Management & People
Training & adding new skills
Last year, as part of our operational restructuring we introduced a 'people, performance & responsibilities' programme across the Company and at all levels.
As a direct result of what we term, TR's 'value assessment' model (aligned to strategy and objectives) we are utilising skills and knowledge more effectively which, in turn, is further shaping TR's ongoing Senior Executive development and succession planning programmes. The first three well-deserved appointments to the TR Operating Board have been announced recently – these are in recognition of hard work and skills 'developed and channelled' effectively under the Senior Executive programme – suffice to say, all three candidates possess leadership qualities and specialisms that will drive TR business units to the next level.
Through this initiative also, we have been able to more effectively deploy resources within existing systems and structure; this streamlining and realignment of responsibilities within the business is already having an impact and formed part of 'self-help' objectives set as part of the Board's strategy plan put in place at the start of 2012.
The Apprenticeship scheme, first introduced in 2011 is going from strength to strength – we have been successful in attracting enthusiastic young school leavers keen to join TR, and we expect to gain greatly from their contribution in the future: the roll-out of the scheme across the UK businesses is also starting to gain momentum.
At Board level, we have seen change too: Seamus Murphy, having successfully completed his key strategic projects (set within the lead team's first three year plan initiated in 2009) stepped down from the Main Board at the end of January 2013 and has since left the business. Seamus joined us in 2005 following the acquisition of Serco Ryan; the Directors acknowledge his input and service, we wish him and his family well in the future.
Post the year end, Scott Mac Meekin joined the business as an Independent Non-Executive Director. Scott brings a wealth of experience gained over a 20-year career within the US and Asian fastener industry; his additional skills complement both the current Executive and Independent Non-Executive Directors' skills base and provide extra impetus to our expansion aspirations.
Finally, we would like to acknowledge every colleague from around the world, all of them have made a difference and worked hard together to achieve another year of solid growth; without their dedication stakeholders would not be sharing in this year's trading achievement. Jim and I, together with our fellow Board colleagues look forward to working with everyone over the coming year, to continue in the success.
Pictured (left to right): Ron Vlutters, Simon Willington, Chris Black, Tom Eertman
Celebrating 40 years
On 1 June 2013, Trifast celebrated its 40th Anniversary since being founded as TR Fastenings Ltd in 1973. TR has over the years played a major part in the transformation of how high volume/variety small lower value assembly components are delivered, creating 'Just In Time' & 'supply chain' management logistics programmes to its customer base initially from one office in Sussex, and then driven by multinational customer demands, going on to establish an international footprint now serving over 50 countries, delivering over 150 million components worldwide each day by a highly motivated network of TR business teams. Nearly 30% of the Group's revenue now derives from TR's own Asian manufacturing base.
A number of those that joined the business at its humble beginnings remain with us to this day including both of us – new 'young blood' has since joined us along the way and together, we have all experienced and seen many developments and challenges over the years. However, through our desire to 'Innovate and Serve,' TR today is recognised as a driving force within the industry, at the cutting edge of fastener technology through its investment in the research & development of new products and services combined with the 'TR culture'.
Objectives, strategy and opportunities
As Trifast Directors, we are particularly pleased with the jump in profitability between March 2012 and March 2013. We remain committed to the pursuit of shareholder value, and as part of this, see lots of reasons that point to further 'bottom-line' growth for the foreseeable future.
This will be achieved by, as always, a combination of activities. There will be no end to our continual pursuit of operational efficiency improvements, even though, as each year passes there will naturally be an element of diminishing materiality in the size of profit gains. This is why we are now financially in a position to consider prudent new investments in automation, faster more analytical computer systems and additional sales engineers for both automotive and electronics sectors on a global basis.
As stakeholders know, the global market for fasteners and related components for assembly is vast, and in terms of penetration, TR's revenue is barely measurable; however, even though the market remains fragmented there is an opportunity for smaller more flexible players like ourselves to be 'strategic consolidators'.
Existing shareholders are aware that as a team we are cautious in our approach to acquisitions, with our demand for low debt/high margin/loyal ongoing local management and cash generative businesses in a highly fragmented market, where TR's business model of combining low cost manufacturing with global logistics distribution supported by design and application engineering is relatively unique. Consequently, our networking is constantly in search mode being sustained by our knowledge that, like PSEP the business acquired December 2011 (which today is fully and happily integrated into TR) target companies that meet these criteria certainly do exist.
Meanwhile, our highly effective sales and marketing teams continue to open up new revenue opportunities – both geographically and with additional products and customer sectors as they strive to meet our ever ambitious revenue and profit targets.
The Board remains very optimistic that the phrase a 'World of Opportunity' initiated last year is gathering momentum as the Group's structure and focus enables further organic growth, and when combined with new business and niche expansion opportunities, TR's operational teams feel confident in their ability to deliver strong results through 2013/14, and into the future.
We look forward to updating you on our progress throughout the coming year.
Malcolm Diamond MBE
24 June 2013