Zund is plotting UK expansion following the company’s acquisition of its UK distributor. Under new managing director Stuart Cole, the company is increasing its headcount with additional staff in customer facing roles as Zund looks to build on its reputation in areas of cutting beyond display graphics.
It has had some success in selling its technology in leather cutting, aerospace and motorsport and this explains some of the recruitment requirement, says Cole. It is bringing in further qualified engineers to support this short of new customers.
“Becoming a subsidiary of Zünd Systemtechnik has enabled us to invest even more in customer service and further enhance our engineering support,” says Cole. “We want to increase the momentum so need to increase the sales force.”
The plan is to recruit a northern field service engineer and a southern field service engineer and an internal service engineer located in the St Albans office. On the sales side it wants to boost the team by four in the field, supported by two internal promotions.
“It’s about increasing our activity, delivering better geographic coverage and responding to customer requirements more effectively,” he says. And it is the new markets that will get the attention. “We are a long way beyond display graphics,” he adds. “We are expanding into cutting composite materials, motor racing, cutting body armour and others. Part of the remit for new people is about creating interest in new verticals to expand our business base.”
It comes after Tim Taylor sold Zund Plotting Systems which has been established in 1993 as the UK agent for the Swiss business. He stays on as commercial director while previous sales director Peter Giddings has retired with the acquisition by the Swiss. Cole's appointment is part of this process and enables the manufacturer to invest in the UK operation.
“Sign and display will remain the volume market,” Cole explains, “but it is tough. It makes sense to diversify into new markets, looking for alternatives where our machines are unique. For example we have made some very large installations to a big brand in the leather market. It is all about positive growth and investment.”
Zund plans to take on extra engineering and sales staff, first to look after existing machines, second to push into adjacent markets where the company can break free from constant pressure.