So how did we do whilst in ‘Lockdown’
After a somewhat quieter month in April for obvious reasons, both May and June have seen glimpses of recovery, businesses opening back up….and the MTD team back up to full strength. There were initial concerns of engineers being cautious about opening their doors, let alone allowing the MTD crew in – but that has rapidly become a distant memory and we’re back in full swing!
After the lockdown, it seems companies are chomping at the bit to get MTD through the door to show off what they’ve been doing for the NHS Ventilator Challenge or their switch to PPE production. For a lot of companies, that have remained open through the lockdown, its been business almost ‘as normal’ and plant and equipment has continued to flow during the COVID crisis.
Now, there is a burning desire to re-engage with manufacturing and tell the world that everyone is back and open for business. Having come through the COVID crisis with just one client having to withhold payment due to cash flow issues, MTD has come out of this unprecedented period with more ideas, more clients, more requirements for our popular digital media; and now, more staff. Welcoming new customers and greater demand for digital marketing support, MTD has just recruited two further apprentices and another digital marketing executive – our growth continues.
With the new MTD.network website now live, a new SwarfandChips platform imminent, our MTDCNC App just around the corner and a flourishing MTDMFG.com channel – there are now more marketing opportunities than ever. Dedicated to the manufacturing sector, MTDMFG.com saw over 200 live leads for involvement on the first day our new FactoryNow platform went live. All this is a testament to the hard work of our team and it emphasises how MTD has firmly got its sights set on continual business growth through a sustainable and deliverable business model. Another platform outperforming expectation is the MTD Magazine with a far improved journey from digital to print our readers can now listen to articles via audiobooks, something currently unique to MTD in this market.
The team have also worked hard to deliver the right message to industry regarding working safely and practising the 2-metre safe distancing rules, which you will see in our latest round of videos. From a visitation perspective, the MTD team can also wear masks and gloves if/when requested by our clients. Equally important is the fact that we sanitise all our equipment before entering any factory.
With events being cancelled and new products coming through, the need to promote new technology has been the linchpin of our digital growth. Equally, the promotion of stock equipment always happens when markets are squeezed – and at MTD, we have the best route to market for both of these. Whether it be cutting tools, tool holding and workholding, automation solutions, machine tools or even PPE – all these items fit perfectly on our channels, and when they need selling, there is no better place to be seen.
We experienced a slight dip in traffic to both social channels and our website in March as lockdown hit but that was quickly a thing of the past, by the time we turned the corner into April it was quite the reverse as visitor numbers on some days were 30% up on the normal.
Managing Director at MTD, Mr Paul Jones says: “During the lockdown, we used Zoom and Skype to communicate a daily news program which saw industry leaders join us for a conversation about the industry. This took off and I believe it cemented our position as the ‘Number 1’ news channel for manufacturing and general engineering in the UK. I am exceptionally proud of the team I have working for me, all of which took to working remotely easily and embraced change and the opportunity to reflect and innovate. I feel strongly that the UK needs to look at re-shoring, we are a clever bunch and we are skilful, but the recent pandemic exposed a lot of weaknesses. Through our channels, we will continue to communicate the message that it has never been more important for engineers to make stuff here in the UK.”
“The experience has changed everybody’s attitudes to communication, no longer do we have to drive to Scotland for a meeting, even sales meetings can now be held remotely on occasions. I do feel that life will quickly return to normal and all these clouds will pass. My main worry is for the aerospace industry, holiday companies and hospitality businesses, as important as it is for us to holiday in the UK and spend money here to re-establish these companies, it’s also equally as important I believe we jump on planes, go on holiday, continue strong trade links with Europe and beyond, visit our overseas suppliers and start where we left off.”