" Could I thank all at the Enterprise Agency for a great evening. Also I would like to thank the Enterprise Agency for all of the help it has given us over the past two years. From the start Sue Smith and Austin Stenhouse helped us with forming the company and all of the regulations and paperwork associated, secured grants, and gave advice on all elements of starting and growing a business. Any person wishing to start or expand a business in the Wear Valley/Teesdale area should contact The Enterprise Agency. "
The business was set up in October 2006 by Andrew Finch and Paul Eldrett. They specialised on light fabrication work which included staircases, balustrades, general heavy steel engineering and site maintenance as well as a desire to further develop architectural fabrication and its supply and professional installation.
The company’s ethos has always been to provide the best possible service for their clients, with particular emphasis on the cornerstones of high quality, great customer service, prompt delivery and realistic, competitive prices. In addition, they decided to provide a service far superior to that of their competitors in both the heavy steel and architectural fabrication industries, by delivering a fully comprehensive, in-house service extending from design, through manufacture, to supply and installation where required.
In January 2008, the business moved to new, larger, bespoke premises, also on South Church Enterprise Park at Bishop Auckland in County Durham and at the same time appointed Alex Turnbull as their Commercial Director. Alex helped the business experience significant growth (their second years’ turnover increased by over 600%) which led to expansion and completing a further phase of business investment with the installation of the most up-to-date machinery and technology to further enhance competitiveness.
The company claims to provide a unique service to the Roofing and Cladding market as they offer the diversity of both architectural fabrication and steel fabrication all under one roof. In addition, the firm undertakes all aspects of project production, which includes initial contact and evaluation, a full design service, cost calculations, Health & Safety at Work and Building Regulations advice and compliancy, effective client and third party liaison, high quality manufacturing, prompt delivery and supply via their own fleet of vehicles, through to the final on-site installation and quality assurance completion stage
The company grew from employing just two members of staff (the two founders) in January 2007 to having 19 employees by September 2008. Their growth was so rapid that at times, said Andrew Finch, they were regularly doing 60 to 70 hour weeks.
With the current economic situation, however, turnover dropped for two months but profitability remained the same. This is due to the recession actually giving the company time to really analyse their business and see what systems and procedures they could put in place to improve performance, says Andrew Finch. One area they rapidly improved upon was sourcing and supplying product, using the time and climate to secure the best deals, something they hadn’t had time to do earlier.
The one stop shop format has also enabled them to concentrate on different sectors so that as one sector’s demand has dried up, they have been able to concentrate on other parts of their product offer.
The company now thinks it is well placed to achieve further growth when the economic situation improves with new systems and buying procedures in place which has boosted profitability and they are now back on track and looking to invest further in new machinery which will increase production and profitability.