We took some time out to have a quick Q&A session with Midland Lead’s Managing Director Boudewijn Tuinenburg who talked through the company’s aspirations for the future. Our future looks bright and 2019 is going to be great!
What is the main reason you see as being behind the success of your firm in the area? And in the industry as a whole?
In 2018 we celebrated our 35th anniversary which is something we are very proud of. We put a lot of this success down to our location, access to workforce, excellent product quality and customer service.
We export all over the world and being centrally based with great road and rail networks means that we can respond to orders quickly – no matter where they are located. 35 years ago this area was selected because of the availability of labour right on our doorstep and the fact that we could develop our specialist manufacturing facilities on brown field regeneration land. We quickly became a major employer in the area within a sustained market place, namely the construction industry.
Having a strong customer base in the construction industry we are very aware of the potential skills shortage that the industry faces in the future. This is why we are proud to support development of skills in the roofing industry by working closely with 17 colleges throughout the UK.
Although we dominate in the construction industry, we also have customers in other sectors and this, along with quality product and great customer service are key to our success, now and into the future. As an independent privately-owned family run business, we are the leaders in lead and we constantly look to invest in our people and our processes.
Tell us a little about how your business got started?
Midland Lead has always been innovative in our approach to the way we manufacture, and from the very beginning we launched the business with a unique manufacturing process that was new to the UK and European market. Since then we have continued to invest, and now we have an enviable reputation for excellence in our sector that secures our future and that of our employees.
Your firm is now making a lot of noise in your industry – how do you maintain that level of work and what role does Burton and South Derbyshire play in that?
Although we are one of the market leaders in the construction industry, we are agile enough to be able to seek out other markets and diversify, such as radiation protection, heritage and other specialist projects.
Over the last few years we have also made a lot of changes and capital investment in equipment and staff including training, welfare and involving them in how our business develops. We are continuing to grow and make investments in the future and we have some really exciting plans ahead.
Being located in Burton and South Derbyshire gives us access to local businesses, organisations and experts in the manufacturing industry. We are so lucky to have all of these on our doorstep and we value building relationships within our local area. We work with so many organisations including Loates HR, Jenrick Recruitment and Jobcentre Plus for help with recruitment and maintaining health and wellbeing within our workforce, alt:Design, Mackney Photography and Gravity Digital Ltd for marketing support, and Cranfield University for their expertise in the manufacturing industry.
What does the future have in store for the firm? Will the area always be an important part in its future?
We have some really exciting plans ahead of us and we have our sight firmly set on continuing to develop our customer base in the UK and overseas. This area is very important to us as a centre for manufacturing excellence, and although competition for labour is fierce, along with the fact that there are really low unemployment rates, our ambition is to become the ‘employer of choice’ in the area. We also contribute to the wider community and support a number of charities and we believe that our location is part of who we are.
What do you think of the biggest obstacle the firm has overcome? And the biggest in the future?
We are experts in our field and we champion the fact that lead is safe, efficient and 100% recyclable. There are a number of alternative lead products within the construction industry that have been introduced over the years, but we see this as an opportunity for us to continue to promote lead as a sustainable, high quality product. The alternative products that have entered the market are not fully recyclable and they are not as effective.
The biggest obstacle we can see in the immediate future, as many manufacturing exporters would agree, is the uncertainty over Brexit. We know this will most likely affect the construction industry and the availability of skilled labour. This is something that we know we will overcome, but the uncertainty at the moment means that we are unable to predict the outcome right now.
Where do you see the firm being in five years’ time?
With our continued investment in our equipment, facilities, staff and product developments we know our company will continue to grow in the UK and overseas as we seek out new opportunities and markets.
We already have a wide customer base and our flexibility in understanding our customers’ needs means that we will also be able to support their growth into the future. We have built trust and loyalty because we stand by our promise – this is something that will never change.