Ashford, Kent-based Index Enclosures is the latest in a growing number of manufacturers taking advantage of TRUMPF finance to help achieve competitive gain, growth and future prosperity. The acquisition of a TruLaser 3030 Lean Edition laser cutting machine, TruBend 5130 press brake, and associated software was facilitated by a five-year hire purchase package from TRUMPF Financial Services that Index Enclosures describes as “extremely competitive”.
Index Enclosures has come a long way in a short space of time. Inaugurated in 2011 following an idea hatched by three private investors, the company has already achieved an impressive turnover of £1 million. One of the investors, Daniel Baker, explains the premise behind the idea that is providing so much success.
“We spotted a gap in the enclosures market for bespoke solutions…as standard,” he says. “Existing ATEX enclosure manufacturers were only pushing standard external sizes with a small selection of cable entry diameters. Ultimately, it meant designers always had to make some kind of compromise when specifying their enclosures.”
Sometimes enclosures would also be sold ‘blank’, leaving it to the distributor or end user to create holes in tough stainless steel. Of course, this has the problem of requiring additional capability, resource and time. The trio of entrepreneurs behind Index Enclosures had other plans.
“In truth, the idea was simple – give customers exactly what they want, when they want it,” says Mr Baker. “As a standard service we offer enclosures to match the exact dimensions and cable entries required. There is no longer any need for inconvenience or delays. Furthermore, delivery is assured and quality is never compromised.”
Of course, none of this could be possible without the associated manufacturing experience and technology. Fortunately, the brains behind Index Enclosures hold over 70 years of fabrication, design and sales experience. Mr Baker recalls his previous encounters with TRUMPF technology.
“Many years ago I worked for an aerospace company that used TRUMPF machines,” he says. “I remember the quality parts they produced and how the machines represented a real asset to the business. At the time I said to myself ‘if I ever have my own company I will buy TRUMPF machines’. Well, now that dream is a reality.”
Sure enough, Mr Baker and his colleagues benchmarked TRUMPF technology against competitor machines but, happy with the technical aspects, the selection criteria moved to different territory.
“Depreciation is a huge factor in asset finance,” he explains. “If residual values fall sharply it sometimes isn’t enough to cover amounts that might be left owing. However, I know there are no such problems with TRUMPF machines, which hold their value exceptionally well.”
With a planned investment in the region of £500,000, the team put together a business plan and approached potential lenders.
“Keeping in mind that this was 2011 – the middle of the financial crisis – we thought we did well to attract three offers of finance,” says Mr Baker. “One was from a well-known asset finance provider, with another from a sub-prime, and one from TRUMPF Financial Services. The interest rate offered by the sub-prime wasn’t competitive so it was between the other two.”
TRUMPF Financial Services was established in 2011 to support equipment sales. The main benefit is that TRUMPF understands the UK manufacturing marketplace, delivering a dedicated, affordable and complete finance solution to their customers. Fast decisions are pledged on many types of finance including hire purchase, operating lease and finance lease.
“TRUMPF clearly knew the assets better,” says Mr Baker. “On top of this, the interest rate was actually the most competitive of the three offers we received. In the end we opted for a five-year hire purchase that ends in September 2016.”
Since installing the TRUMPF machines and software, Index Enclosures has gone from strength-to-strength and today boasts over 100 customers. Within the coming 10 years, the company is already making plans to expand overseas with additional facilities in Saudi Arabia, the USA and the Republic of Korea, and has intentions to standardise on TRUMPF equipment across the board.
“Our team is unique in the enclosure market, serving sectors ranging from oil and gas to pharmaceuticals, and from highways to food and drink,” says Mr Baker. “Mass customisation is the way forward and at last the market has an ATEX enclosure specialist that puts its customers first. The enclosure revolution has begun, albeit with a little help from TRUMPF Financial Services.”