The new head of one of the UK’s oldest machine tool engineering firms believes the company’s resolute commitment to family values is the key to its ongoing success.
Having succeeded Barney Ord as chief executive officer of Teesside-based Northern Machine Tools (NMT), one of the UK’s largest machine tool merchants, Robert Cockerill is now at the helm of business founded back in 1958.
Robert says: “Family values and ethics are central to the business and as such repeat business is paramount to us and any business that wants to succeed, you get that through honesty and integrity. We’ve got customers who’ve been coming back to us for more than 20 years.
Boasting extensive showroom and workshop facilities in both Middlesbrough and Stockton, extending to 50,000 square feet, NMT has a range of industrial machines ready to go under the proverbial hammer.
Machines are made available via one of the company’s two websites, nmteng.com and lotsurf.com, both of which attract traffic from across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.
Robert continues: “In its heyday, Teesside employed more than 50,000 people just in engineering alone. As engineering declined in the area, Northern Machine Tools had to modify and adapt to find new markets. We diversified and started to run open outcry auctions across Europe.”
The market then changed again as the internet boom opened up the world market. There was no longer the need for NMT to send dozens of staff into Europe to run the auctions. It could all now be run from the office.
NMT has seen the demand for stockist dealers increase as more businesses require pre-owned equipment that has been run and checked. Whilst purchasing new equipment often involves protracted negotiations regarding delivery dates, machines sold via NMT’s industrial action sites are available for immediate sale at a fraction of the new price.
“We’re embracing new technology, with quotes, video and photographs all available electronically, so many of our customers we never physically meet.
“But we’re always happy to welcome customers here at our Middlesbrough works, where we have a couple of hundred machines in stock at any time, whilst we also have a Stockton facility with a lift capacity of 80 tons.”