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Our strategy

Our strategy focuses on maximising the benefits of our efficient and responsible processes, creating innovative solutions, responsive local service and quality manufacturing. Our product and commercial strategies provide divisional and geographic focus.

Sales & Marketing

Supporting our customers' success around the world


Strategic objectives

  • Maximise our customers' satisfaction and return on investment through excellent customer care.
  • Effective sales and support channel strategy to manage different customer types profitably.
  • Industry-leading digital customer experience supports innovation and maintains competitiveness.
  • Trusted relationships with our OEM and end-user customers.

Goals

  • Long-term profitable growth of revenue and market share.
  • Transactional costs managed effectively.
  • Improved customer retention.
  • Consistent strong brand value.

Our progress in the year

  • As the impact of the pandemic receded, market demand has rebounded, and we have worked closely with key customers around the world to support their growth.
  • We continue to target new customers, winning business from competitors through a combination of innovative technologies, responsive delivery and expert support.
  • Our investment in our global sales and service network continues, supporting the launch of recent new products and preparing for planned introductions in the year ahead.
  • COVID-19 restrictions have driven us to use more digital marketing to engage with our customers. In the absence of trade shows we hosted 85 webinars, and we are extending our use of marketing automation technologies to coordinate our email, web and social media messaging.
  • Our Smart Manufacturing Ambassadors programme, which gives social media training and support to customer-facing employees, has increased our online engagement and support for customers.

How we will be measuring success

  • Achieving our sales targets in our strategic business plan.
  • Securing new customer wins and a growing share of total customer expenditure.
  • Effective use of distribution to drive improved sales efficiency.
  • Customer satisfaction and retention.

Manufacturing

Cost-effective in-house manufacturing, delivering quality products on demand


Strategic objectives

  • In-house manufacturing to give us control over quality, delivery and costs.
  • Strategic inventory to enable responsive delivery to changing demand.
  • Global factory network with robust supply chains.
  • World-class facilities showcasing our technologies in action.

Goals

  • Improve customer satisfaction through superior product quality and better delivery.
  • Minimise controllable costs through:
    • innovative process capability improvements and
      increased automation.
    • monitoring material costs and consumption.
  • Reduce our carbon footprint and minimise all forms of waste at source.

Our progress in the year

  • The pandemic and a marked increase in sales has resulted in significant challenges for manufacturing. Despite this we have been able to maintain supply and support to our customers throughout the year.
  • We have recruited more than 300 manufacturing employees globally.
  • We have maintained product supply despite ongoing global supply chain challenges, such as shortages in electronics components and packaging materials.
  • Cost savings have been achieved through process optimisation, the adoption of value stream mapping (to minimise process waste and improve productivity), increased automation, and reducing component and quality costs.
  • Planning permission received for new buildings and associated infrastructure to support future growth at our Miskin site in South Wales, UK. This facility is primarily used for machining, assembly and additive manufacturing machine production.

How we will be measuring success

  • Reduction in customer-reported assembly and shipping error rates.
  • % of deliveries to subsidiaries that arrive on time.
  • We measure the above, and other operational objectives, using live data dashboards.

Engineering

Creating strong market positions with innovative products and processes


Strategic objectives

  • Sustained high levels of investment in engineering.
  • Expansion and extension of our product ranges to meet changing customer needs.
  • Patent and intellectual property generation, with an in-house patents team to protect our innovations.
  • Technology research to enhance future product performance.
  • Process innovation to enable high-quality, cost-effective manufacture.

Goals

  • Ensure on-time completion of flagship projects to deliver major new products.
  • Maintain exciting product roadmaps and a key technology research portfolio.
  • Work with Manufacturing to reduce product cost and improve quality.

Our progress in the year

  • We continued to invest in cutting-edge research to ensure we can deliver disruptive technologies for the future.
  • Investment in engineering development has remained central to our strategy and we continue to seek and employ the best engineers in their fields.
  • We have launched our first flagship product, FORTiS, an enclosed linear absolute encoder series. We are progressing with the delivery of three other flagship products over the next 12 months.
  • We have prioritised key projects across all engineering functions to focus resources on the products that are expected to bring faster revenue benefits or are strategically important.
  • 84 patents were granted despite the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

How we will be measuring success

  • Progressive analysis and improvement of the quality of our products in the field.
  • Regular launches of high-performing and innovative products to our existing markets.
  • Develop systems that through intelligent use of data will give our customers simplified and more predictable manufacturing processes.
  • Developing revenue in new markets with the successful introduction of non-substitutional new products.

Support Services

Enabling an efficient, intelligent and responsible business


Strategic objectives

  • Continually improve our productivity through efficient and cost-effective organisation, systems and processes.
  • Ensure that we monitor and manage risks, making business decisions in the long-term interest of all our stakeholders.
  • Build on our reputation as a responsible business.

Goals

  • Clarify responsibilities, focus on key metrics, and simplify reporting.
  • Enhance our IT systems, and streamline processes.
  • Strengthen best practices in engineering and project management.
  • Business partnering to support the smooth running of the business.
  • Continue to meet our legal, ethical and community obligations and manage risks.

Our progress in the year

  • We formed our Group Operations function, consolidating many of our service teams to streamline decision making.
  • The work required to support the FSP process helped us to improve our business planning.
  • We continued to supply customers without significant disruption after the end of the Brexit transition period. Work to meet UKCA legislation (the UK equivalent to the CE mark) is underway.
  • We improved our Board and Executive Committee reporting packs, with more succinct reporting.
  • We have finalised the design phase for Microsoft Dynamics 365, and have nearly completed the build phase. Migration is expected to start in the first half of 2022.

How we will be measuring success

  • Meeting the UKCA requirements ahead of the deadline.
  • Reducing IT Helpdesk response times, and having fewer support calls by improving self-help capabilities.
  • Smooth roll-out of Microsoft Dynamics 365, using feedback gained from early adopters.
  • The Executive Committee and Board receive regular reports of each business area against financial objectives.

Our people

Providing a great place to work, grow and contribute


Strategic objectives

  • Attract, retain and motivate our people.
  • Develop skills to meet changing business needs.
  • Create an inclusive culture with a diverse workforce.
  • Be committed to wellbeing.

Goals

  • Recruit people with our values.
  • Grow our emerging talent.
  • Provide accessible training.
  • Enable career progression.
  • Support increased engagement.

Our progress in the year

  • We introduced our new, global performance review process in 2021.
  • We welcomed 40 trainees into our business to support our future development.
  • Over 130 roles were filled by internal candidates in the year.
  • We launched our first Inclusion Week, and heard directly from our people on inclusion topics.
  • We supported our people throughout the year to deal with the impact of COVID-19, providing regular testing for those needing to work on site and sharing resources on how to look after our wellbeing.
  • Will Lee held video calls following the FSP announcement, and also held video calls to share our updated purpose, vision, and strategy with all our people.
  • We agreed our new policy for hybrid working in the UK, coming into effect in September 2021.

How we will be measuring success

  • Global voluntary employee turnover rate.
  • Gender and ethnic diversity, at all levels.
  • Engagement surveys and feedback.
Figures as at date of 2021 Annual Report.