KraussMaffei is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of machinery for plastics processing, with a product range including injection moulding, extrusion and reaction process machinery. Beginning his career as a moulding technician in the 1980’s, and with a career spanning over 30 years within the industry, Richard Mumford is now Sales Director for KraussMaffei UK, and he is the next PlastikCity Partner to face the HotSeat…
What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will KraussMaffei respond?
Currently, we are seeing a lot of time going into innovation and new designs of medical devices to combat Covid-19.
KraussMaffei has reacted by working closely alongside our medical customers and helping with design and manufacturing techniques, and on top of that squeezing timelines down to levels unseen before the pandemic. I expect to see a lot of what has been developed during this time to continue after the pandemic, as we’re always looking at ways to improve productivity and precision.
How has KraussMaffei developed during your tenure?
KraussMaffei has changed massively since my start in the late ’80s. It has passed through many different owners and generations of people, but it still has a very special place in my heart and it is a company I can always say I am proud to belong to.
We make some of the most demanding equipment needed for the plastics industry and being so diverse and having all disciplines in-house makes us a powerhouse for the future, especially when our new smart factory is due to open within the next two years.
Our current owners have invested millions into our growth and we will be even tougher competition moving forward with the people we employ. The passion we have within the company makes for a very strong team.
What do you credit as the key to your success?
Firstly coming from a moulding background helped me know what I was talking about, and I have never been afraid to learn more. There is always something new anyone can learn.
Secondly, listening to customers and reacting to their needs rather than assuming you know what they want. This is essential to success in sales.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
Well before Covid, I would have said always looking for new and creative ways to have the edge over my competition.
Now with Covid times, I would say the complete diversification of not only how I work, but how my sales team operates as well. We have had to change our approach to best support our current and future customers remotely.
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?
Well, that’s an interesting one. Peter Jackson, the late MD of Sandretto told me: “You’re only as good as your last sale son!”
Nowadays it wouldn’t be politically correct to talk in such a way, but my advice to anyone not sure about our industry is to take a good look around. Plastics is an exciting industry to work in and there are and will be a lot of opportunities in the future as its currently an industry heavily led by an older generation.
What hidden talents do you have?
Well, I enjoy motorcycling and cycling and have surprised myself on a few occasions when completing 100 miles bike rides for charity, considering the body isn’t always in the same shape my brain is in when it comes to being competitive!