The 1st August 2020 marked one year since I joined Hydroscand UK. And what a year it has been!
During my first year at Hydroscand, a global market leader in the provision of hose and fluid components, I have had a great opportunity to develop their business in the UK.
I was particularly drawn to the role by the company’s values which are much aligned with my own. Considering the customer in everything we do is a fundamental Hydroscand value and the entire company is centred around the needs of our customers. I also admire the organisation’s commitment to local entrepreneurship which is part of our DNA, and with support from key functions in an international company, it makes us strong and quick to react.
Additionally, Hydroscand’s approach towards honest and responsible business operations with a long-term perspective was a large factor in my decision to join the company. Since being with the business I have seen first-hand our emphasis on quality and customer service, which will continue to be the foundation of our business.
Building a Team for Success
A real highlight for me during my first 12-months at Hydroscand has been managing a talented and dedicated team while also being involved with the recruitment process and welcoming new arrivals.
In the last year, we’ve been delighted to introduce new members of staff into our team, and they are already making fantastic contributions which are improving every aspect of the business. The most significant example of this has been across our mobile technician teams.
HoseExpress 24/7 hose repair service is a key part of our growth strategy and the new team members are making a real difference. We’ve also welcomed new branch managers, sales and marketing professionals, a manager in our Central Warehouse, and an additional branch-based technician to support the growing mobile team. All of these great new people will help us to deliver an even better service in the coming years.
As well as our new team members, we have celebrated the work of our existing team, six of whom completed 10-years of service recently. Their knowledge, experience and commitment is a credit to them and the business.
My Biggest Challenge
Hydroscand is an international family-owned business providing solutions and services for hoses. Our group operates in 20 countries and is the market leader in many of those. We provide a complete range of hoses and fluid components, supported by branches and 24/7 on-site service. Hydroscand manufactures workshop machinery, operates numerous production centres and we also have our own design and test facilities.
Currently, the UK division of Hydroscand is a well-kept secret, so my biggest challenge is to build our brand here in the UK. To achieve this the team and I are developing a brand awareness strategy that will look to present existing customers and new business prospects with information that will provide a comprehensive picture of our product range and service opportunities. Our aim in doing this is to showcase our ability to offer market-leading support, products and services that can reduce costly downtime and improve efficiency for our customers.
One step towards sharing this message has been the management of our website which has undergone a timely relaunch in January this year. Thanks to the team’s hard work on this project.
Of course, the last few months have been very challenging and worrying for everyone and it is tragic that so many people have been affected by coronavirus here and across the world. Hydroscand continued to operate through lock-down because we support customers in key industries, such as food production and waste management. In April and May, we saw demand significantly reduced but work has increased gradually and we are pleased to be operating almost at pre-COVID levels.
From mid-March, when many team members started working from home and remotely, it has been my role to make sure the team is safe, well informed and supported in order to enable them to continue serving our customers. The way the team has worked together and supported each other has made me very proud. Following three months of furlough leave for some members of the team, I am really pleased that everyone has now been back at work since July.
Despite the many challenges that COVID-19 has created, the team have continued throughout to provide excellent service to all Hydroscand customers and have gone above and beyond to ensure communication has remained constant at a time when in-person interactions have not been possible.
As we now move into the post-lockdown period, we have ensured all in-person environments follow the latest government guidelines and legislation in order to meet social distancing, health and safety, and hygiene requirements both for our internal operations and for our customer interactions.
Most importantly, it’s been essential throughout this challenging time for me to ensure the team has continued access to growth opportunities despite the barriers caused by the COVID-19 crisis. One example of an area where we’re implementing this is through the BFPA training programme which will soon be underway for all team members.
Like all UK businesses, we may face challenges as a result of Brexit. We remain optimistic that a trade deal can be reached but if not, there could be tariffs imposed on many of our products. There may also be delays at our ports. We are as well prepared as possible in terms of inventory and planning for changes in regulations and will await the outcome in line with the rest of the industry.
Outside those potential risks, our next steps at Hydroscand, which I’m really looking forward to, will involve driving forward our plans to increase brand awareness in the UK. This is a mission that the team and I will be striving to achieve while ensuring we remain in line with the group’s overall strategic plan.
Other projects we will be involved in include the expansion of more digital solutions and tools for our business. This year, in particular, has shown just how important digital capabilities are, not just within our industry, but for the world as a whole which has relied on digital services during this unprecedented time. We are confident that these solutions will provide efficiencies and development opportunities as well as, most importantly, improving our customer experience.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the last 12-months and, whilst we don’t know the full extent of either Brexit or of the coronavirus crisis yet, I am looking forward to continuing to develop our team, support our customers and build Hydroscand’s UK business for the future.
Rebecca Galley, Managing Director, Hydroscand UK