Broadway Colours are specialists in producing cost-effective, polymer-specific custom colour masterbatches and supply a range of functional additives and process aids for use across the entire plastics industry. Business Development Manager Ray Simpson has been with the company for over three years now and is next to face the PlastikMedia HotSeat…
What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will Broadway Colours respond?
Understandably there will be increasing demands on the plastics industry to use greater amounts of recycled material. We’ll see more and more products with 25%, 30% and 50% PCR content.
Broadway Colours is able to respond to this demand with accurate and efficient colour matching. The PCR based resin colour varies from batch to batch, an issue that is magnified when greater amounts of PCR content are used. This creates an ongoing need to adjust colours. Our on-site colour matching suite offers the perfect solution to this challenge. A customer can join us for the day, and they’ll have access to our friendly support team and expert colourists. This allows a range of samples to be developed and approved as they’re made. This can save valuable time and money. I know the business plans to reopen this service as soon as it’s safe to do so. It has benefitted many customers in the past and is particularly useful when a product utilises high levels of PCR content.
How has Broadway Colours developed during your tenure?
I’ve been at Broadway Colours since May 2017 and I’ve already seen a 100% increase in turnover across our range of high-quality rotational moulding powders. I’m primarily responsible for this part of our business and we certainly intend to build on our success in this area.
We’re always looking to develop our product portfolio – with a definite focus on sustainable solutions. We have expert technical knowledge across our sales team and use this to work collaboratively with customers to ensure we’re offering the best possible product for their needs. The investment to keep progressing is there year after year, moving into compounds and additives and new products on the masterbatch side of the business as well.
With research and development a key focus as we move forward, we recently strengthened our technical team with two new appointments. One ongoing project for the team is to develop a roto powder product that utilises our ‘Supra-sustainable’ additive. This marine-based additive reduces virgin plastic content and has also been proven to offer further environmental advantages – reducing energy use with improved cycle times. Development is ongoing to see if the success we’ve had with ‘Supra-sustainable’ masterbatch can be extended to offer the same advantages with roto powder.
What do you credit as the key to your success?
I feel my success has always been down to my desire to achieve good, long-lasting customer relationships. Being honest, hardworking and willing to go the extra mile.
While my hopes of being a professional footballer were dashed with a serious leg injury, I love what I do now. It would be hard to imagine life without the many colleagues and customers I’ve enjoyed working with throughout many years in the industry.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
Adapting to the pandemic. I had to completely change the way I operate, from doing around 30 customer visits per month to working from home and conducting meetings via Microsoft Teams and Zoom. I’ve been used to doing around 50,000 miles of driving per year for over 20 years, and it suddenly feels like a very different world and I miss the face-to-face contact.
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 I came into the industry in a sales capacity, the advice that I was given was as follows: “Winners must have two things, definite goals and a burning desire to achieve them.”
I still have these words up in my study at home, and I believe that they are as valid now as they were when I first heard them. Whilst technology might change the way we operate, the fundamental principles needed to achieve success will always remain. Whatever your job might be, if you listen to good advice and work as hard as you can, then you’ll maximise your chances of achieving your goals.
What hidden talents do you have?
I’m hugely competitive in anything I do, even games with my daughters when they were young – did I ever let them win? Nope. I consider myself to be a half-decent all-rounder, although these days I am more all round!
I was a promising footballer in my younger days and had trials at Ipswich Town and Cambridge United. In 1985 I broke my leg at just 22 years old and football’s loss became the plastic industry’s gain.
My other claim to fame is that I birdied the ninth hole at Cambridgeshire County Golf Course, whilst Justin Rose only managed to par it on the same day. I’m sure my colleagues at Broadway Colours will tell you I don’t like to talk too much about my sporting successes though!