It has been a year of change here at MiTek. With Scott Chambers’ decision to retire as Managing Director at Easter, I moved from my role as Operations Director to take the helm. This year has also seen the integration of our company with MiTek Industries in both the UK and Europe, the final procedural step following our acquisition by MiTek® in 2017.
The UK’s number 1 again
Of course, it has been a challenging year for a number of reasons. Supply chain issues remaining after the pandemic were exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, leading to inflation. This was then compounded by political and economic uncertainty here in the UK and the dip into recession. In spite of all of this, we have had a successful 2022. We began the year with an excellent order book and we have installed some 1.25 million sq m of mezzanines across Europe for a diverse range of customers. We notched up a record month in May – with our largest ever single month of revenue – and we have retained our position as the UK's number 1 mezzanine supplier for the seventh consecutive year.
Despite the difficult commercial outlook, we remain optimistic about our business strategy of continued growth. We have an established base in central Western Europe – with MiTek Industries GmbH, located in Cologne – and see great potential in the entire European market over the next few years. To this end, we are building a full operations team at our European base, which previously focused only on sales. We have more than doubled our European staff over the past 18 months and are still recruiting. We’re expanding into new markets and investing in local sourcing, with obvious environmental advantages.
Activity in the UK next year is likely to see an increase in retrofit projects and fewer new builds. However, we still have some big projects to deliver and a promising order pipeline, so it remains an exciting time. We hired 25% more staff in the UK in the first six months of this year – including an in-house Safety, Health, Environmental and Quality (SHEQ) Manager – and recently added three experienced recruits to our UK sales team. Next year, we are looking to increase our headcount by 10% in the UK and by 50% in Europe.
As we continue to focus on securing larger and more complex projects, we are also investing in our processes and supply chain. We are making enhancements to our inhouse developed mezzanine quotation and project-scheduling software in order to make the design and quotation process even faster. We’re also developing an Approved Installer Programme to support our certified installers across Europe with training, development and other benefits. We are about to launch our new online portal with health, safety and environmental tools – including a fantastic induction video – that will help to underpin our commitment to SHEQ. In addition, we will shortly add ISO 45001 and ISO 140001 certifications to our ISO 9001 accreditation.
Integration brings opportunities
Integration of the business into MiTek Industries has brought further opportunities for synergy with other MiTek business units. As well as providing easier access to facilities across Europe – with MiTek having 8 local offices and 3 manufacturing sites across the continent – integration strengthens our operation through the sharing of IT, HR, Procurement, Finance and other resources. It also opens up the possibility to explore the potential of MiTek Industries’ modular building innovations and off-site assembly techniques, aimed at speeding up the build process.
With excellent support from our parent company and experienced talent across all areas of our business, we have every reason to be optimistic about continuing our positive performance into 2023.