Element’s 20th Anniversary

Martin Perkins

1st February 2016

20th, Birthday, Ray Perkins, team,

Today, Monday 1st of February is Element’s 20th Birthday.

The team are all in the office and today we are celebrating with a slice of birthday cake and a small glass of fizz. This evening we will continue with a few beers and a curry.

We began trading with two people, a £15,000 loan and a small overdraft.  We got off to a great start.

I still have our order book from 1996 and it makes for interesting reading.

We received our first order on our first day of trading (thank you Anachem) and by the end of March we had booked 11 orders (worth £40,000 in total).

I notice that Element has outlasted many of the organisations listed as customers back then (ICI, Quest International, British Gas, SmithKline Beecham, the National Rivers Authority to name a few).

In contrast, in 2016, we still do business with many of the people listed as contacts in our 1996 order book.  I won’t name the individuals here, however, Element and I both owe them a massive vote of appreciation.

Despite the huge changes over the last 20 years, Element has stayed true to its founding principles; what we believed then is still embedded deep in Element’s soul today:

  • Measurement science is really important – if you want to control or improve anything you have to be able to measure it well.
  • In chromatography, sample preparation and injection offer the greatest opportunity for innovation and improvements.
  • Customers don’t buy instruments; they buy what instruments do.  It is all about applications, methods and support.

We were more right about those things than we could have ever known at the time!

Finally, I must say that personally, this is also a very proud day.  It means that I have now chalked-up two decades as Element’s MD.