Welcome to The Business Owner company overview. We like to take a minute to highlight a powerful company in their field. This week we are shining the light on Presstek Ltd; one of the leading manufacturers in the Architectural Metalwork industry in the UK.
We spoke to Operations Director Amanda Keep about what Presstek Ltd does, and some of the stresses and experience that go along with management!
What does your company do?
We manufacture bespoke Aluminium and Steel pressings, panels and bracketry predominantly for the Curtain wall, Window and Façade industry.
What changes or challenges do you foresee in the next three years?
There are lots of unknowns at the moment for the future with coming out of the COVID lockdown and Brexit, supplies of metal have become scarcer this year with delays at the docks and prices are going up daily which is making competitive quoting difficult.
Are you optimistic, realistic or pessimistic about the future?
We are cautiously optimistic, sales were slower in the first quarter of 2021 however all of our existing customers are advising us that they have a healthy order book moving forward but the work is taking longer to be released than normal. We believe some of this due to staff still being furloughed and projects delayed. However, we decided at the start of 2021 to put our investment more into our staff in lieu of machinery to promote good feeling after a difficult year last year and this has been in the form of increased salary reviews and investment in training and team building.
What is the most important task you carry out each day?
Daily production meeting. It helps us get on track for the day/week ahead ensuring as the month goes on that we are meeting our monthly targets, managing problems as they arise and enables us to manage change to meet our customers’ needs without creating too much disruption for the team
What is your company’s most important KPI?
‘On time deliveries.’ Our industry is very reactive and often materials are ordered after they are really needed so it is important that we get materials to site on the date agreed with our client.
What, if any, positive effects did your company experience during lockdowns?
We were lucky to only have shut down completely for 3 weeks before staff started to return and we were all back by July, as we started back with a small team the camaraderie was great and people got the chance to step out of the box from their normal daily routine, then as the rest of team started to come back we were all looking forward to seeing them and they were looking forward to coming back.
Where possible we also started to let people work from home on the odd day a week to help with social distancing in the office, this is something we had never thought of doing before and we have decided to continue with this as it does work for us and have found that staff have become more productive in certain areas where they can work from home without the usual interruptions in the office.
What causes you the most stress in your business?
The unpredictability of machinery is the main stress as although we have all of our machines under maintenance contracts you can guarantee if there is a problem it is always when you have a rush job on.
If you could instantly change one thing about the business, what would it be?
Having a longer sales pipeline. In the main we rarely know what orders we are going to have beyond 3 -4 weeks and as we are growing our business year on year at the moment it would be nice to have the comfort of a guaranteed 6 month forward order book. (Unlikely to ever happen though!!)
How would you rank the following in order of importance (1 most, 5 least)
Sales pipeline 1
Team communication 3
Strong financial data 4
Social media 5
And finally Amanda, what do you do to unwind?
Read and run! Before COVID my husband and I did mud runs and the occasional ultra marathon, we are lucky to live within running distance of the Malvern Hills so we do head out up there as there are many different trails and with the change of seasons it never gets boring. Glad to be able to have started getting back to these as the year has gone on.