Global Sales

"Trifast now has established a stronger international profile and reputation which will be further enhanced by the ambitious activities of our international sales teams going forward"

Typical Roll-out of sales to multinationals

Group Sales

My synopsis at the end of the final year in our three-year recovery plan is that we have succeeded in achieving our objectives. This is despite everything the global economy and natural disasters have done to complicate business life. The work that was put in last year on margin improvement continued, and again we are pleased with the results that are being achieved, whilst acknowledging that we must strive to do even better going forward.

We are seeing the benefits of the Sales team restructuring, the clear definition of the Industry sector splits and specialists that focus on these areas. Aligning key vendors and our own manufacturing production to these sectors has been essential, and instrumental in many of the successes we have had. We measure the conversion rate on quotations through a Company wide enquiry portal and have seen a marked progressive increase. This has been significant in Europe by accounting for an increase in sales of 10% during the year most notably, in the Automotive sector through Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover, Honda and Toyota Tier1 vendors. These builds generally have a six-year program life and the future continues to look very bright for this sector where we have won high value contracts that will start in 2013.

Automotive has marginally overtaken the previously dominant sector Electronics for the first time in Trifast history. As a result, because of the enhanced demands on service and quality eg "zero incident mentality", we have had business process improvements that will devolve benefit across the rest of our customer base and to the Company as a whole. The methodology of the sales approach has become increasingly technical and engineering driven, as we are now invited to become more involved at design level which, in turn, leads us to being utilised as the "experts" in our field. A technical background will be a key factor in any future sales recruitment as applications engineering becomes the main 'door opener' to industrial high volume assemblers.

The Electronics sector represents 23% of the Group turnover, and we continue to focus on the multinationals that require a complete service package from design to Vendor Managed Inventories (VMI) deliveries. We have an excellent global footprint, and this is another major attraction for our strategic customers whose KPI's often include vendor reduction, and TR's product and customer service offering has ensured that we can handle a very wide basket of products-so assisting them in attaining this goal . A key part of the development strategy for this sector is working at Corporate level with the design teams either in the USA, Central Europe or Taiwan. Approval on a part then goes global and TR is specified within the supply chain from the beginning.

We have launched over 6,000 new parts to enhance the TR proprietary product offering to the UK commercial sales teams, branded TR Direct, supplying smaller customers with guaranteed next day delivery items. This has proved to be a success, and has enabled us to develop an entirely new range of customers who buy on a day to day basis within the UK at sustainable margins.

An essential project launched earlier in the year has been the restructuring of our resources and business strategy now required in the USA. As a result of closing the Phoenix and Boston sites we enlarged our new Houston hub which is now in a prime position to service many of our key global electronics customers headquartered in the Austin and Dallas area, as well as being close to the border with Mexico-which is being increasingly considered as the low cost assembly alternative option to China by many American multinationals. This move has already returned TR Inc. to profitability, and we will build on this by offering the sourcing/logistics facilities to American based Tier 1's who are asking us to manage the same parts in the USA as we already supply to their satellite plants in Europe and Asia.

The Group Marketing Team has been more closely aligned to our sales activities, and are now partnered with the Strategic Sales Team that operates globally. There has been renewed participation in specialised trade exhibitions, which this year were in India, Thailand, Germany, Sweden and the UK, and with our increased PR activity securing articles in prominent technical magazines, we have considerably broadened our scope to reach targeted audiences on TR Branded products. The increasingly important website content is being upgraded with the aim to have more technical and advisory data and information availability, which we anticipate will develop a heavier customer preference for turning to TR for their fastener needs.

So what does this year hold for us?

I am confident that our broadened and intensified market activities over the last three years will continue to satisfy our ever demanding corporate ambitions, and that we will once again fly in the face of what certainly the media projects as an adverse market. For example, we have major new business wins not yet at SOP (Start of Production) stage that will commence supply and invoicing in the coming year. Our enhanced product ranges will gain momentum and progressively increase revenue and margin.

Automotive development in Asia is a key focus for this year stimulated with the acquisition of Power Steel in Malaysia now providing an enhanced product offering. We have previously focused on the cockpit of the car eg. seating, IP console, door trim, air bag assembly. Now we can supply safety critical parts such as engine bolts, steering and brake components, and more complex higher grade parts that are in high demand in this region. This gives us a much more holistic approach with our main areas of focus being China, Malaysia and Thailand.

We are indeed all looking forward to the challenge!

Glenda Roberts
Group Sales Director