Queens Award

Queens Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2017
Queens Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2017

We are pleased to announce that The Smart Actuator Company Ltd (SmartAct) has been named as a winner of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise – one of the highest accolades for business achievement. We have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Innovation in Enterprise in acknowledgement of our Electric Actuation technology and growth in the last few years.

The Smart Actuator Company Team get ready to celebrate the Queens Award
The Smart Actuator Company Team get ready to celebrate the Queens Award

The Smart Actuator Company is a genuine business success story. Invented by a Malvern local resident James O’Donnell (MD) the company manufacture a truly innovative product that is revolutionising the world of Valve & Actuation. James said “We are the 6th fastest growing Engineering Manufacturing companies in the Midlands right now. The Smart Actuator Company is going from strength to strength and we are proud to be a Malvern company.”

Tony O’Donnell, CEO said “For our young company to have won one of Britain’s most coveted business awards is simply amazing. Especially so in this historic year when HM the Queen celebrates the sapphire anniversary of her reign.  The award appropriately reflects the time, commitment and effort that our people have invested in the outstanding achievement of our business. It is a standard of commercial excellence & innovation that is recognised worldwide. Our job now is to continue to build on the success so far and to maximise the benefits our innovation can bring both to customers across the globe and our UK economy.”

The timing is perfect as SmartAct join the National Apprenticeship scheme and welcome 4 new young apprentices into our team. The recognition of the Queen’s Award is a great achievement for the whole team; we have worked hard and built a robust platform from which to further grow this exciting business. We would also like to thank our local Chamber of Commerce and LEP along with The British Valve & Actuator Association and Department of International Trade support whose support has been invaluable to the success and growth of our business.

What is the Queens Award ?

The Queens Award for  Enterprise in InnovationJust in Case you don’t know what the Queens Award is – About the Queen’s Awards

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious accolades for businesses and individuals in the United Kingdom. The winners are announced each year on 21st April, Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday. The corporate awards recognise outstanding achievements by UK companies in three categories: International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development. Each Award is valid for five years and winners are invited to a reception with Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Her Majesty the Queen herself actually shakes the hand of the winners and gives them their award. Usually the Company is also visited by a Queens representative. 

The Smart Actuator Company in the press

Tony O'Donnell Marketing Director of The Smart Actuator Company
Tony O'Donnell Marketing Director of The Smart Actuator Company
Tony O’Donnell Marketing Director of The Smart Actuator Company

The Smart Actuator Company hit the press this week when our Marketing Director Tonya O’Donnell was featured in the Hereford & Worcester Chamber of Commerce Business Direction Magazine in an article all about Global trade and our work with DIT. Headed ‘Smart Technology going global after DIT support’ the article was about our work with The Department of International Trade towards Internationalisation of our products and brand.

 

There is no ‘I’ in team – building a great team for success !

The Smart Actuator Company Team take part in a 2 day team skills workshop

Team – Together Everyone Achieves More

To make a business successful you need some key things. You need a great idea, you need to take advantage of technology, continue to innovate, put your customers at the heart of what you do, get organized, keep good records, analyse your market and … here comes the important bit; create a strong team.

A strong #creative team typically outperforms the gifted creative individual. There are of course exceptions & every team sometimes needs those gifted individuals and should allow for them to sometimes shine as stars. But even they need someone to make the tea or order the stationary !

Creating a strong team isn’t easy. It’s about good communication, clear vision, good organisation and effective leadership.

A great team will have a mix of skills, it needs a blend of temperaments: some that are happiest in the thick of things, others that are relatively impervious to the collective mindset. A team needs people who can turn the tide as well as those who ride the wave but they all need to be working towards the same goal. In work they need to be working towards the success and vision of your business.

A good team working well to it’s different strengths but with the same goal in mind will achieve greatness.

The Smart Actuator Company Team take part in a 2 day team skills workshop
The Smart Actuator Company Team take part in a 2 day team skills workshop

One thing you can do to help a team work better together and understand their strengths is to invest in training. This week we took part in a team Skills workshop. Unfortunately there were no marshmallow tower building but we did spend 2 days learning all about what makes a good team, good communication & how to deal with change. All in all a great 2 days.

We learnt a lot about our collective skills and it was really interesting to see that as a collective team we have a broad range of skills. We had a lot of Implementers which thankfully means lot’s of hard workers with loyalty towards the business. Across the rest of the skill set we had some strong managers & co-ordinators (interestingly family featured high in these categories) and some great team workers with lots of high score in the completer-finisher category. Which means we are motivated to work towards our common goal and complete the task!

I think everyone enjoyed the sweets & toys. It was especially interesting to learn that fiddling with a gadget or toy rather than being distracting actually opens up the creative side of your mind and allows for greater learning.

Lots to take in but sometimes you need to go away and digest new information. You often find that afterwards things come back to you that help further down the line. Continuing to grow and develop as a person can only add to your success in life and work.

At the Smart Actuator Company we are already a rapidly growing business going through a period of change and developing an ethos that we will invest in knowledge and the skills to continue to succeed is a great thing.

Thank you to HR Champions and to Cathy in particular who was our trainer and facilitator for the two days.

Looking forward to more success with a great team in place.

 

 

Brand Finance Global Forum

Brand Finance Global Forum
Brand Finance Global List
Brand Finance Global List

Branding

Branding is just as important for small businesses as it is for big names. Ironically some big brands work to try to look more like small firms in order to appeal to consumers that prefer to support independent brands. A brand is a promise. You know what you will get with a well established brand.

A brand is not just a logo or how a business is perceived externally. Branding at the heart of the business. So much so that in many ways you could almost substitute the word brand for business.

Branding is a way of defining your business to yourself, your team and your external audiences. It could be called the business’ “identity”, but only on the understanding that it embodies the core of what the business is and its values, not just what it looks and sounds like. Customers of all sorts of businesses are so savvy today that they can see through most attempts by companies to gloss, spin or charm their way to sales.

The benefits that a strategically defined brand can bring are the same as when people fall in love with each other. When customers connect emotively — because they share the same values and beliefs of a brand — it leads to higher sales and better brand differentiation. It also leads to loyalty, advocacy and can even protect your price in times when competitors rely on promotional discounts to drive sales. It can also give you the ideal platform from which to extend your offering or range.

Tony O'Donnell CEO The Smart Actuator Company & Chris O'Donnell at the Brand Finance Global Forum in London.
Tony O’Donnell CEO The Smart Actuator Company & Chris O’Donnell at the Brand Finance Global Forum in London.
Lego hit no 1 as most powerful Global Brand.
Lego hit no 1 as most powerful Global Brand.

Brand Finance Global Forum 2017

Last week Brand Finance released the 2017 Global Lists of top and most successful Brand. Our Chairman Tony O’Donnell & his wife Chris O’Donnell were invited to attend the prestigious Global Forum Event at the Mansion House in London. We would love to eventually see our Brand both RIFT Technology (the power inside SmartAct) and SmartAct appear on those lists. Brand Finance actually value our Brand for us and do predict good things for the company & the brands.

The VIP event was held at the Mansion House in London and was sponsored by Tata Consultancy Services & Novagraaf. A welcome address was given by Alderman Sir David Wootton & Lord Mayor Locum Tenens. David Haigh CEO of Brand Finance PLC also grace a talk.

The menu was fabulous, Tony & Chris had a great time. It was interesting to be among the big Brands that received awards and hear from them why they think they are successful.

One of the most interesting talks was from the lady who received the Lego award. She firmly stated that the most important people in their business was their customers – the kids !!! Yes the parent’s spend money but the products need to make their customers happy & be what they want. Their customers are mostly the kids of the world ! Big & small. Lego listen to their customers & continue to innovate to keep their customers happy. Two very important lessons for any business.

Apprenticeship positions at SmartAct – come and join our team !

Apprenticeship positions at SmartAct – come and join our team !

Come and Join our team at The Smart Actuator Company. We are looking for 2 Digital Marketing & Account Management Apprentices.

Vacancy description

The Smart Actuator Company Ltd would like to appoint 2
Marketing Apprentices to join their existing Sales & Marketing Team
based at their Malvern manufacturing headquarters
Job Description;

  • Incoming & Outgoing communications with customers on the
    phone and using technologies such as social media and e-mail
  • Account management, fact finding and information gathering
    from customers
  • Online sales processing
  • Answering customers enquires regarding sales and products
  • Inputting products onto the sales system and website
  • Management of online sales and promotional materials
  • Social Media updates and marketing
  • Support carrying out and undertaking business exhibition’s and
    sales events
  • Sale contact management
  • Database inputting and CRM management
  • Follow health & safety at all times
  • Any other duties as required
  • Keep the workplace safe at secure at all times

Heart of Worcestershire CollegeWeekly wage is £166.50 plus sales incentives. The position is for an initial 15 month Apprenticeship in conjunction with Heart of Worcestershire College.

Desired skills

  • Good communicator
  • Literate
  • Numerate
  • Can work independently
  • Good IT skills
  • Good telephone manner
  • Asks for help when unsure
  • Team player
  • Able to follow instruction

Personal qualities

  • Positive attitude
  • Trustworthy
  • Self-motivated
  • Honest
  • Enthusiastic
  • Has integrity

Qualifications required

Maths and English Grade A-C (or equivalent)

You can apply online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship

Search for Vacancy VAC001158705

Or contact Heart of Worcestershire College – 01095-743539

Email – apprenticeships@howcollege.ac.uk

Join the team at SmartAct. We have 2 Apprenticeship positions available.
Join the team at SmartAct. We have 2 Apprenticeship positions available.

Harriett Baldwin MP Celebrates British Engineering as she opens the SmartAct Factory

Harriett Baldwin MP cutting red ribbon at Smart Actuator Company
Harriett Baldwin MP cutting red ribbon at Smart Actuator Company
The Smart Actuator Company welcome Harriett Baldwin MP to cut the red ribbon to officially open the new factory on Spring lane, Malvern, Worcestershire.

One of the fastest growing Engineering Manufacturing companies in the Midlands The Smart Actuator Company (SmartAct) is a real success story. On Friday 27th January the company was delighted to welcome Harriett Baldwin MP, Under Secretary of State for Defence Procurement, to officially open their factory at Advantage Business Park in Spring Lane, Malvern.

MP Harriett Baldwin was one of the first people to see a demonstration of their Patented RIFT Technology in 2011 when the company began operating from a private house in Malvern Wells with just 3 people. From this humble start The Smart Actuator Company is now one of the fastest growing businesses in Worcestershire and has 16 people in their team.

The move to the new site gives The Smart Actuator Company the capability to expand production to meet growing demand.

Upon arrival. Harriett Baldwin MP cut the red ribbon at the front office and reception door before proceeding on a tour of the new factory.  Harriet became the first person to officially sign the visitor book.

Harriett Baldwin MP signs the official visitor book at The Smart Actuator Company
Harriett Baldwin MP signs the official visitor book at The Smart Actuator Company

Harriett viewed the process involved in assembling and testing the SmartAct Actuators, and met a range of the skilled team who work to make the Smart Actuator Company a success.

SmartAct began by developing a new range of highly energy efficient actuators, or motorised valves. Now it is working on projects to extend the technology in to different applications which include traction drives for electric and hybrid vehicles as well as a range of electricity generators.

James O'Donnell talks to harriett Baldwin Mp about the SmartAct Electric Actuator
James O’Donnell talks to Harriett Baldwin MP about the SmartAct Electric Actuator

James O’Donnell, who accompanied Harriett on her tour, and is the SmartAct MD said, ‘Our team of people owe Harriett a big thank you for finding the time to come along and support us today. This is just the next step for us; we plan to invest up to £9 Million to build a brand-new, state of the art factory and Research & Development Centre in Malvern over the next few years. Hopefully, we can do that here on the Advantage Business Park but if not then we have two or three other sites as possibilities in the Malvern area.’

James O'Donnell, Tony O'Donnell & Harriet Baldwin MP
James O’Donnell, Tony O’Donnell & Harriet Baldwin MP

Harriett Baldwin said, ‘This is another success story for a Worcestershire business which has brought new products to market based on game changing technology. Their continued success means more jobs and prosperity for our local community and I will continue to support them in whatever way I can in the future’

Most of the current SmartAct products are exported and this is likely to be the same for any new products looking forwards. We work closely with The Department of International Trade, local Chamber of Commerce and the British Valve and Actuator Association to ensure success internationally, nationally and locally.

The secret to the success of the SmartAct product range is collaboration with the right people and organisations as well as great technology. The core technology is lightweight, uses much lower levels of raw materials, is massively more energy efficient and reduces the carbon footprint by up to 75% compared to traditional designs for motors and generators. This means that we have both a great technologically up to date smart product that is also very environmentally friendly.

Tonya O'Donnell, James O'Donnell, Harriett Baldwin, Chris O'Donnell & Tony O'Donnell.
Tonya O’Donnell, James O’Donnell, Harriett Baldwin, Chris O’Donnell & Tony O’Donnell.

 

Merry Christmas from the SmartAct Company Team

Merry Christmas from the SmartAct Company Team
The Smart Actuator Team get into the festive spirit.
The Smart Actuator Team get into the festive spirit.
An engineers idea of a perfect Christmas Jumper.
An engineers idea of a perfect Christmas Jumper.

Great to see the team getting into the Christmas spirit. You have to love a good Christmas fun jumper. After a really great successful year the team deserve a day out at the Annual Christmas party. The Christmas jumpers were optional but it’s fabulous to see everyone really embracing the positive energy at the moment and the fun of Christmas with a fun display of tacky attire. Wishing all our distribution partners, customers and fans a wonderful Christmas and Good tidings for 2017. It will be a great year.

On a side note our company Inventor / Technical Director James O’Donnell showed us a perfect example of what happens when an engineer buys a Christmas Jumper !!

Successful Exhibition at ValveWorld Dusseldorf 2016

Smart Actuator Team celebrate great event at ValveWorld Expo 2016 in Dusseldorf

The Smart Actuator Company team celebrated a successful exhibit and event at ValveWorld Expo 2016 in Dusseldorf.

Smart Actuator Team celebrate great event at ValveWorld Expo 2016 in Dusseldorf
Smart Actuator Team celebrate great event at ValveWorld Expo 2016 in Dusseldorf

Whether you are an exhibitor or a visitor, trade fairs and consumer shows are great places to network and forge good business relationships. One of our industry largest exhibitions is ValveWorld. ValveWorld Expo takes places every other year in Dusseldorf Germany. In between there is also a ValveWorld America Expo as well as an Inonesian Expo. This is the second time we have attended ValveWorld in Dusseldorf and each year we get better at both organising our exhibition, collecting and capturing leads and ensuring we have a successful exhibition experience. This year we used MyFairTool as a lead capture program which enabled us to instantly capture the information of our visitors and email them to say thank you for visiting our stand as well as give a contact for future correspondence.

As well as making new connections which we hope to do future business with we were also able to launch a new product. If you have a new product and you want to promote it this is the perfect time. We introduced the Small 0 – 40 Nm Electric Actuator featured both on our stand and at our launch event.

The Small 0 - 40 Nm Electric Actuator
The Small 0 – 40 Nm Electric Actuator

We also featured the subsea large Electric Actuator which was on display in it’s water tank for full effect. For full product information of any of our Electric Actuator’s please visit our download page where you can download a pdf Data Sheet Brochure or see our product page for more information.

Getting Ready for Valve World Dusseldorf

Getting Ready for Valve World Dusseldorf
Valve World Expo Dusseldorf
Valve World Expo Dusseldorf

Valve World Dusseldorf is one of the Worlds largest trade shows for the Valve and Actuator Industry. The world of specialists meets in Düsseldorf at the most important international trade fair for valves and industrial valves.The location is the Messe Dusseldorf which is a huge exhibition centre in Dusseldorf hosting 19 Halls. We will be in Hall 4 on Stand C

It has been super busy in our offices making sure we are ready. Tickets for travel, hotel accommodation booked, stand organised and staff all ready. Sounds easy doesn’t it but the logistics of making sure we were ready has involved a lot of work from various members of staff. We have relaunched our website to ensure it is mobile friendly, updated our marketing material and re branded our company logo.

So far deliveries of new printed material have been arriving at our offices amid much excitement from team. We all look forward to seeing tjem on display next week.

Centre stage will be our Sub Sea Actuator in it’s fish tank which we know will get lot’s of attention.

VW16-smallThe lads in our machine shop and technical team have worked hard to create a stand to display our units which will travel to Dusseldorf with our Operations Director in the company van.

Four of our Directors will be on hand during the 3 days at the event (29th November to 1st December) to talk to anyone who would like information and gather contact information.

We have our own hashtag for the Expo so if you do visit us please do take photo’s and share them on social media with the hashtag #SmartActVW16.

We are also excited to be hosting an event on Wednesday 30th November in collaboration with the British Consulate in Germany. Susan Speller the British Consul General in Dusseldorf is our guest speaker at the event which will be in Room 28 (between Halls 1 and 3). This event is by invitation only but should anyone be interested in attending please speak to one of the Directors before hand or at the event about getting an invitation.

 

Sub Sea Actuator gets exhibition ready

Sub Sea Actuator gets exhibition ready

Exciting times for us at The Smart Actuator Company as we gear up to go to Valve World in Dusseldorf later this month. We are all busy getting brochures & stand graphics etc ready as well as ensuring the invitations go out to our Launch Reception on Nov 30th.

One of the other things that is getting exhibition ready is our Sub Sea Actuator. We have created a purpose built display to show it working in water inside a fish tank. It is mounted on a KSB Boax B Butterfly Valve.  Our stand graphics will show the Sub Sea Unit too which is very exciting. They are being created specially for Valve World.