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Monitoring and Control Laboratories (MCL) supply a wide range of laboratory equipment to customers from many different industries. Having enjoyed impressive growth in recent years spoke to managing director Richard Hattersley about adding value to their services and about the benefits of working in South Africa.


tarting a business involves taking opportunities when they arise. Having worked for a wellestablished company Richard Hattersley decided to start his own, continuing with the product lines he had come to know. MCL now offers a wider range than ever, and Hattersley has been “adding to them over the years, going to exhibitions and picking them up as we have been going along.” Often new companies start with the aim of filling a specific market gap. The nature of MCL’s products – laboratory equipment including glassware, chemicals as well as complex devices used in more industrial settings – means that they are in demand from sectors as diverse as petrochemical and education, so its expertise is wide-ranging. Hattersley explains MCL’s diverse array of customers: “We are involved in almost every type of industry in the scientific sector, so we work in the academic and research industry, as well as the industrial and clinical. Our products also cover food, beverages and other materials, mining and prep, chemicals, pharmaceutical and cosmetics as well as environmental.”


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ELE International

Doing things properly

As it stands, MCL’s focus is on expanding across the continent and taking advantage of markets that are increasingly mature, especially as economies like Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana continue to grow. Hattersley explains that “I think we are going to stick to South Africa and sub Saharan Africa and do it properly, as opposed to spreading our wings too much and taking too much on, and risking watering down our efforts and support.”

“Our turnover grew by 35% last year, and I think despite being around 25 years old we are still growing

So rather than trying to expand their products into other industries or trying to find new customer bases abroad, MCL’s strategy is to focus on doing what it does as well as possible. This means adding value to its services and making sure customers are getting the best out of the products they receive. With equipment that requires specialist knowledge to implement, control and maintain this comes in the form of a significant focus on customer support, and cultivating a group of technicians who can deal with problems quickly and efficiently. MCL’s support is based in Johannesburg, with three technicians already employed by the company and a fourth set to join soon. Another technician works from the Durban office and helps deal with customers further away from South Africa. This focus on customer support is something that sets MCL apart from competitors and keeps customers returning. Hattersley says that being there with advice and expertise “adds value to what we can offer – not only do we supply the equipment, we can train people on it and we can install it, commission it and back it up at any time.” Properly maintaining this support network means staff training is important to MCL. Hattersley says that the company sends “both our technicians and product managers overseas for training”.


ELE International specialises in the design, manufacture and supply of high quality construction materials testing equipment and environmental instrumentation. Our products are backed by global customer service, with comprehensive technical and applications support. ELE International was founded in 1961 to supply testing equipment to the Construction Materials Industry. The Environmental Division, specialising in international projects, was created in 1983. Product sales, service and advice is available from strategically located offices in the UK and USA, supported by regional offices with ELE associates located in People’s Republic of China, the Middle East and Singapore. As part of the multi-national Danaher Corporation, we have the resources, skills and knowledge to support your business, providing the expertise you need for accurate, reliable and consistent sample testing. In August 2014, ELE appointed MCL (Monitoring and Control Laboratories) as its sole distributor for the South African market. MCL prides itself on its highly professional team, strong product knowledge and reliability. With outstanding after-sales service, MCL technicians can cover South Africa and the Southern African region from their head office in Johannesburg and branches in KwaZulu Natal and Cape Town. We share a common focus to maintain our market profile as a “value for money” supplier of high quality goods and services to our customers. ELE International Tel: +44 (0)1525 249200

Global expertise in the design, manufacture and supply of civil engineering materials testing equipment We supply high quality construction materials testing equipment and environmental instrumentation to cover the following areas: ± ± ± ± ± ± ±

Soil & geotechnical Concrete Cement Aggregates Asphalt Rock And more

Our customers work in We serve to the following markets, tailoring each solution to the specific needs of those customers: ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ±

Education Quality control laboratories Geotechnical laboratories Contractors Government laboratories Research organisations Concrete & cement producers Asphalt producers Engineers & consultants

In partnership with


ELE International, Chartmoor Road, Chartwell Business Park,

• t: +44 (0)1525 249 200

Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 4WG,

• f: +44 (0)1525 249 249

England, United Kingdom

• e:

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MCL has a relationship with Brookfield AMETEK, a company based in the USA and the world’s leading manufacturer of viscometers and rheometers. “We send our staff to Brookfield every year, so they get a lot of good experience. On the financial side our staff do other types of training too, whether that be accounting package software programmes, computers, etc, so staff training is a very important aspect of our business.”


MCL’s growth continues to be impressive. “Our turnover grew by 35% last year, and I think despite being around 25 years old we are still growing – and that was in the recession. We try hard to do everything to make our customers happy, and we are always looking for new markets within the sectors that we already do business.” One of the reasons this level of growth has been maintained has been the strengthening of MCL’s external sales team. Making the most of employees who know the entire product range and can source new business opportunities means that external and internal sales teams can be relied upon to work together to quickly get customers on board and provide quotes shortly after initial meetings. Hattersley is also confident that MCL’s growth won’t be inhibited by working in South Africa. In


“MCL’s focus will be expanding on the continent and taking advantage of markets that are increasingly mature











fact, working in South Africa seems to be a huge positive for the company. “I think from an infrastructure point of view, South Africa is well developed with a mature market to look at – you have got an infrastructure that works.” Hattersley goes on to say that “You do have problems like electricity and politics – it’s not political instability it’s politicians making stupid decisions and things like that, but on the whole things work and you do have a lot of welleducated people in our market sectors, so availability of staff is definitely easier, and logistics is easy here as well.” MCL’s positive approach and attitude to customer relations looks set to make sure growth continues at an impressive rate.

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10 Village Crescent Linbro Business Park Linbro Park 2065, South Africa Telephone: +27 (0)11 608 4664 Email:

w w w . m o n c o n . c o . z a ŠEssential Business Magazine 2016

Monitoring and Control Laboratories (MCL)  

A Scientific Approach

Monitoring and Control Laboratories (MCL)  

A Scientific Approach