that our clients get what they need from UNTHA, when they need it.
- Do you think it will be more complex for the shredders to pass through customs?
Possibly, yes. I’ve worked with organisations on every continent during my career and there’s far more to factor into a shipment than the distance – customs often prove tricky to navigate when equipment crosses union borders.
If Theresa May’s deal is agreed, there shouldn’t be any issues. In the event of a no deal however, we could see machines delayed. Our Austrian colleagues sell shredders to virtually every corner of the globe and their advice to customers is always the same – it is important to realise that customs officers work at their own pace, so potential delays should be factored into project scheduling.
- Will there be any changes to the level of service provided by UNTHA?
No (and this is a question I can answer with certainty!)
We have our own team of highly qualified and extremely experienced mechanical and electrical engineers in the UK, as well as waste, recycling and alternative fuel production experts who live and breathe the resource environment. We have nationwide coverage and will continue to uphold the same standards we’ve been renowned and accredited for.
We’ve also invested heavily in a new management system at our HQ which is seeing us achieve slicker project deliveries, more proactive dialogue with existing clients and robust management of stock. We’ve interrogated our processes to ensure the right actions are taken by the right people at the right time, which translates into efficiencies for customers and colleagues alike.
We’ve recruited a new quality control specialist too (watch this space!), refurbished our test centre and improved our machine rebuild area. Our commitment to service is only going in one direction regardless of Brexit – up!
- What impact do you think Brexit will have on the UK’s resource agenda?
I would like to hope that, in the short term at least, the UK will continue the good work of the EU, when it comes to our resource agenda. Political persuasions aside and whatever you think of the European government, they have achieved phenomenal environmental progress and we would be foolish to stall our own advancements – especially when the UK lags behind many of our neighbours on the continent.
The ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mantra is a complex one, so I think for now the priority should be to ensure we continue to move forward. Environmental regression is the last thing we need.