In this year’s final issue, PMF talks to Shaftec Marketing Manager, Joe Toakley, about 2021, what’s new and what’s in the pipeline for next year.
While this year has certainly been an interesting one with new faces and many positive changes, and with next year shaping up to be just as exciting with major trade shows, new products and new European business opportunities on the horizon – one thing that hasn’t changed is Shaftec’s ability to always deliver on quality, availability and customer service.
At Shaftec, we are aware of how fortunate we’ve been to not only have weathered the Brexit and COVID storms, but to have actually thrived in 2021; growing the business both in the UK and across Europe in an incredibly difficult business climate. It would be wrong, though, to attribute this position to pure luck, as we invest heavily in long-term planning and strategic forecasting and work closely with partners TecAlliance to be able to offer our customers the most reliable and up-to-date technical data.
I’d like to pay tribute to every single Shaftec employee for their hard work, tenacity and innate ability to understand that if we weren’t able to offer the excellent customer service that we do, I’m not sure that things would be looking so positive.
A constant healthy stock holding of more than £5 million has meant that whatever the situation in terms of Brexit and COVID, our customers have seen no change in supply chain status. We’ve ensured a seamless supply of our full range of remanufactured and new braking, steering and transmission components from our UK-based business has, via our customers, consistently reached the UK garages, allowing the wheels of businesses further down the supply chain to keep on turning.
Operating under one roof from our central midlands-based facility means that we have almost complete process control. Literally everything, from old core acceptance through to the boxing of fullytested, shelf-ready product, happens in one place.
In order to safeguard the interests of our customers – and in turn their customers the garages – we’d been planning for Brexit for years. I think because of that, when the world was literally upended with the shock that was COVID, we were already in a good position.
It helped that in order to enhance efficiency, bolster productivity and amplify our square footage we consolidated the entire business into one facility in 2015. In 2018, we further increased capacity by 8,000sqft by adding a mezzanine floor, giving us a total of 50,000sqft of production and storage space for finished stock and ancillary parts that are sourced from original equipment suppliers abroad, like brake caliper seals.
And because we maintained a healthy stockholding and excellent availability helping to keep our customers satisfied, we’ve been able to dedicate time and effort to think about the future – post Brexit and post Covid.
We’ve got stands booked at major industry exhibitions, including Automechanika, where we’ll be able to increase the exposure of the Shaftec brand to our European markets. We’ll also take this opportunity to announce some exciting product developments. While the majority of our business lies within the remanufacturing sector, we monitor our markets very closely, listen to what our customers need and make sure we operate in line with current and future business trends. The new products we’ll introduce reflect all of this.
We’ve also made some major changes to our senior management team structure, to better equip the business as it enters the next stage of its development.
Welcome to the team!
In April this year, we welcomed Charlie Towle as our warehouse project leader, the first woman to undertake this role and another woman joining our senior management team. Responsible for the day-to-day management of goods in, packing, carriage, improving stock processes and for all the people on the shopfloor, Charlie has already made some important changes which have improved efficiency. It’s also great to have another woman working in a senior role at Shaftec.
As 2021 draws to a close, we’re all set to continue to be the supplier of choice across our key areas for the garages of the UK. Our mantra is that range and availability are key: this message I don’t think has ever been more important.