HotSeat – Matthew Ross, Sales Director at Summit Systems

Summit Systems has been an industry-leading supplier of ancillary equipment and machinery to the UK plastics market for over 30 years, meeting customers’ needs for more efficient and less wasteful production since 1989. Sales Director Matthew Ross is next to face the HotSeat…

What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will Summit Systems respond?

Energy prices will have a massive effect on the cost of manufacturing. At Summit Systems, we have a range of products to help combat energy use, such as the Maguire ULTRA vacuum dryer, which can use up to 80% less energy compared to conventional desiccant dryers.

With the Plastics Packaging Tax coming into effect in April this year, forcing people to use lower grade materials that could potentially require better conditioning, Summit Systems are helping the industry to keep up to date with this confusing legislation, and we’re constantly looking to ensure all the systems are future-proofed in the plastic packaging sector. We’ve invested heavily in our electronic and software division to cater to the Industry 4.0 development.

With the current events in Eastern Europe, material shortages could occur, such as RPET which is heavily sourced from Russia.

How has Summit Systems developed during your tenure?

Since I’ve been at Summit Systems, we have had the addition of the Process Cooling division which contributes to 20% of our business and we foresee this being a big growth area of the business.

I have also enabled Mike Jordan to have 12 weeks holiday a year!

What do you credit as the key to your success?

I started life as a Maintenance Engineer in injection moulding and have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by people with huge amounts of experience, who I have been able to absorb a great amount of knowledge off.

You can’t learn experience in a classroom, so being able to call off more experienced people from within the industry for advice has been vital to my progression.

What has been the greatest challenge in your career?

Working for Mike Jordan.

Becoming a Director during the COVID pandemic was challenging, it was a very turbulent time and trying to predict the marketplace was nearly impossible.

What advice do you wish you’d had on entering the industry and does that differ from the advice you would give to an apprentice joining now?

I wish the advice I had received when I entered the industry had encompassed all aspects of the industry, rather than just my focussed area. For anyone entering the industry now, be very open-minded as this industry has many avenues you can go down.

What hidden talents do you have?

If you ask me at the PIAs, I’ll show you…

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