25 Years of W&H UK
On the occasion of its 25th Anniversary in 2016 Sonia Tracey, Managing Director of W&H UK gives an insight into the history and successful growth of W&H UK. On 1st July 1991 W&H UK was born. Today it employs 29 members of staff, looking after UK and Ireland and works with distributor partners to continue to enhance and build the W&H brand and sales of W&H products.
UK subsidiary supports a greater brand awareness
The original team comprised of Nicola Miller, Steve Price and Sean Callum all of whom had been working with W&H products for many years. Nicola Miller, an inspired Managing Director oversaw the fast growth of the subsidiary, taking market share from the established competition.
The company grew quickly and with the increase in sales, it was agreed that W&H UK needed to be able to support their products internally from the UK so the Technical Service Department was opened shortly after the UK subsidiary's inception, this department was headed up by Martin Disbrey. The Technical Service Department now has 12 members of the team, enhancing the customer service offered and supporting the continuing company growth.
Successful growth in the UK market
Charles Meadows joined the company as National Sales Manager with responsibility for Dental Schools in July 1993. Charles was promoted to Managing Director when Nicola Miller left the Company and became a valued and respected member of the W&H Management Team, latterly working internationally although always UK based.
Sonia Tracey re-joined W&H UK in 2011 as CEO, subsequently replacing Charles as Managing Director when he retired in 2014. Sonia had originally joined W&H as a Sales Representative in 1994, leaving in 2002 to gain a wealth of experience in both the medical field and then as Managing Director of competitors, before rejoining W&H in 2011.
W&H UK today employs 29 members of staff
W&H UK today employs 29 members of staff, looking after UK and Ireland, including internal team members covering Customer Services, Finance, Marketing and Technical Service and external members including our National Sales Manager, Business Development Managers and Field Service Engineers.
The current structure includes a focus on sales through education, courses and working with Key Opinion Leaders. The Business Development Managers, specialise in the application areas, i.e. RIC, Surgical and Restoration and Prosthetics allowing them a core focus. W&H UK works with distributor partners to continue to enhance and build the W&H brand and sales in the UK.
Adapting to current market requirements
In 2011 W&H UK underwent a complete office refurbishment, making them a modern, comfortable working environment and allowing the opportunity to include the “Malata Suite” which includes a new experience room and self-contained, meeting and training facility for in house courses in an appropriate setting.
Following the ethos 'People have Priority'
In line with W&H’s company ethos ‘People have Priority’ in the UK they believe in working to help stakeholders and those who need help both at home and overseas. W&H UK take a team focused approach and in fact won a British Dental Industry Highly Commended Award in recognition of a charity team building event they ran in 2015. The W&H Team spent the afternoon working with Earthworks representatives at their site just outside St Albans to assist the charity volunteers in improving the environment for the vulnerable adults who find sanctuary at this wonderful facility.
Amongst W&H UK's successes
Over the years W&H have seen many successes including having a strong presence in all of the UK teaching hospitals, thereby making sure that all dental students are able to experience W&H products prior to qualifying. W&H UK has been awarded a number of prestigious contracts including: supplying the Boots and Bupa Dental Clinics; Ministry of Defence Contracts and Dental School Contracts. Only last year W&H handpieces were included in a large tender to fit out onsite dental clinics at the European headquarters of a major international corporation. W&H (UK) have also been proactive in submitting products for awards and have won a number of product awards including Clinical Innovations awards for the Facelight, Synea Vision and the TK-94 L. W&H UK has also won British Dental Industry Highly Commended Award for our website.
Work hard to continue building on success
To celebrate the 25th anniversary, W&H UK is planning a boat trip on the River Thames and inviting valued customers, W&H Management, the dental press andmembers of the dental industry. With the challenges W&H UK faces in the market, W&H is looking forward to a positive future, working hard to continue building on success.