Reflex Gaming: Maintaining the start-up approach while becoming mainstream

Reflex Gaming profile
REFLEX GAMING TEAM TODAY
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While it’s become one of the biggest names in amusements over the last two decades, Reflex Gaming still takes a nonconformist, start-up approach to business, with its acquirer Dransfields empowering this philosophy through its old-school, yet cutting edge, operating methods. Eighteen years on and the trajectory for the country’s biggest independent remains ever-upwards.

 

Reflex Gaming will continue to seek out opportunities where its competitors do not, with managing director Quentin Stott confirming there has been no changes to the company’s business philosophy since its acquisition by Dransfields. In fact, its independent and start-up approach is supported by Dransfields’ own school of thought, which is that product should be driven by demand, and not the other way round.

Reflex Gaming
REFLEX GAMING OFFICE OPENING IN JULY 2015. THIS IS WHEN WE MOVED INTO OUR CURRENT PREMISES

“In the pub sector, large manufacturing and operating conglomerates had been vertically integrated for many years, but this resulted in a reduced product offering as these conglomerates offered only their own brands,” explained Stott. “Dransfields have really shaken this up by offering a holistic mix of products to ensure that each site is performing to its maximum potential. This is old-school operating at its best, driven by site and player demands, rather than by a strategic push to dominate the market with in-house products.”

Stott added that while Dransfields are champions of Reflex products, if a different supplier’s product makes more money for the retailer, it will be used instead. This feeds into Reflex’s original ideology; to be flexible and agile enough to create products that fill a gap in the market, whether its big or small.

“We have created some milestone products along the way, which became big sellers. We have also sought out opportunities where our competitors haven’t,” acknowledged Stott. “Through this non-conformist approach, we have maintained our independent and “start-up” approach while becoming a mainstream supplier.

 

Quentin Stott marks 18 years of innovation, growth, and sustained reliability

 

Coinslot: It’s your 18th anniversary at Reflex this year and there’s a lot of story to tell in a relatively short time. What have been the highlights?

Quentin Stott, managing director of Reflex Gaming: We have experienced many highlights over the years, from producing S16/21 machines, like Fortune £500, and developing a lottery machine that led to Cat B3A machines being introduced in 2005.

Ian Chuter Quentin Stott
REFLEX GAMING RECEIVED THE TECH TRACK AWARD IN 2015, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT – IAN CHUTER, NON-EXEC DIRECTOR AND QUENTIN STOTT, MANAGING DIRECTOR

We were early drivers of a connected single site estate through developing our innovative Slingshot business intelligence system, this has ensured that our digital game content performs at the highest level.

Another company milestone was our approach to pub machine supply. This saw our company break into the highly competitive pub retail market, taking on the UK’s largest producer of reel based gaming machines, completely changing the long-standing market dynamics. This grew the business exponentially which resulted in Reflex Gaming being ranked #45 in the Sunday Times’ Hiscox Tech Track rankings, which lists the 100 fastest tech growing companies in the UK.

Ultimately for me, being able to lead a company full of talented and dedicated employees has been the most rewarding highlight.

CS: You started out as an upstart independent back in 2004, and you’ve not only lasted the pace, but in many ways you have been setting it. How have you managed to balance the spirit of independence with the growth and development of a front-line manufacturer and games designer?

QS: With my experience gained from the Barcrest Group and the Bell Fruit Group before establishing Reflex, we understood right from the start where we felt our niche could be, and the process has been constant refinement and evolution ever since.

We have created some milestone products along the way, which became big sellers. We have also sought out opportunities where our competitors haven’t. Through this non-conformist approach, we have maintained our independent and start-up approach while becoming a mainstream supplier.

CS: You have retained many of the team that you started out with all those years ago, has that been a key to your longevity?

QS: We have all grown as a team over the years, and since many of us have a long history together, we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The main ingredient in our team, however, is sustained reliability. Staff are empowered in their roles, they refine and adapt to become more efficient over time.

New team members have joined us along the way and have greatly enhanced our skill set. We have had relatively low staff turnover over the years, a testament to our culture.

CS: Innovation has been a concurring message from Reflex since day one. What does that look like in 2022?

QS: Based on our recent trajectory, we have a solid roadmap for game and hardware development. Other innovations are also in the works.

Growth in the supply of online game content is really beginning to make a difference, and this is resulting in cross-pollination into other digital and land based games.

Due to being so heavily focused on a single site for quite some time, our development team will also be focusing on the AGC and bingo sector.

CS: International and online development are among the areas where you’ve been making progress lately. Do you see these as significant growth areas for Reflex in the coming years?

QS: Our online games are growing and performing well and we have secured some new supply deals which will extend the reach for our games in 2022.

Our international development plans were significantly disrupted by COVID, but now that most of our markets have made a strong recovery, I expect that by year-end, we will be resuming our international plans.

CS: The merger with Dransfields has been one of the most important developments for you. Obviously Covid served to stutter aspirations for most businesses, but at Reflex it didn’t stop your commitment to technological development. So what are the objectives and targets in the new normal?

QS: Our acquisition by Dransfields was not only important for Reflex, but also for the wider pub supply market. In the pub sector, large manufacturing and operating conglomerates had been vertically integrated for many years, but this resulted in a reduced product offering as these conglomerates offered only their own brands.

Dransfields have really shaken this up by offering a holistic mix of products to ensure that each site is performing to its maximum potential. This is old-school operating at its best, driven by site and player demands, rather than by a strategic push to dominate the market with in-house products.

Obviously, Dransfields are champions of Reflex products, but if a different supplier’s product makes more money for the retailer, it will be used. Because of this, Reflex strives to always deliver market leading performance as we cannot rely on our products being purchased because of group strategies.


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