TNB: Tell us a bit about your business? When were you founded, where are you based and how many people do you employ?
Mike Tuffy: Our roots at Optimas can be traced back 130 years with the inception of our distribution business. Cold forging and thread forming manufacturing started in the 1930s and a series of acquisitions helped establish a global presence. Optimas itself was formed in 2015, focusing on distribution and manufacturing.
Optimas’ global headquarters is located near Chicago in the USA, with our international headquarters based in Gloucester, UK, overseeing operations in EMEA and APAC. It employs 1,300 staff globally, managing 5,000 customers and 4,000 suppliers.
What does the business do?
Optimas manufactures and distributes fasteners and components, as well as providing solutions for inventory management and engineering support.
We support supply chain management, quality control, sourcing and inventory management by offering Just-in-Time, Direct Line Feed and other supply chain solutions. Customers range from SME manufacturers through to large international OEMs and distributors on a global scale.
How is business? What is the outlook for the year ahead?
Optimas is recovering quickly after a downturn throughout COVID-19. The impact of the pandemic on our business was softened by our involvement in providing solutions for the UK Ventilator challenge and supporting other key manufacturing businesses within healthcare and vital infrastructure providers that are so crucial at this time.
Our customer base has recovering to pre-lockdown levels, with some exceeding output from before the pandemic hit. We are confident that we can continue our recovery and are looking forward to what we hope will be a more stable 2021 with exciting opportunities in the pipeline for new customers.
What are the big issues or technological advances that fill you with positivity?
COVID-19 has encouraged businesses to find more efficient ways of working, and the methods found and implemented by every member of the Optimas team have helped to deal with economically uncertain times. These processes can now be scaled to provide our customers with a value-beating service that we can all benefit from.
2020 saw £4m of investment in new manufacturing machinery for our cold forging and thread forming plant in Droitwich, further improving our capabilities in this area.
Further investment has been made globally on a new infrastructure and IT platform that will ensure our continuous transformation to remain at the forefront of the market. This, alongside investment in our customer-facing teams, ensures the provision of support to many functions for our customers.
Mike Tuffy, President International, Optimas Solutions