Interviewer (IN): Congratulations on another successful year. How did your performance compare with previous years?
Simon Ayling (SA): Thanks. We [Bunting Magnetics Europe] have been able to sustain strong growth for several years and we have finished 2015 with sales up by over 20% on 2014 and 30% on 2013. We are really thrilled and believe that there is more to come!
IN: What do you believe is the reason behind the sustained growth?
SA: We cannot say that it is just due to one initiative or product. Our success is attributed to a wide variety of factors and growth in different areas. Certainly, our expertise in Magnets and Magnetic Assemblies continues to open up new opportunities, but we are also breaking into new markets with our Magnetic Separation and Metal Detection products. Also, it may sound a little predictable, but our success would not be possible without our dedicated and professional team.
IN: Do you believe that this rate of growth can be sustained in 2016?
SA: That’s the multi-million dollar question! Of course maintaining growth is always challenging, but we continue to innovate and that is a major factor in our success. I actually believe that there is potential growth right across our product range. Also, export business has always been important, but we see a huge potential to grow our customer base outside of the UK and that is one of several key initiatives for 2016.
IN: Are there any particular success stories in 2015?
SA: I would love to talk about some of the projects but we are often bound by non-disclosure agreements. It is the nature of the beast and working closely with a client and developing a solution is where we excel and is one of our strengths. However, it does mean that we often cannot talk about it and that frustrates our marketing and sales team!
IN: Are there any particular projects or plans for 2016?
SA: Over the past 18 months, we have worked hard to improve our identity as a UK manufacturer and our marketing team is going to use this as a springboard for 2016. In the Magnetic Separation product range, we are sponsoring the Waste 16 exhibition and have great expectations for the Stainless Steel Separator that we launched at the RWM 15 recycling show in September 2015. For Magnets and Magnetic Assemblies, we appointed Matthew [Swallow] in 2015 and he has helped us develop a whole new customer base with his knowledge and expertise. It is an exciting time.
IN: Good luck for 2016!
SA: Thank you and I hope that our plans and strategies mean that we do not have to rely on just ‘good luck’ to hit our 2016 targets. There is a great amount of work to be done, but we are ready to face up to the exciting challenge.
This interview was conducted by Paul Fears of Paul Fears Photography & PR on 5th January 2016.
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