Terry Mallin: In this week’s hot topic, I'm joined by Mark Amphlett who is the general manager of Amtek plastics. Amtek is a spoke injection moulding manufacture, specifically working with all a thinking businesses, he’s been helping them to design and manufacture plastic components and parts.
Mark might groans has not always been within manufacturing, he’s a very successful commercial director within a definite sector, but what mark has been able to bring to Amtek is a forward thinking approach to marketing and what I thought would be really useful is to get Mark on podcast this week and discuss, how do you as a manufacturing leader market your manufacturing business in 2018? So Mark I’m delighted to have you on the show this morning how are you?
Mark Amphlett : I’m very good and it’s my pleasure to be here.
Terry Mallin: Great great, and hopefully I can adjust this deal with the intro?
Mark Amphlett : Yes that was so fine that was perfect for me.
Terry Mallin : Good okay, so I think we’ll just get straight in and Mark so using your expertise, how do you see the manufacturing companies come to market and what sort of issues do you see kind of associated with that?
Mark Amphlett : Well if I get back to the first day that I came into this business, I met with the managing director Steward, and he asked me what he thought of how we represent the business at all points, I told him man you know little about injection moulding and manufacturing before I looked his website, after I looked at his website I knew even less.
So that’s an engineer’s approach to designing a website, so what we did when we engaged together was I looked to rebrand the entire business, so we got rid of the old prepaid website which just told everyone about the machines that we have here, I made it look pretty, I made it look different made it look completely different from the rest of the industry, just threw a lot of colors there and made it exciting to people. It’s a little bit different for the industry don’t know how many people did that, we needed to do some stand out, and then and we won awards for that website within a very short period of time so that was the first stage of doing something slightly different here at Amtek.
Terry Mallin : Yes, good you’re saying Mark, I in other words through oversee the website and it’s fantastic and wanted to keep it just stood out and was a racing car up straight at the start you know more ahead myself so, lovely it was a great.. 90% of the manufacturing website so there? It’s really eye-catching, your website used to-- what can I say you're showing them what sort of products and services that you offer and we had much business through that?
Mark Amphlett : Yes as a company we don't tend to go out there and bang on doors and try and approach companies, we're trying to make ourselves more accessible, so the website is the main portal into what we do a sort of brochure. So we spend a lot of time and effort and money on search engine optimisation Google out words, so I’m sort of where, seen and want regions where people are searching for a manufacturer, ideal website straight away we try to make it easy for them to find a telephone number, contact number, e-mail address, whatever the way that they’re comfortable to contact us saved handy.
We got a lot of people that go on to the social media link to the bottom then will contact us via links in or Twitter, we got some on Facebook as well, so it's just really a portal where people can get on that, seeing the sort of company we are, the sort of style we are, the sort of things we do, the sort of environment want to be in, and then just better take hold us.
Terry Mallin Yes okay and those of you who want to checkout Mark at Armtek’s website at the moment where we’re discussing this is Amtekplastics.co.uk. Yes and kind of summarising that then Mark the home manufacturing companies cut them off kind of problems associated with that I think a big part of that, as in poor website and poor SEO, if a potential customer was searching for a specific company that does work with plastic, whether it would be a fabrication, whether it would be a new product design for food it doesn’t matter what that is, but actually it's a lot say I’d correct with on my SEO and could you remind me back again about the SEO, say thanks to people might be watching know that we’ve talk about them?
Mark Amphlett : Yes the search engine optimization frost is just really a way that we can be visible, and be more of concern for our specific industry, so if there’s someone who needs an injection manufacturer, or plastic mould in UK, we tend to come quite up in those listings, which is great because that work may not always work for us, but because of the colleagues we have in different manufacturing sectors, we quite often refer an inquiry on someone else, so it’s kind of idea things but we are getting some quite high strong hits on that, since we've put a new website in place and since we've been developing it, our inquiry rates is increasing we're in at the moment getting at say around 70 to 80 inquiries a month, through our website.
Terry Mallin : OK Yes that is.. and you know a lot of people will be listening to the podcast and even if I’ve got an average value of pals too you know it could be in the thousands of a lot more, you know it could be a mass of returning investment on that.. on investment on a good website, and SEO and social media as well, and I think that brings us on this sort of opportunity in 2018 and beyond that people are what do you see the opportunity for manufacturing companies?
Mark Amphlett : Well at the moment we’re seeing some great inquiries coming in, we work with some awesome companies as well which is.. it’s just a lovely position to be in. This week, we’re up at the British touring car launch in Donnington, so this is where all of the cars for this season will be launched we’ve been invited to the media day, so I’m kind of putting together a video to start showing everyone what we’re involved with. The reason why we chose to sponsor touring car was because we make plastic stuff that's quite boring, there’s not real fans of plastic stuff being made, but there's hundreds of thousands of people that love motor sports, now we get an opportunity to get on in front of hundreds of thousands of people every weekend while enjoying themselves, so that's another way that we remark ourselves just to get our name out there, and we’re seeing more and more manufacturers getting involved with the motor sports sponsorship, which is a fantastic thing, the more they do the better marketing.
Terry Mallin : Yes I think that gets back to watching a sort of target market, not that you wanted what worked as well, and with the opportunity as out there and actually, promotion via motor sports as you mentioned Mark I think that’s such real bit of business and that’s the whole point all that is to get the name of the business out to potential new customers as now?
Mark Amphlett : It does, now as a business we’ve never really wanted to go down the automotive route because we’re not the biggest of businesses in the world and don’t feel comfortable working with some other large corporations.
Having said that, we’ve been approached by several very very large manufacturing companies in automotive sector, to work on some low volume specialist products and that fits with what we doing apart from the motorsports sponsorship as well so there’s a great connection there.
Terry Mallin : Yes so not necessarily the volume piece but actually the spoke safe and that's suiting them to get the business into the market that you guys are doing as always so what can.. and is attracting the right top the audience in what you want as a customer?
Mark Amphlett : It is I mean the excitement we get here when we see certain inquiries coming in and we get certain phone calls from certain businesses, you know it just shows that this small company in the back end of nowhere down south urban, we can mix are quite upper with the big boys because of the way that we've marked out ourselves, the way we present ourselves and then also after that the way we follow things through as well.
Now so I get an inquiry coming in, but lots of engineering companies this was the case here in the past, an inquiry comes in, and some will get an answer within the next couple of weeks, but at the moment we jump on it as quick as we can, to give that service and that attention to detail but now a lot of these companies we’re after.
Terry Mallin : Yes exactly, and from that do you still get on with the enquiries, did you have somebody that allocated to find a business mark or you’re picking up directly you know as a front of the business?
Mark Amphlett : There’s two or three mates to deal with it, I deal with some of it myself than our project manager he deals with the most of them himself as well so, there’s a small team like I said that do it, there's not an on faster what we do, we never gets set first and rather than run with it really.
Terry Mallin : Yes so I going to say that is key really to make sure the process is in place and you can handle it and it’s sort of volume that may come in off the back of that, and I hope even though we’re talking about how do you market a manufacturing business in 2018, like it’s important to often back it up with the accessibility to the digital world these days, people use it you know confirms can go viral you know realistically within manufacture it’s not going to go viral unless you got a very clear market brand in the market, a genius marketing idea, but the allay is if you’re steadily getting an inflow of lifts, if you’ve got at least eight processes in place you need to make sure you get off the fence and play straight from the word go, to handle whatever that volume may be. Putting all that together Mark, cause what I guess you’ll then say I hope you’ve seen it through your own business, and to kind of summarise everything that we’ve discussed here so it doesn’t matter if you have a large or small manufacturing business, you know it’s easy to promote what you’ll do as a company, only after a large tag of audience, you have to have a really strong website, as a website that sells what you guys do as a business, You know what can add search engine optimisation, and even paid for advertising off back that’s going to be good for iPods, you’ll get Facebook adverts etc, and utilizing social media and those many tools that..personally Mark we use a thing called social pilot, have you ever heard of that before?
Mark Amphlett : I have we use..
Terry Mallin : And guys just to give you an idea social media is not about sitting up and putting up a post of the day, we actually set up a post someone in advance, and at least though we can advance it anyway depending on the latest news, and that’s so it’s a matter of posting on various social media channels, it’s very hands off, very practical, very cost effective and it’s all about just keeping you front and means from a market perspective, and then touching on the modern sport promotion to doing something completely different you know Mark’s looking at different angles as well, and how to take the business to a different target market but actually make it attractive as well, just like if you’re always manufacturing always attractive.. you know we make products to actually thinking out of the box, and looking at different ways to market, Mark how have you phoned combining all those techniques? How do you phone that benefit in your own business?
Mark Amphlett : Okay so over the four years I've been here the business has grown by over 230% so something's working.
Terry Mallin 230%?
Mark Amphlett : Yes and it’s growing war time, we've got a great team it’s forced to do that, but the marketing gains has stalled, we're now.. we've almost created a brand rather than a business so a lot of people may have heard of Amtek Plastics, but what is it exactly you do?
They say the name is just plastics but this gives us the opportunity to talk to them in more detail about what it is we do and maybe we can't benefit that person we're talking to but who knows who they know.
Terry Mallin : Exactly and from there have you had to organize a business in any.. from different typical manufacturing prospect it’s all that.. if you got someone through social media as all came just turn up automatically?
Mark Amphlett : It all keeps developing, we're looking for someone else to join the sales side of the team the next financial year, so we’re going to be putting the drop classification out for that early April. Sales is the most important thing in my opinion, I can organise a factory, I can get more machines, I can get more staff and that’s easy but, actually getting the right level of, the right suiting cries into the door, it's a bit more of a science to me then I said that's where I really always need to have to focus, really pinpoint towards.
Terry Mallin : Yes good, and I think that goes back to—it’s all very well on good getting, 70 to 80 a week stay up there I actually wonder why you want to make sure that you actually work with the customers and those-- I think the beauty of this as well, Mark can correct me if I’m wrong is if you’re going out there and reaching a large audience all potential customers, you actually get in that position where you can make sure that you’re working with the people that you want you can work as well, rather than going from month to month and taking on what comes through the door and hoping for the best really and what you can create off the back of that from my view, as you can create a great culture within your manufacturing organisation, and then the brand off the market so the actual business, the cut off that they make becomes secondary to the brand, these people who don’t know about what you actually do as a business, because you coming lead you know it’s quite an easy.. well I’m overwhelmed to have the opportunity to have a conversation what you actually do hope and benefit other businesses?
Mark Amphlett : Yes I’d agree with that, the thing is with what we do, there are lots of other good manufacturing companies out there that specialize in injection moulding, I’ve got some good friends from other injection moulding companies. What we do is right for us, what they do is completely different, so some enquiries that we get are not right for our business but others are perfect colleagues as well where we can all work as an industry together to help promote UK manufacturing what we all do here as well.
Terry Mallin : Awesome, I want you to think about that and the fact is that actually what you get at the end of the day is having a strong network within the community though, doesn't working against each other so you’re hoping to benefit each other. Mark I’m loving it, absolutely loving it and then you know you’ve got magistrates following you on the bases that they know what you’re involved in and actually the results you’ll get off the back and it’s phenomenal, Mark anything you want to add that’s all?
Mark Amphlett : I’ve just listed more manufacturing companies with focus on this, the attention that we’ve had as a business this week on Instagram for example has been phenomenal and this is getting our names in front of people, people who could be a managing director of a manufacturing company in some other parts of the country, I just—I find it fascinating to never know who’s going to read, like share, retweet and it’s what we do and understanding that we’re building this network if people throughout the country and throughout the globe just like what we're doing, it’s something that we're very proud of.
Terry Mallin : Yes and I get a small amount of the freedom and UK manufacturing,
Mark I’ve got to thank you very much for your time because it's been fantastic I’ve really enjoyed it and I hope our listeners have enjoyed it even more, and from your prospect of market, it's great to have an ambassador who is happy to share your knowledge and expertise on the podcast and we should ask and I think that my experience within UK manufacturers from a market prospective is not really a focus point it’s just about delivering products at the door, and naturally if people are able to switch and think about other new methods of marketing, it's not really vocal science it's not effort or it's just about all these methods that have been around for a long long time it’s not you utilizing them, and actually what you’ll do is you’ll stand out from the pack as well and be a mark we've got as Amtek is doing currently, and to widen in what it’s enjoyable, it’s enjoyable and Mark I’m sure you’ll get satisfied when you see the end result coming through from all that sort of hardworking investment that you’d start and ongoing.
Mark Amphlett : I feel right part of that it's a great opportunity and the business is doing as we wanted to, as we have some amazing customers, we running some great businesses and we’re making stuff, when we do that to make stuff, I see stuff that glows factual all over the place, you know normally people will say that they do that.
Terry Mallin : 100%, and I’ll always follow to see the cars, I'm guessing that..Car Championships in North Carolina in July or August okay we’ll follow to see the sort of promotional there, but I’m up. So guys if you want to get in touch with Mark, if there’s anything you want discuss with Mark, I’d say cautiously Mark’s team as well, you can get in touch, just if you drop me an Email I can always put you in touch, it’s only at bonfirerecruitment.com and if you want to get in touch with Amtek plastics as a business, if you would like doing business and you’re an exciting business is looking for expert combined design and manufacture your past for your organization, you can use social media and through that you can contact via tweeter, Email, even jump on our website directly which is amtekplastics.co.uk.
Mark thank you very much for your time and I’ll still change your course, guys thanks for listening and any questions at all well it’s none and we’ll catch you in the next episode.
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