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Happy Birthday Qimtek!

Sarah Venning

Qimtek recently celebrated its fifteenth birthday the way that birthdays should be celebrated… with cake and champagne!

On Friday 11th October the workday drew to a close early at the Qimtek offices, in order to toast the milestone. After drinking a glass or two of champagne and eating a slice of Qimtek’s very own birthday cake (as baked by Qimtek owner Karl Wigart), the Qimtek team headed out for a meal - and plenty more drinks - to celebrate.

With a majority of Qimtek’s staff having been with the company for several years or longer, this milestone felt important to the entire team. Here, we take a brief look back over our history, as well as looking to our plans for the future.

Qimtek - A Brief History:

Our business model was able to level the playing field and encourage buyers to focus on value rather than price.

Founded in 2004, Qimtek is the brainchild of Karl and Hans Wigart. Inspired by their grandfather, Bengt Wigart, who in 1938 started a construction information company in their native Sweden, Karl and Hans were keen to bring their own solution to the UK manufacturing market. Qimtek provides a sourcing solution that allows buyers to receive quotes from UK subcontract engineering suppliers who can assist with their requirements - not much has changed from this original concept, although we have adapted the service to meet the needs of modern buyers and suppliers.

As anybody who has used Qimtek’s services knows, we champion British manufacturing. Qimtek’s inception came at a time where the UK had lost a lot of its engineering business to overseas suppliers, meaning that our business model was able to level the playing field and encourage buyers to focus on value rather than price. This philosophy is still very much at the forefront of Qimtek’s service fifteen years later, as we continue to match UK buyers with UK suppliers.

As Qimtek grew, so did our team. Excellent staff retention has ensured that comprehensive engineering knowledge has stayed within our business, with all team members being able to read engineering drawings and understand what each enquiry entails. Subsequently, we have crafted our expertise to ensure that our introductions are between buyers and suppliers who have a vested business interest in one another, leading to the formation of long-term professional relationships.

Partnerships & More:

It's important for Qimtek to provide buyers and suppliers with the best possible new business platform.

Over the years, there have been plenty of exciting new developments, including the launch of our upgraded website in 2015. As our service is predominantly online, it’s important for Qimtek to provide buyers and suppliers with the best possible new business platform. Although the original site had served its users well, it was necessary for a replacement to be built to cope with the modern challenges surrounding search engine optimisation. A new website allowed us to continue to actively promote its subcontract members, while also introducing a range of new features to facilitate better communication - not just between buyers and suppliers, but also the industry at large.

We’ve also partnered with a number of well-known industry events in recent years, starting with Subcon in 2016 and again in 2017. The partnership gave Qimtek members a chance to exhibit within a dedicated member ‘village’, whilst also enjoying preferential rates and the opportunity to network with active buyers at an invite-only drinks reception. 

This strategy proved so successful for participating suppliers that Qimtek decided to partner with several other industry events, including Advanced Engineering in 2018. The introduction of Advanced Engineering’s UK Contract Manufacturing Zone aligned with our focus on the national subcontract industry - as a result, Qimtek will once again be promoting the use of UK engineering supply chains at 2019’s event.

Of course, it’s not just shows that we’ve partnered with. For the past two years, Qimtek has integrated Engineering Capacity’s magazine into our own website, resulting in a comprehensive news source for Qimtek members and buyers, as well as the wider scope of the manufacturing industry.

The Future of Qimtek:

Our focus for the future is not on growth - but rather, quality.

Currently, Qimtek has 330 subcontract engineering members spanning a wide range of engineering processes and sources for thousands of manufacturing buyers each year. 

Our focus for the future is not on growth - but rather, quality. Due to the vast multitude of processes offered by our members, it’s crucial to us that we continue to generate projects that match these capabilities, as well as putting our buyers in touch with quality suppliers who can fulfil their requirements. We want to fully understand our members and buyers from both a supply and a purchasing perspective, meaning that we will soon be looking to cap our membership to ensure a high quality, sustainable service.

We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has worked with us over the past fifteen years and hopefully for many more years to come.

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Qimtek’s full history is featured on pages 68 and 69 in the latest edition of M&MT Magazine! Click here to read it.

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About Sarah Venning

Sarah is a sales & marketing content writer, with six years of experience within the engineering & manufacturing industry.  Working both at Qimtek and on a freelance basis, she can usually be found hammering away at a keyboard or with her head in a pile of engineering drawings. 

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