You’ve been CEO at Cimteq now for two years. What significant changes have you seen during this time?
Since I joined the company in 2019, considerable change has propelled us to new heights. Our tremendous growth, supported by investment from our partners, Foresight Group, has seen the establishment of an entirely new leadership team brought in to run the business. New directors in Finance, Sales and Marketing, and Technical roles joined alongside many new starters across the whole business, seeing a doubling of headcount.
Couple this with a doubling in turnover over the same period; it’s safe to say we are immensely proud of our achievements, especially when faced with the difficult times the pandemic brought.
We have also continued to grow our business into new geographies worldwide, expanding our sales force into the Americas, APAC, and China. In addition, we have established links with successful sales partners across the industry, ensuring we can service customers anywhere at any time.
New products have entered the market, seeing the launch of CableBuilder Go, a revolutionary software featuring many of the benefits of CableBuilder Enterprise. This software is different and very appealing because it is aimed at smaller and single factory manufacturers. As a result, we now have smart factory solutions to help every wire and cable manufacturer streamline production, become more competitive, and maximise profitability regardless of size.
Our dedicated MES product for the wire and cable industry, CableMES, has enjoyed heavy investment, making it the preferred MES product for many in the industry. Coupled with the forthcoming release of an enhanced CableBuilder Enterprise, we are confident that we can provide real solutions to all manufacturers that will ultimately yield positive results.
Unfortunately, I can’t talk about the changes we have seen without mentioning the terribly sad loss of Ali Shehab, our Founder and President. Ali was indeed a genuinely lovely person, and his passing has been very sad for us all. The tributes that have poured in from across the industry prove that Ali was a real inspiration and that his loss has been felt much more widely than just the Cimteq family.
While the loss of Ali was undoubtedly a heavy blow to you and the whole team at Cimteq, what impact has this had on the business?
Two years ago, I was brought in to take over the day-to-day running of the business and allow Ali and his wife and Co-Director, Amanda, to step back and reduce their involvement. Both Covid & Ali’s ill health meant he had not been in the business for a while, and the new directors continue to run the business as they have been doing over the last two years. We all miss Ali’s genuine enthusiasm, exceptional knowledge and respected advice. He was a great mentor to all at Cimteq and had become a father figure to several staff members. Despite the vast hole Ali has left, the business will continue to run with Ali’s values, and beliefs present throughout. We intend to do him proud and continue Cimteq on the upward journey to even greater success.
Describe the vision of Cimteq.
We deliver innovative software products and services to the global wire and cable manufacturing Industry adding value by increasing efficiency, improving quality, decreasing lead times, and reducing costs. Ultimately our products and services enhance our customers’ future and will enable manufacturers throughout the world to realise their full potential
For the next three years, our goal is to double again in staff and turnover and continue to bring superior products and services to all our existing and future customers.
We see ourselves at the forefront of digitalisation and are relishing the upcoming opportunities that Industry 5.0 will present.
A key focus for us will see us continue our efforts in developing our sustainability strategy. Implementing in house changes to reduce our carbon footprint is extremely important to us, as is helping our customers achieve their own sustainability goals by providing digital solutions that reduce scrap and waste, improve productivity and streamline processes.
What gives Cimteq its unique position in the industry?
We are wire and cable specialists, designing and developing software dedicated and focussed on the cable manufacturing industry. We have over 23 years of experience in the sector, working with all the major manufacturers worldwide. We look to remain the leading supplier to the industry and become thought leaders across all aspects of the wire and cable world.
Not only are we fully aware of the wire and cable manufacturing landscape, but we are also proud of our knowledge and understanding of the broader energy industry. This level of intelligence helps us better address our customers’ exact needs by understanding the demands they receive from their customers.
We work with a number of partner companies and organisations in the industry enabling mutually beneficial arrangements that ultimately benefit all end users.
How do you see the company changing in the coming years, and how do you see yourself and your team creating that change?
We want to continue to grow as a business by bringing on board many more highly skilled and knowledgeable staff, alongside the development of new and enhanced products. In addition, we will endeavour to grow our customer base, bringing our solutions into more companies in more territories around the world. Put simply, we plan to increase our presence in more countries, with our expanded product range, delivering solutions for our customers to assist them on their digital transformation.
Cimteq employs only the best staff. Expertise and skill are paramount across all teams, and we are proud of the vast knowledge base we contain within the business. Together, we can pre-empt industry developments and create a safe and secure environment for our customers, who can rest assured that we are one step ahead and will help them on their journeys towards digitalisation.
What do you think are the biggest challenges the wire and cable manufacturing industry will face in the next five years?
Quite simply, the biggest threat and challenge to any player in the industry is standing still and not preparing themselves adequately for the inevitable digital landscape in which we will all find ourselves.
The wire and cable manufacturing market is extremely competitive. To not only thrive but for some to simply survive, our customers need to be as efficient as possible and position themselves as real competitors in their field of expertise.
Flexibility and adaptability are keywords. The pandemic highlighted clearly that no industry is infallible and that unforeseen circumstances can throw a curveball at any time.
By embracing digital transformation, manufacturers can become more competitive. As a result, they will be in the strongest possible position, in terms of productivity and profitability, to ensure a fighting chance of riding any future storm, be it economic, environmental or political.
Closing remarks: “Cimteq has been here for 23 years, and we continue to build the strong foundations that will see us over the next 23 years and beyond.”
Read more about Cimteq’s cable design and manufacturing software