Managing director of Rosenbauer UK, Oliver North, reflects on a successful year of growth for the firefighting vehicle manufacturer.
What does your business do?
At Rosenbauer UK, we design and manufacture innovative, state-of-the-art firefighting vehicles and equipment, which we supply to fire and rescue services and airports around the world.
How has 2017 been for you?
Tough. Nevertheless, we’re on course for 26% growth when compared to 2016. We’ve also simultaneously laid the foundations for further growth in 2018, with an order book showing a 70% increase in turnover in the next 12 months, which is probably the most impressive achievement of 2017. The complexity and subsequent lead time on the product essentially
What was your greatest success?
We achieved a 100% win-rate in the airport market, with our game-changing ‘Panther’ fire truck, attaining more than £9million in contract wins. However, the single greatest success from my perspective was the operational effectiveness of our new UK-designed ‘AT-Stinger’ fire engine.
During its 12-month trial at Lancashire Fire Service, it saved lives and millions of pounds worth of residential and commercial properties. More importantly, it has provided unrivalled safety for their brave firefighters in conjunction with empowering them with previously unseen firefighting aggression on the front line.
And your greatest challenge?
Driving growth in a tender market is difficult, especially in conjunction with striving to increase quality, whilst much of the competition have lowered their standards and subsequently, their pricing too, in a bid to win key contracts.
I genuinely believe that quality over price proves essential for the customer, in any sector. Under my leadership, this will never change. Quality and whole life cost beat the initial price, every time.
What do you think 2018 will hold for you?
How will you spend Christmas and the New Year?
Christmas is the only time of year when I can switch off. I’ll spend it seeing family and friends, and then escape to some sun for the New Year so I can come back raring to go for another big year!
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