Hydracare Oil Services is one of the leading suppliers of oil products and related support services to the plastic moulding industry across the UK and Ireland. A family firm established in 1993, the company is run by Max Ainley and his wife Miriam, who are co-directors. Max is the next PlastikCity Partner to face the HotSeat…
What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will Hydracare respond?
The plastics industry in the UK is vibrant and growing, and I see no reason to assume that’s going to change any time soon. The demand for plastic will continue to grow and the quality produced by UK manufacturers will still be highly sought-after.
One thing that’s likely to be a major trend is the drive towards greater recycling and more biodegradable plastics. Public opinion is pushing this forward, and it’s likely we’ll see more Government legislation. That will lead to improved technology, which will make it even more important to ensure machine efficiency. This will certainly create extra opportunities for our support services and expert technicians.
Obviously, there’s the continuing uncertainty over what will happen with Brexit and particularly what that means for supply chains. From our point of view, having strong supply links is a major advantage, as it means our customers can be confident we’ll continue to deliver.
In fact, we’re uniquely placed to assist our customers with a rapid response from both our experienced engineering team and our established list of suppliers. This means our customers’ machines spend more time making products and less time standing idle.
Whatever the future holds, Hydracare will keep providing quality oil products and services to the plastic moulding industry, ensuring machines are operating at the top end of their game. We’ll also keep working to reduce any downtime and maintenance, improving efficiencies.
How has Hydracare developed during your tenure?
In the seven years since Miriam and I took over the reins at Hydracare, we have seen extensive growth, both in our customer base and in the services and products we can offer.
We’ve created this expansion by focusing on a high-quality service from the outset, coupled with a rapid response. We now offer a pledge to provide all our services anywhere in the UK or Ireland within 48 hours, which minimises disruption for customers.
As our business grows, we want to keep our clients, and the way to do that is by providing high levels of customer satisfaction, using skilled engineers and quality oil products. So, we’ve invested in staff training and product research, which has led in turn to a consistent, loyal customer base. It’s also helped us to develop new supply contacts, so we’re better able to source specialist or hard-to-find oil products.
What do you credit as the key to your success?
I think the key to our success lies in establishing strong relationships with both customers and suppliers. Trust goes a long way in helping to forge these relationships, and we build that by providing a highly responsive and reliable service that keeps customer machines running.
We offer a ‘whole-life’ service for machines, from supply, support and storage, to a 48-hour support service. Customers rely on us to ensure their machines operate consistently and perform at a high level. When we deliver what they need, time after time, that builds trust, and that in turn creates success.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
Every day brings fresh and unexpected challenges – that’s what keeps any business exciting and enjoyable.
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?
When you have to choose between giving up and getting on with it – always get on with it. The end result is always better that way.
What hidden talents do you have?
I’m not sure that I am sufficiently blessed with talents to keep any hidden! If I do have any, they are a mystery to me – I’ll ask Miriam, she knows pretty much everything.