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Built On The Back Of “Service & Honesty”: Andy Toms Discusses TLM Laser’s Enviable Reputation

TLM Laser Ltd is a dedicated laser sales and service company, founded in 2006, and which today provides a complete range of laser technology products. The company has also built up an impeccable service and maintenance programme that is aimed at meeting its ever-growing customer demands. The company’s engineers are located regionally throughout the UK to ensure a quick and efficient service both for emergency breakdown cover or the implementation of a preventative maintenance contract.

TLM as a business is active across many different areas within laser processing and has built up a solid reputation based on consistently exceptional customer service, backed by the long-term experience and expertise of the team. The company supply’s laser products from some of the World leaders in laser technology, including Altec, Foba, Innolas and Univet, as well as ALPHA LASER, and Coherent.

Andy Toms, Director at TLM Laser, explains. We are a small company so we can react quickly and make decisions that larger organisations with tiers of management struggle to make. We have built our business on the back of service and honesty rather than on the back of a product. It doesn’t matter how good a product is, if you can’t get it fixed at a reasonable cost in good time then customers won’t come back. Cheap isn’t always good, as inevitably somewhere there is a compromise, and that is normally at the back end – service. We have aligned ourselves with true specialist companies who are the best at what they do, and this combined with our service reputation makes it difficult for others to compete.

TLM Laser is proud of its customer service record, and plans for further growth within it’s Bromsgrove base, plus the potential for expansion into other geographical regions as the install base continues to grow, will help to consolidate and maintain a regionally based service network.

The business is constantly looking to add new laser technology products to its portfolio. This, together with the lower manufacturing costs of the latest laser systems, plus the ability to transfer laser technology to other processes, means TLM has ongoing opportunities to enter new markets and industry sectors with additional products, still implementing the same fundamental core principles of quality and customer service.

A good example of this is Fibre technology, which over the last few years has grown beyond expectation and it is becoming prolific in all sectors. In the near future this is likely to result in prices falling further for the end user and in turn laser processing becoming much more affordable. As laser technology becomes more affordable generally, it is noticeable that end users are looking to bring processes back in house, rather than subcontracting these process out which has been happening previously, so this is great news as far as TLM Laser Ltd is concerned.

The company is a member of various different industry organisations that have continue to prove beneficial to its success These include the Association of Industrial Laser Users (AILU), Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), Chamber of Commerce and GTMA included amongst many others. TLM’s membership of these organisations relate to the industries the business serves, and quite often the company is in the same association as its customers therefore they instantly know that TLM understand the specific requirements of their industry and effectively speaks the same language.

At the heart of TLM’s continued success are its people. Andy Toms explains: We value our staff the most and that is what makes our company great. We are sensitive to their needs and wellbeing which larger corporations seem to lose touch on. I wouldn’t ask any member of staff to do something that I wouldn’t be prepared to do myself, or put them out of their comfort zone. In a small company there is nowhere to hide so it is important that all members of staff are made to feel their contribution is as important as anybody else’s.

Giving people the right tools to do the job is also a major factor, but allowing people to get on and do their job is equally as important without micro managing people. We allow our staff to make decisions you wouldn’t get to make in a bigger organisation, and with that comes variety as there are never two days the same.

Despite the fact that TLM is small in size, they are partners with some of the largest laser technology companies in the world, who are the best at what they do globally. Having this good working relationship with these companies is key in terms of the team drawing on the experience and expertise and overcoming any day-to-day challenges.

Andy Toms comments: Partnerships are great as long as they are seamless, so taking responsibility for your products and services etc. is vital no matter what. Quite often we come across instances where competitors try to blame the supplier or subcontractor, and all this creates is confusion, bad feeling and three way arguments. At TLM we treat our partners, subcontractors and consultants as part of the company, so that the end customer doesn’t get a fragmented product offering.

TLM places a lot of emphasis on new technologies and the benefits which can be realised by customers by introducing these machines and systems into their current manufacturing processes. Getting this message across comes down to a pro-active marketing strategy, highlighted in the company’s ongoing investment in its web site, trade shows, advertising, editorial articles and social media. For a company of its size TLM’s marketing and promotional spend is probably greater than that of larger organisations. This strategy however ensures that customers clearly understand what is available, what they are buying into and the benefits to be realised.

TLM’s ethos and work ethic are the attributes that make it stand out as an exceptional company within a competitive industry. With the dedication of the company’s Directors and personnel to these values we can expect to see the business continue to grow with a bright future ahead for TLM!

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