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The role of the value-added supplier is back in vogue

The role of the value-added supplier is back in vogue

The evolving profile of the typical engineering product customer has led to an interesting trend where many customers try to search for and select products online, avoiding – deliberately or otherwise – any sort of dialogue with the very people best placed to help them find the right product. Often the problem first manifests itself after a customer has gone online, clicked and bought a product only then to find that it doesn’t work in the way that he wanted it to.

It is a sad and often commented view that a qualified and competent engineering source in UK industry has been in decline now for many years and this has manifested itself in this ‘click and buy’ culture that the internet has opened up for us all. But I am convinced that the importance and worth of value added suppliers is very much back in vogue. It is more important than ever that our sales and engineering staff engage with our customers in order to understand what their requirement is and what they are seeking to achieve so that we can then provide, if we can, the very best solution to their needs.

It is of course unreasonable to expect that customers know as much as we do about our products; it is, however, our duty and responsibility to make our knowledge and competencies as accessible as possible through our digital and printed matter platforms and by our teams who are out there on the road visiting customers or engaging with them on the telephone in the office.

I am also quite sure that we will continue to see a revival of UK based manufacturing in many sectors, reversing the trend of moving manufacturing offshore. With world economies rebalancing, UK manufacturing is demonstrating improved success. We only have to look at the resurgence of UK-based car manufacturing compared with some few decades ago and the positive impact that is having on suppliers to the industry. I believe that this trend will now, over time, lead to more manufacturing investment in UK Industry, more training requirements and more focus on research and development.

Complex solutions which a customer may require can also lead to the customer having to adjust his expectations and maybe invest as well to make the solution work – the point is that I am convinced that the days of simple ‘out of the box’ solutions are in decline, but we have to step up to the mark and provide the appropriate competencies and relationships to support this. Here at LG Motion we have always maintained a very strong relationship with research institutes throughout the country. The idea and project that is being investigated can often turn into a solution for the future. We are taking an active role in close collaboration on research projects some of which will turn into solutions for broader industrial requirements. We can then industrialise the solution and make it accessible to the market-place. A good example is the work we did to supply customised positioning system for the bio-engineering innovator MICA BioSystems.

The benchtop laboratory machine aims to control cell behaviour by applying time varying magnetic forces to magnetic nanoparticles targeted to cell membrane receptors. The particles are oscillated by a motion controlled magnet array to vary the magnetic force and exposure factors applied. This technique is of wide interest for biomedical research and has very promising opportunities for the emerging technology fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine as well as providing an important tool for drug screening.”

LG Motion designs and manufactures a wide range of motion control products for diverse scientific and industrial applications. Over the years products and services have been refined and developed to offer both standard ‘off the shelf’ products, as well as customised solutions to ensure that the customer does actually get the right product for the job. We work with clients who need motion control systems that demand accuracy and reliability, usually for very exacting end uses.

At LG Motion our vision for the future is clear: to engage with the customer to understand exactly what he wants and what he needs to achieve it. Backed by our own continuous product research and development work, we will continue to be able to support the growth of UK manufacturing and scientific development.

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