Blog: Beyond Brexit: The People Keeping Industries Running – Realbusiness

Business downtime – a period during which normal production stops, often due to a mechanical or operational problem- can arise at any time. Any number of factors, from technical failure to maintenance issues or a lack of materials, could be the cause of downtime. Whatever the root, the result is always the same: a loss of revenue that may become untenable the longer it goes on.

Trading as XY Automation, XY Business Solutions Ltd specialises in supplying a range of industries with hard-to-find industrial automation, ensuring that machines are back up and running as quickly as possible without leaving a gaping hole in what may already be a stretched budget.

Steve Keane, Director of XY Business Solutions Ltd, said, “I have been involved in industrial automation for over 25 years, having owned two different businesses which I have since sold. In this time, I have grown a wide network of both suppliers and customers throughout the world, and I decided to set up another company which focuses on the supply of industrial automation.

“As a reseller, we supply customers with what they need, and our team is always on hand to find factory automation and industrial control parts, whether current or obsolete. In our interconnected world, any roadblock along the way in one place is going to be felt across the globe eventually, meaning time is of the essence. We know that any delay means a loss of revenue, and thanks to our experience we can offer quick solutions, for a fair price.”

Like many other companies, however, XY Automation found itself having to deal with a roadblock of its own: Brexit.

“As we buy and sell into Europe, Brexit was one of the hardest blows we’ve had to deal with,” Steve says. “Things that had been running smoothly and seamlessly up to that point were suddenly blocked by mountains of red tape we needed to work around. Many businesses found themselves with a similar stumbling block so it won’t come as a surprise to hear that in some cases, it was simply impossible to overcome those hurdles quickly.

“There is the personnel problem as well: to this day we have trouble recruiting enough foreign speakers within the UK, as so many have left the country after Brexit. Then along came Covid – there’s no doubt the last few years have been challenging but we’re now coming out of the other side as a nation and there is lots to feel positive about. As a business, we’re continually evolving our processes and we’re proud of the service we’re able to offer our growing client base.”

The team at XY Automation is nothing if not resourceful. It set up a logistics office in Poland to ease the pressure of Brexit red tape and developed an in-house CRM (Customer Relationship Management) as all staff worked from home, to keep crucial information centrally accessible so everyone could continue to work efficiently, regardless of their physical location. They are now looking to expand the office in Poland, and to set up yet another office in Mexico to act as a hub for business in the Americas.

Having grown sales from £1.1m to over £3m+ in the past year, and with hundreds of thousands of components traded, XY Automation is looking to the future with confidence. None of this would have been possible, Steve adds, without his excellent team.

“My advice is to always recruit people who are better than you for the specific job, otherwise the business will only be as good as you,” he says. “It is also important to have a flexible approach to everything, as sometimes even the best laid plans fail to work out as you’d expect.”

To find out more about XY Automation, visit: https://www.xyautomation.com

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