Taking hold

As norelem looks to expand its global footprint, Paul Mulvey, heading up the new UK operation, expresses his positivity for the company’s future.

Founded in 1958, German based company norelem has established itself as a leading player in Europe supplying workholding and clamping solutions to the industrial, automotive and aerospace industries. The company is currently undergoing a major initiative to increase its global footprint. As part of this programme, the company has established a new facility in Mexico, as well as setting up a new commercial office in Brazil and as recently as January 2015, a new commercial and technical office in the UK.

norelem currently has a portfolio offering of around 28,000 products, supplying everything from toggle latches through to fully designed workholding and clamping systems. With state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Germany and France the company has the ability to manufacture many of its own products with cold-forming, milling, CNC technology and injection moulding systems, amongst others, in place. “This gives us an advantage over our competitors as we are able to drive costs and quality standards within the industries,” explains UK Head, Paul Mulvey.

One of the main strengths of norelem is the service it provides. “What makes us unique is the fact that we are able to offer, not just a product, but also the service to sit down with a customer and look at a process or application within a production facility and work out how we can reduce cost, waste, scrap and increase efficiency. This sets us apart from being just a parts supplier, we’re setting ourselves up to be something very high quality and very solutions led,” highlights Paul.

Testifying to this are a couple of ongoing projects the UK office is working on within the automotive industry. “On one of them the company has a seven per cent scrap rate at the moment because of the way they physically hold the products in the manufacturing process. We’re looking at implementing a system that will remove the scrap rate and save them around £15,000 a week,” outlines Paul. “Another company want to automate the way they operate and we’re looking at improving efficiencies so they can redeploy six of their personnel to other areas of the plant.”

Other strengths include the widely recognised Big Green Book catalogue, which Paul says: “Is critical to our selling strategy as it is available online and via an app, which allows technicians and engineers to view a component in 2D or 3D CAD and place it into their designs to make sure it works.” The company is also in the process of improving its online presence by optimising its SEO campaign and increasing its presence on Facebook and Twitter. “We have seen some extensive growth throughout mainland Europe by utilising that strategy, and we wish to extend this into the UK,” adds Paul.

Having established the UK office in January 2015, the brand is very new to the UK market and Paul is keen to lay out the company’s strategy for growth in the country. “Specifically what we are looking for in the UK is to generate awareness of the norelem name because it’s very well known in Europe as the number one, but has a very minimal footprint here,” says Paul. One particular industry that represents a significant opportunity is the automotive industry. “The UK industry is having a massive renaissance from where it was 15 years ago, ultimately off the back of people like Jaguar Land Rover,” he continues. “Strategically we want to work with key distributors and also blue chip organisations at OEM, Tier 1 and Tier 2 levels. ”

Another area the UK office is keen to continue from norelem’s European operation is the engagement with education and universities to stimulate innovation within the industry. Over the last ten years the portfolio for norelem has expanded from 10,000 to the 28,000 it holds at present, and continued product development is ongoing. “We are constantly looking to work with engineering schools and universities,” Paul emphasises. “We are working with a number of colleges in Germany and looking to roll that out to the UK where we effectively sponsor a project and offer technical and product support. We are keen to link in with the engineers of tomorrow and we’re happy to invest in that to help people grow. Whilst at the moment in the UK we want to support some relative projects, in the future we would like to be able sponsor a number of students through university.”

The UK arm of norelem is in its infancy, but as comPaul is keen to express it has a lot of resources behind it as it looks to gain a firm foothold in the market, visiting a number of trade exhibitions and investing in advertising. “The opportunities are availing themselves already and they are quite substantial,” he says. “It’s a really exciting time for all of us. It’s a company that is prepared to invest time, money and effort to do things properly as it looks for global footprint against a backdrop of very high quality and competitively priced products.” Ultimately, whilst the current strategy is to raise brand awareness in the UK, the company will look to expand and create a range of employment opportunities.

Products: Manufacture and supply workholding and clamping solutions
Sites: Seven +
Employees: 600