Llyr Roberts, CEO of Prysmian UK operations, has a three-word answer when asked about his priorities while dealing with market uncertainties due to the unfolding process of Brexit. Llyr explains that as the UK economy is projected to slow-down over the coming years, “We are unlikely to benefit from a growing cable market.” A side effect of Brexit is that costs are increasing on the back of a devaluing pound as Prysmian UK purchases most of its raw materials (in Euros) from European suppliers.
The company has to continue to aggressively manage its cost base in order to maintain competitiveness: “Cost management,” Llyr says, “comes in the form of many initiatives, although efficiency and optimisation in everything we do is at the forefront.” This largely relates to our production processes in the form of material consumption and scrap generation.
CEO Prysmian UK
However, notwithstanding the need to address our cost base, Llyr states, “Our operational priorities continue to be ‘Safety’, which means a zero-harm environment for all employees, ‘Quality’, which is right first time manufacture and ensuring that no defective products reach our customers, and finally ‘Service’, which is reliably and consistently delivering products and services in full and on time.”
Looking ahead to 2018, Prysmian UK is finalising its business planning process: an extremely detailed exercise culminating in the agreement of the company Management Plan. Llyr sees the impact of Brexit negotiations as “overlaying on any current market or business assumptions as we move ever closer to the early 2019 separation from the EU.” From Prysmian’s perspective, he goes on, “We simply have to maintain the maximum level of speed and flexibility, and be prepared to react and respond should our business environment change for the better or for the worse.”
“It is only through the collective efforts of every single employee in the company that we can hope to deliver the business results expected of us,
whilst helping the group to achieve its growth ambitions.”
“How would you future proof Prysmian for the next 10, 15 or 20 years, today? How about for 2041 with only £1,000 prepaid credit cards at your disposal and starting with a completely blank canvas?” asks Riccardo Weber, Director Marketing & Development and Executive Sponsor of Future Thinking, “That’s the challenge we set our Future Thinkers… Not a chance many people get in their careers.”
To answer these questions Prysmian UK launched an initiative called ‘Future Thinking’ to give employees the opportunity to take part in shaping the future, and learn how the business can become better in delivering effective and rapid change. The results of a pilot project focused on employee engagement demonstrated the great potential for the Future Thinking concept, as the involved group also explored some of the profound technological changes that will affect our industry within the next 25 years. Future groups will work on projects of choice which they believe will improve Prysmian in the UK.
Prysmian Group is calling for legislation to oust substandard cables, after it has been campaigning for many years to make the manufacturing and importing of substandard electrical cable into the UK illegal.
Industry estimates that 20% of all the cable in the UK is substandard, non-approved or counterfeit and that some 4,000 fires in buildings each year are down to faulty electrics. As a responsible manufacturer, Prysmian ensures that all of its products conform to the most rigorous quality standards. The company is appalled that dangerous cables are still allowed into the UK market.
Prysmian UK supports the British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC) and actively promotes the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI), to try stopping dangerous cable getting into UK homes. The new European Construction Product Regulation (CPR), which came into effect on July 1st 2017, is a step in the right direction, but even this regulation does not apply to all types of cable. Prysmian is always willing to support its customers even during the delicate transition both out of European Union and towards the respect of the new standards.