Westomatic Gears Itself Up for ‘New Normal’
Founded in 1966, Westomatic Vending Services Ltd has been in business for 54-years, surviving a global recession in every decade since the company’s inception.
Now, we’re gearing ourselves up for what will undoubtedly be a very different world and ever-changing business environment after lockdown.
Businesses of all shapes and sizes prepare for – and against – many things. One thing a business operating in today’s environment didn’t see coming in 2020, though, was a global pandemic.
But as Managing Director, Richard Brinsley, points out, adversity brings about opportunities.
“The Coronavirus pandemic came as a shock to us all, and the subsequent lockdown crept up on us much faster than most had anticipated. None of us have ever experienced anything like this and we have all been very much in it together.
But, for me, and other business owners, lockdown has presented an opportunity to review our businesses from the ground up. At long last, I actually had the time to be able to take a step back, reflect and come up with some positive ideas for the future.
What do we do well? What areas do we need to improve? Where can we add the most value for our customers? Where can we increase efficiency? How can we reshape ourselves for the future? How can we react with agility for what lies ahead?”
For Commercial Director, Andrea Goswell, speaking on the phone to customers and friends in the industry regularly during lockdown also provided invaluable insight – insight that will influence Westomatic’s commercial, business and marketing strategies moving forward.
Andrea said: “I’ve heard first-hand how this pandemic is causing many companies in our industry to question business practices, costs, current procurement processes and control over their supply chains. Many of the people I’ve spoken to have said it’s been an opportunity to take a step back and push the ‘reset’ button – to really start afresh.
What’s also been interesting and pleasing to see is the wave of patriotic pride running through Britain. It’s been incredible to see how British manufacturers have pulled together to make things like PPE and ventilators to support the NHS. And I think, moving forward, there will undoubtedly be a move by many companies to bring their supply chains closer to home, for closer control, guaranteed delivery and quality.
The impression I get is that people will be looking at where they’re buying from and if they have a more local option in Britain, they’ll support it – which is great news for British manufacturing, our industry, our economy and for our planet.”
Reflection during lockdown, paired with the insight gained from speaking on the phone to customers and friends in the industry, Richard says, will bring about some very positive changes at Westomatic, which should gear the business up for a positive future.
“We have used this time to plan and shape the business for life after lockdown, our ‘new normal’. One thing’s for sure, the world will be a very different place. Customers will be different. Their needs will be different, and their expectations will be ever-changing, which is why a British manufacturer is best placed to meet their needs for competitively-priced, high-quality equipment.
One of the advantages of being a privately-owned business like ours is that we can make immediate decisions and changes, to meet diverse requirements and circumstances as and when they develop.
We’ve taken a long look at our business, right to its core, and will be streamlining our processes appropriately. We’ve got a new account management structure, to better serve our customers. More importantly, we will be more customer-obsessed than ever before.”
Strength in Numbers
Westomatic has also strengthened its marketing and customer service teams, with the appointments of Michael Hoban as eCommerce and Marketing Manager, and Claire Baker as Customer Service Coordinator.
New eCommerce and Marketing Manager, Michael, is new to the vending industry, having previously worked in-house for the largest consumer eCommerce group in Australia, and more recently in a digital marketing role for a creative marketing and advertising agency.
Michael said: “Having worked in the worlds of both B2B and B2C marketing for the last decade or so, this is my first foray into the vending industry. I’m a ‘newbie’, but over the years I’ve marketed everything from footwear to bespoke sheet metal fabrication, so I’m positive I’ll be able to transfer my skills. It’s an exciting challenge and one I’m really relishing.
During the course of this pandemic, more and more businesses have been using technology to communicate effectively with their customers. As a result, we will gradually be introducing more digital communication and technology-driven processes throughout our business – to better serve our customers, communicate with them more effectively, and make the purchasing process as seamless as possible.”
Claire Baker, Westomatic’s new Customer Services Coordinator, has returned to the business, having previously worked for the company until 2013. Claire will join Jessica Tozer, and they will both be responsible for looking after the company’s customers. Claire will be responsible for the Northern area, and Jessica will be responsible for the Southern area.
Both Claire and Jess will be developing partnerships and strong relationships with Westomatic’s customers: dealing with everything from technical queries and training requirements, right through to processing orders for new and remanufactured machines, as well as parts orders.
Of the company’s new appointments, Richard Brinsley said: “Customer support is a vital part of our service and Claire will focus on communicating with, and gaining a deep understanding of, our customers. Alongside Jessica, she’ll ensure that each and every one of our customers receives the superior level of service we’ve become synonymous for, to ensure we’re really working together with our customers.
Michael has been brought in to develop and execute our new marketing strategy, grow the online side of our business, and unify our sales and marketing teams, which we believe will be crucial moving forward in an uncertain economic environment.
We’d already identified the need to bolster our marketing team and improve our customer relationship management earlier on in the year. This pandemic has just given us that extra impetus to make these key appointments to set us on the right track for the future.”
Looking to the Future
So, what does life after lockdown and the future hold for Westomatic?
“We’ve got some very exciting plans and new ideas, which we will share with our customers over the next few weeks. These are extraordinary times – and extraordinary times call for all-hands-on-deck action. Our new and restructured teams will be refocused, reinvigorated and raring to go. We’re excited to see what the future holds,” Richard said.
Established in 1966, Westomatic is a leading manufacturer and distributor of vending machines. Based in the South West of England, Westomatic machines are designed and built in Britain at the company’s Devon HQ, to the highest quality with the greatest level of care and attention to detail.
For more information email email@example.com or call us on +44 (0)1626 323 100.