That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, catches up with Adrian Malanaphy, CEO and managing director of M-Tec Engineering, Swanlinbar, County Cavan following last year’s interview.
“M-Tec Engineering was set up in early 2020 by my father and I.
I lived in Australia for three years before the business and worked as a service technician for Volvo Trucks.
Meanwhile, my father owned a mushroom farm for 26 years and previous to this, he worked as a foreman at Quinns & McCaffreys, two well-known local businesses in the area.
We had initially been in business selling farm machinery, but we always wanted to design and manufacture our own product range.
After completing market research for a number of months, we believed there was an opening in the market for high-quality trailers.
Our vision is to become a well-known global brand for high-quality premium trailers manufactured in Ireland.
Shortly after we decided to manufacture trailers, my sister, Therese, joined the business as head of operations & finance.
My father, Danny, who is also managing director, is head of production and with lots of experience in this field, plays a key role in hitting targets, encouraging our staff, and always having the production lines organised.
As of recent, my other sister, Noeleen joined the business as head of marketing.
We all play key roles in running and growing the business – it is very important to have a strong leadership team that you can trust.
Update for readers – 12x6FT Livestock Trailer
At the point of last year’s interview, we had just launched our 12x6FT Livestock Trailer at the National Ploughing Championships and we have been very busy since.
We have doubled our workforce, opened two new assembly lines, and focused mainly on improving efficiencies within production and the design and innovation of new products.
Since our last interview this time last year, we have launched a 6x4FT Single Axle Trailer, Quad Master Trailer, sheep decks for the 12x6FT Livestock trailer, launched our 14x6FT Tri-Axle Livestock Trailer and with decks too.
On the back of business growth, we have established a marketing department.
It is now an exciting part of the business as we are starting to implement departments within the business, for example, sales, marketing, purchasing and quality control.
Before this, the management team had to cover a lot of different roles, whereas now, we can really focus on scaling up the business, increasing output and seeking new markets to sell our products.
Expanding our reach
We noticed a huge difference in this year’s National Ploughing Championships compared to last year.
Last year, we were trying to break into a very competitive market with our livestock trailer.
Although we received a full order book and positive feedback on the 12x6FT livestock trailer, we still felt quite new to the market, but this year was different.
Most people who came to visit us had heard such great feedback about our livestock trailers that they wanted to see it for themselves.
We even had some customers come to the event to order their husband’s livestock trailers as the farmers could not get to the event – this shows the determination they had.
Since launching our 12x6FT Livestock Trailer last year, we have designed easy-to-use sheep decks and launched the highly anticipated 14x6FT Tri-Axle Livestock Trailer.
The innovative feature we have added to our livestock trailers is a safety bar.
From speaking with farmers over the last year, a common issue they had was with the side door access bar.
Some farmers believed it had to be there for strength, while others found it a safety hazard when entering and exiting the trailer.
The safety bar is a simple yet incredibly effective addition to the livestock trailer.
The safety bar can be opened to enable farmers to enter or exit from the side access door without the need to bend down, reducing the risk of being hit by livestock.
When completed, the safety bar can be closed, and this ensures that the strength of the trailer is not compromised.
There are a number of key features on our livestock trailers; some of the main ones being the stable towing experience of the trailer.
We designed a lot of prototypes and got farmers to take the trailer for testing to seek feedback so we could design a livestock trailer with the best towing experience.
We also use strong aluminium loading gates, and LED lighting, which is flush with the rear posts to avoid breaking the lights and have now designed the ‘safety bar’ to prioritise farmers’ safety.
We do the full production process onsite and the only part we outsource is the galvanising.
We have dealers across Ireland and the UK and encourage customers to contact their closest dealer to get pricing for our products. Our full list of dealers can be found on our website. www.m-tec.ie
Social media plays a huge role in our business, and the addition of a marketing department in the business has been crucial for our growth.
For example, our latest TikTok video of our sheep decks has garnered over 500,000 views to date.
We try our best to make the marketing of our products more personal to our customers, so they are aware it is a family-run business and see the determination and love we have for what we do.
Our plan for the next twelve months is to scale up majorly on production.
We are fortunate to have waiting lists for dealers waiting on our products from six different countries.
Moreover, we have also just secured a contract with Australia, which will be fantastic publicity for the brand.
We will also be launching more innovative products; will it be trailers? Will it be something new? Time will tell.
Our ultimate goal is to become the best-quality trailer manufacturer in Ireland, to build a global brand, to support our local community with more jobs and to become as sustainable as possible.
We would like to say a special thank you to all our staff for their hard work in helping us achieve our ambitious plans and goals over the last number of years.
Also, a special thank you to our customers and dealerships, both near and far, for supporting us and helping us to grow.
The hard work is far from over and we are only scratching the surface of where we want to be.”
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