It has developed its own software, electrical and fluid engineering systems. The 14-person company also claims to have designed and assembled machinery in under eight weeks from the order.
While these are exciting projects, Shane wanted a good base-load business to provide more stability, and in 2011, an agency for OMS became available. ‘We formed a great relationship with OMS,’ Shane said. ‘We have supplied about 74 machines in the UK. It’s a good product, it’s priced right, and we were working with them in our tech service business.’
He added that OMS has been very successful in the flexible-faced insulation board sector. ‘There’s a good level of after-sales business there but, in terms of new capital, the big money moves only occasionally because a line is only replaced occasionally. We did wonder what would happen if OMS’s owners decided to sell the business. The company had reached a point where it would have to make a big investment if it were to continue to grow.’
Hennecke and OMS
And Hennecke bought OMS in 2018. Ruth Wootton explained that after the acquisition, Hennecke visited, and had long discussions about CTM and what they do. ‘It was clear that we were totally focused on OMS,’ she said. ‘We think that Hennecke wanted to know how focused we were on the brands that are important to them’.
At the end of April 2019, CTM became the exclusive UK and Republic of Ireland agent for all of Hennecke’s brands. ‘We did quite a lot of research with Hennecke to look at the type of stock we should hold, and we have invested in that already,’ she said.
‘Our day-to-day focus is on our standard supply chain, Hennecke and Hennecke OMS,’ her husband added. He is candid about what the new agency means for his company.
‘The big win for us is the broadening of the portfolio. Hennecke has a wide range of machines for a wide range of business segments. It gives us a whole new market. It is a whole new area for us.
‘They’re not a low-cost brand, but I’d rather not be trying to promote a low-cost brand. I’d rather be arguing on functionality. We’re looking for innovative customers.’
He added that there are UK clients who are directly supported from Germany. ‘They won’t normally talk to us unless there is a problem,’ he said.
He suggested that having UK-based supplies of components could significantly shorten delivery times, and they could be fitted by UK-based staff. ‘We could even put parts in a cab if needed,’ he said.
The aim is to complement what the principles can do from head office, and also to be a channel for information back to the principle. He sees the agent’s role as a dealer selling machinery in fairly simple situations, and for providing service support.
‘I’m currently talking with customers, but I’m not there to dictate to them which service provider they use,’ he said. ‘Some people will naturally gravitate our way, others may prefer their long-term relationships with others. We very much have a doors-open policy. But we are the exclusive agent.’