Ask Michael Clayton, CEO, what it is that contributes to Derby Rubber’s success, and he’ll tell you it’s about helping its customers succeed.
Critical to this is a reliable product, excellent two-way customer communication and, something that’s not been easy during the pandemic – a dependable supply chain.
Derby Rubber manufactures industry-leading ballast regulator rubber broom elements and is well known for its flagship Ballastick® suite of products. The single-piece Ballastick® rubber broom elements have carved out an enviable reputation, renowned for their durability and reliability.
The unique compound design delivers superior durability and performance, which means more uptime for ballast regulating equipment and long-term cost savings as components are replaced less often. The unique shape of the Ballastick® shaft enhances delivery with a more effective sweep, making it quicker and easier – often requiring only a single pass-through.
The clamp used to swiftly and smoothly attach the broom elements was designed by Derby Rubber and is highly valued in the market because it reduces down-time, increases functional efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.
After speaking with its customers, Derby Rubber found that they appreciated the overall value the Ballastick® delivered. The superior performance and the design make it more durable, resulting in as much as a three to four times longer life span.
Ultimately, the Derby Rubber design surpasses cheaper alternatives and delivers undeniable value. When it comes to engineered design Derby Rubber has a highly skilled and knowledgeable team whose members spend time collaborating with customers across the globe to ensure they exceed expectations, not just with product design, but in the durability their products deliver.
The team encompasses sales and customer support personnel right through to product developers, technical chemical engineers, a logistics department and manufacturing facilities in both Australia and Europe.
“People make a business – whether that’s us as the supplier or our customers on the tracks.”
This focus on product quality and dependability has led to very rewarding long-term partnerships for Derby Rubber. “After returning from our first trade show in three years we reconnected with our customers face to face and met new ones and it reaffirmed that our customers see us as friends and partners, not just as commercial associates.” The benefits have been innumerable.
Speak to one of Derby Rubber’s longest-standing customers, New Sorema Ferroviaria, an Italian company that designs and manufactures on-track machines and railway vehicles for the construction and maintenance of track lines, and this is reaffirmed.
“I consider the people at Derby Rubber – Stephen, Michael and Peter – friends first of all. This allows us to talk and find the solution in every situation.”
Amongst the solutions was a collaboration between Derby Rubber and New Sorema Ferroviaria to find a way of attaching the higher-quality Derby Rubber elements to existing machinery, which had previously used basic- level components.
“After using our ballast regulators and testing solid and hollow elements, our customers asked us whether it would be possible to mount Derby Rubber’s solid elements in their ballast regulators instead of a competitor’s elements. We talked with Derby Rubber and they happily supplied us with all the accessories required to fix the problem.”
It’s a relationship that has spanned over two decades, and today, New Sorema Ferroviaria uses Derby Rubber’s Ballasticks® for all its brushes. This 20-year relationship is testament to the quality of the product, exceptional service and collaboration.
The challenges of the pandemic impacted sea freight and manufacturing globally, and Derby Rubber quickly ascertained that a just-in-case philosophy needed to be adopted and just-in-time needed to be retired.
“We were committed to getting orders to all our global customers, and we had some very challenging issues when it came to our supply chain. We worked with and constantly communicated with our customers, so we could manage their expectations. Our key goal was to minimise disruption.”
“Derby Rubber is a partner who is attentive to customer needs and is quick to supply items. Regular feedback requests make the manufacturer and end-customer feel well looked after.”
Derby Rubber’s supply outlets in Europe assisted the efforts in responsive supply. They were able to swiftly activate additional orders to ensure consistency of stock that would serve the needs of its European customers. The Australian manufacturing headquarters remained the main conduit to service the Australasian market. And while no one can accurately predict when products will be needed and in what quantity, a robust supply model, well-maintained inventory, and a just-in-case attitude helped keep everything on track.
With the rail industry preparing for the largest rail trade show InnoTrans this September, Derby Rubber is looking forward to exhibiting and reconnecting with friends and customers. You can find us in Hall 21, Stand 237.
This article was originally published by Derby Rubber.
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