A manufacturing company in Rotherham has turned to a local specialist business consultant to help grow their business. Elite Tooling Ltd was helped by Simon Lamb of About-Turn Interim Management to develop new markets and grow manufacturing capacity.
Elite was convinced that the development of the specialist tool market, particular for high-tech sectors such as aerospace, was the way to grow sale and profits. The gradual switch by Elite away from standard tools, proved to be a successful move but the company's capacity was constrained by manufacturing capability.
As many owner/managers of SMEs are often too busy in the day-to-day running of their companies, the use of an external consultant is often a productive way for businesses to develop strategically.
"In order to determine the appropriate way forward it was necessary to compare the future demand plan against existing capacity," Simon Lamb explains. "Together we turned this into the number of machine hours needed by Elite to deliver the sales forecast. As a result this highlighted the need for investment in additional machine tool capability."
Simon produced a financial model and business plan which formed the backbone of an application to Yorkshire Forward's Selective Finance for Investment scheme. As a result, the scheme funded 25% of the total capital cost of £150,000 in the new Walter CNC grinding machine.
"It was clear that when we investigated all the options for Elite, a new machine was the best option to help the business deliver added value sales in its growth specialist tool market," adds Simon.
"The additional machine has also opened up the potential for export sales, with a projection that up to 10% of sales volume will be generated outside of Europe in the next three years."
The new machine was installed in the first half of 2005; the strategy has proven to be so successful that the majority of its available capacity has already been absorbed and Simon has been called back to carry out a similar exercise for further expansion.