Working with components helps when multi-tasking, says Sarah Spivey, the managing director of below-the-hook equipment manufacturer Modulift.
It's been a busy start to 2017, as the first blog of the year affirms. Since the last one, we've welcomed a new distributor in Argentina, delivered our biggest ever spreader beam, initiated the largest recruitment drive in the company's history, and prepared a groundbreaking product for launch. They're just the highlights!
It sounds like a frenetic way to burn off Christmas calories but the truth is that such variety is commonplace at Modulift. In fact, it's what make us tick. Putting parts together to make a whole is second nature. As a below-the-hook equipment manufacturer, we're conscious that our product is itself only an important component in a much larger lifting scenario.
Imagine the unload from a ship of a part for a petrochemical plant. To get, say, a distillation column to its final destination, a ship, crane, special transport, spreader beam, load cell, and more is required. Without any one of those elements, the job would falter—or fall. We know how important our role is in the grander scheme of things and recognise that others are reliant upon us when we're called upon to combine on a major contract.
Another analogy might be the components within any piece of kit or machinery, like a spreader beam. The modular sections of the beam, drop links, end units and shackles are all equally important to safe and efficient use of the equipment.
It's a science that can be applied to business. Delivering to shareholders, living up to a mantra and being profitable (to name just a few boardroom goals) are only possible if each challenge, department, task or cog in the machine is given due attention.
Parts of a larger whole
The appointment of our new distributor; creation of a beam that can lift 1,500 tonnes at a span of 20m; the search for new personnel; and the big unveil of our newest product, are all like components in the Modulift machine. We know how important each is to the end goal and how much dedication needs to be shown to every one of them if it is going to get off the ground.
We're always prepared to invest the appropriate time into each task. Naming Ortiz Fischer, of Rosário (a port city in Argentina, on the Paraná River) our newest distributor was the result of discussions spanning two LiftEx trade shows.
Santiago Ortiz, managing director, who was at the 2015 event and 2016 show in Aberdeen last November, needed to get to know us and vice versa. We're excited about working with Mr. Ortiz and his team, in addition to the company's sister business in neighbouring Uruguay. Ortiz Fischer will stock beams up to MOD 70.
A lot has been said about prospects in Latin America but it's a marketplace one can only penetrate with the right partners and an ability to engage with influencers in their local language. The reality with all so-called hotbeds is that money doesn't grow on trees and it sometimes takes a lot of drudgery to carve out opportunities. When promoting a safety system that conforms to the world's most demanding standards, one has to be sure a developing marketplace is ready for it.
Remember when everyone was talking about the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries as if their streets were paved with gold? We can too easily get carried away and it's worth doing extensive research.
Making the MOD 800X/1500
As has been extensively covered by trade media, we've also recently delivered our largest ever spreader beam—the MOD 800X/1500. The feat of below-the-hook engineering was delivered to Holland-based Safe Lifting Europe B.V, a sister company of Euro Rope Nederland B.V. and an equipment / service provider to the marine industry, at the turn of the year.
As I told magazine editors and other industry commentators, satisfying though it's been to process recent orders for high capacity equipment, we have not been taken by surprise. We have been aware of the potential at the super heavy end of the market for a long time—the middle remains quiet—and I don't expect this to be our highest capacity beam for the long term. We have the engineering capability to go to 5,000 tonnes and the boundaries will continue to be pushed.
A major recruitment drive is underway which will see us add four new positions to the company over the coming months. We're inviting applicants for production, engineering, design and sales roles as we look to build on 20% growth last year. Social media and industry connections are combining to generate lots of interest but we're not making any hasty decisions, so if any readers of this blog would relish a new challenge or know someone who could excel at our dynamic business, get in touch.
Watch this space
I can't say too much but next month we'll launch one of the most innovative concepts not only to be launched in the rigging sector, but in the entire crane industry. Imagine a product that saves time, money, weight and height in below-the-hook applications. And that's without referencing its major selling point!
Meanwhile, we're preparing for the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association's (SC&RA) Annual Conference, which takes place in Scottsdale, Arizona from 18-22 April; and the AWEA Windpower show that will be staged the following month in Anaheim, California. I expect end user markets to be the focal point of much of our trade show activity this year as we constantly review the return on investment is this expensive and time consuming marketing activity.
What are your goals for 2017?
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Managing Director Modulift