Brightwell Dispensers, the global designer and manufacturer of innovative dispensers for soap, paper, and chemicals is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. From its beginnings as a small family business, the company has established itself as a manufacturer of high-quality products for the cleaning and hygiene industry. We talk to Matthew Dwelly, General Manager of Brightwell Dispensers, about the company’s journey over the last 70 years and their future plans.
It has been 70 years since the launch of Brightwell Dispensers. What would you say has been the company’s biggest achievement?
Over the last 70 years, Brightwell Dispensers has evolved into an internationally successful company, exporting products to over 85 countries. We have come a long way from the creation of the first soap dispenser in 1947 and now offer our customers around the world innovative soap, paper and chemical dispensing systems.
Brightwell Dispensers has always made it one of its goals to remain forward thinking and to continue to design quality new products. Our headquarters has been based in the UK from the beginning, and a strong network of global distributors supports us. Our biggest achievement has been the continued growth and global presence we now have.
What are the dynamics like in a family-owned business like Brightwell?
Our business culture is to produce innovative high quality products for our customers around the world, and we always challenge ourselves to be the best. We build strong personal relationships with our customers and stakeholders, and we have clients we have been working with for over 40 years.
As a family business, we provide opportunities for everyone within our business. Many of our supervisors and managers began their career as operatives, and we ensure this kind of opportunity remains open for all our employees through training and mentoring plans. We value our employees, and our success is only possible with the help and commitment of our staff.
Give us an idea of the trends in dosing and diluting systems across the globe and in the Middle East region.
Thanks to innovations and advancements in technology, there is a constant supply of equipment in the market of chemical dosing systems, and determining which supplier to choose can become a challenge. Cost considerations generally form the basis for the decision-making process, but there are additional factors that should be taken in consideration. Reliability, high quality and optimal performance are just some of the points. Engineering costs around the world are increasing, and we are looking at ways to help our customers reduce cost by researching new technologies including the use of IoT.
How aware are clients in the Middle East region about dispensing? What are their expectations?
The Middle East is a dynamic and well-informed market. Businesses are very aware about the trends and benefits of dispensing. By choosing to dilute chemical concentrates at the point of use and sourcing water on-site, transport costs and, in turn, carbon emissions are significantly reduced. In addition, accurate dosing minimises chemical wastage and provides cost-in-use benefits. Therefore, many businesses are now using chemical dispensing systems, as they appreciate the benefits of dosing systems, which are directly related to the accurate, safe dispensing of chemicals and cost benefits. I believe the customers in the Middle East see the benefit of investing in quality products that give them a great return.
Today, companies are adopting Industry 4.0 from their manufacturing set-up until the operational phase. Where does Brightwell Dispensers stand in this trend?
Manufacturers are always looking into ways to improve productivity, reduce costs and become fully automated. Industry 4.0 is preparing manufacturers to enhance their supply chains and production line, which in return will bring a much higher level of automation and digitisation. It is important for us to implement Industry 4.0.; we already have the infrastructure and capabilities and have started our implementation journey. We have made significant investments in our automated manufacturing and SMART plant equipment over the last few years.
What is the time span between conceptualising a product and launching it in the market? What are the various stages involved?
Before we launch a new product, we follow our product development programme, which includes various stages such as the feasibility, viability, design-development stage and finally the implementation and product launch. The time span from start to finish can vary depending on the complexity and requirements; this can range from six months to two years.
A lot of emphasis is also being placed on sustainability. As a manufacturer, a lot of the responsibility to the environment rests on your shoulders. What steps has Brightwell taken towards this goal?
At Brightwell Dispensers sustainability is part of our company's ethos. As an ISO14001:2004 certified company; we have processes in place to ensure that our operations are sustainable. These processes enable us to continually monitor and improve the environmental and social impacts of our activities on the planet and people around us. We take our responsibility very seriously. This means we find the best balance between sustaining human resources and the environment, evaluating the economics of the situation so that we remain competitive and profitable, all whilst continuing to meet customers’ needs.
What would you say is Brightwell Dispensers’ USP?
Our product ranges cover all professional hygiene and cleaning environments such as awayfrom- home washrooms, healthcare and leisure facilities, on premise and industrial laundries and professional kitchens. Our strong USP is that we have all our design and manufacturing in house. This allows us to control the quality during the entire process of product development and production to enable us to offer a quick, flexible service while ensuring product excellence. We are dedicated to providing our customers the best possible solution for their specific requirements.
What would you see as the future of Brightwell Dispensers?
We are living in rapidly changing times, and as a business, it is important to be forward thinking and innovative. You have to continually invest in and use new technologies to keep ahead of the market. If you don’t invest you will stand still. We are planning to continue to grow our business in the Middle East market, and I foresee a great future for Brightwell Dispensers in this region.