“Like most people, we’ll be glad to see the back of 2021 really,” says Jonathan Lauder. But he’ll obviously remember to take the memory of new and highly prized distributor agreement with Elaut with him into the new year. “We’ve got big plans for 2022,” no surprise there, particularly given the company’s sparkling performance at shows around the world this year. It’s looking good for UDC, move aside Omicron.
Coinslot: A year that opened in lockdown, staggered through to reopening, via a supply chain crisis and ending with Omicron: how will you look back on 2021?
Jonathan Lauder: I think like most people we’ll be glad to see the back of 2021 really. Having said that it now looks like we’re going into 2022 in exactly the same way as last year. Only time will tell.
We managed to do some excellent business in 2021, even with a much shorter selling window, due to a long period of uncertainty at the start of the year. Once people knew that amusements would be open during the summer the flood gates virtually opened.
What was great was we made sure that we had machines available for our customers to fulfil that pent up demand.
Coinslot: We’ve had five months since re-opening, what were your highlights of the year?
Jonathan Lauder: ACOS 2021 was a special highlight, the first show back since EAG 2020. The buzz in the room was electric and lots of positive energy from exhibitors and visitors in anticipation of a return to normal, which seemed on the cards at the time.
The UDC team managed to visit the IAPPA Barcelona and IAAPA Orlando exhibitions this year, our first overseas business trips in quite some time.
To close out the year we were chosen as the new distributors of the Elaut range of equipment for the UK, which culminated in a visit to Elaut HQ in Belgium. We’ve got big plans for 2022, so fingers crossed that event don’t put a stop to things for too long again.
Coinslot: 2021 has been a major challenge to the way our businesses operate. How have you risen to this challenge and what new developments are you introducing to rebuild and strengthen your operation?
Jonathan Lauder: Here at UDC we have always been very conscious of making sure we support our customers, not only with great affordable equipment but our aftersales and technical support.
Given global supply chain issues everyone has faced we have worked hard to secure equipment early, to ensure we’re in a position to equip our customers throughout the busy season. And that’s just what we’re doing once again for 2022.
Coinslot: What are you looking or hoping for in 2022 and what’s on your New Year’s wish list?
Jonathan Lauder: First of all I’m looking forward to spending time with my family over the festive period, no doubt eating and drinking too much.
As for 2022, I wish for a very successful EAG show not just for UDC, but the industry as a whole. I wish for an end to Covid- 19, for us all to stay healthy, remove the threat of future lock downs.
A return to the ‘old normal’ rather than the ‘new normal’ would be very welcome indeed.