The first half of 2016 has been particularly busy for DMM, with several standout and well-received new products, such as the Captain, the Vault and the latest Dragon Cams leaving the warehouse. Over the coming months there's still plenty to look forward to with an RFID range of equipment, RPM Shackles, Gyro Pulleys and I-beam steel connectors due to become available.
The company has enjoyed sustained growth for the past six years, with the biggest increases seen in the last two of those years. A focus on improving stock levels and the customer supply chain has paid dividends with our strongest ever sales figures for the first four months of this year.
This continued strong growth means that DMM has been able to reinvest in capital equipment and take-on new staff. The number of people directly employed at its Llanberis base is now at 180 with twenty of those jobs coming in the past 12 months.
The sewing department has been expanded with the purchase of additional equipment requiring a doubling of the number of operators. As well as sewing all the DMM slings, the purchase of rope termination machinery means DMM can now offer sewn static rope terminations for fixed-length work lanyards and terminated rope lengths up to 11 mm diameter in blue, red, black and white/red/grey Worksafe Plus or white/blue/grey Worksafe ropes.
In the factory the CNC and forging plants have both seen significant investment to increase capacity and widen our forging capability. Since DMM took delivery of its first Mazak Horizontal Centre Nexus 4000-III CNC machine in October 2014, another has been added, and the CNC room is now being prepared to make space for potentially the arrival of a third machine towards the end of the summer. In the forging plant new bespoke machinery has allowed us to efficiently hot forge the new range of keylock and I-beam steel carabiners.
DMM’s Technical Director, Fred Hall, said: “The horizontal milling machines are critical in extending our capacity for manufacturing complex devices in order to keep-up with the demand. It is a constant balancing act to ensure that we optimise the production process, with the increased demand meaning that we have had to employ additional designers and operators, as well as expanding the production facility into new buildings. Increasing warehousing capacity is next on the list."
He added: "Looking ahead at the next five years we have a comprehensive and full new product development plan in place that will further strengthen our reputation for innovation."
This continued innovation means that DMM are also investing heavily in intellectual property (IP) protection such as patents to safeguard the design and development of new products - a time consuming and expensive process requiring you to prove innovation.
The sales team is also being strengthened with the addition of two people to help manage the growing demand from the USA. Taylor Hamel has been appointed as DMM's first technical representative in the USA for tree care and Rob Wilson has been appointed to do a similar role for the height safety market. Their roles will be based around visiting retailers in the States to provide staff training on new and existing products together with presenting workshops.