Pudsey manufacturer sets ambitious targets to mould growth
MPM, a specialist in glass reinforced plastic mouldings, is aiming to double its turnover to £2million within the next five years following a £500,000 investment in purchasing, expanding and equipping the company’s Pudsey-based production facility.
The investment has been funded through a combination of bank lending, cash within the business and grants worth over £16,000 from Leeds City Council and the Leeds City Region LEP’s Business Growth Programme, set up to help businesses expand and create employment.
MPM, a family-owned business run by Ben, Syd and Dylan Wilson, relocated to new premises in 2010, in a move which doubled production space to 30,000sq ft. Since then, the company has invested heavily in expanding, refurbishing and equipping the new premises and is now on target to achieve 15% growth in 2013.
Managing Director Ben Wilson sees 2014 as the year they will break through the £1 million turnover barrier and, long term, the aim is to grow the 20-strong team to 30 and push turnover to £2 million – ambitious targets, as he readily agrees.
“As part of the growth plan, we’ve invested heavily in training and team development. We’ve put control systems and processes in place to ensure we provide customers with the highest quality product and service,” he says.
Mouldings for commercial bath manufacture and safety showers used in the oil and petrochemical industries are the main markets for MPM. Key customers include Trojan Plastics, Showers & Eye Baths, Just Trays, Hughes Safety Showers, MX Group and Aquacast, for whom they produce tooling and moulds as well as finished products.
Vehicle ramps, together with mouldings for the caravan and trailer industry, are another important sector, with recent new business wins including a £45,000 contract to supply Nugent Trailers, the Northern Ireland-based horse box manufacturer.
Ben joined the company twenty years ago and took over the running of the business from his father, with his brothers Syd and Dylan in 2010. He admits it has been a steep learning curve but says growth has been achieved by focusing on performance and finding ways to improve every aspect of what the company does.
‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’ is his personal motto and sums up his approach to management: “We set goals every week both for the business and for ourselves as individuals. We even have a KPI for happiness, based on whether the team feel happy & valued at work and whether they feel it’s been a successful week.”
Former NVQ assessor Paul Williams, who now works full-time for MPM, has played a key role in placing business improvement techniques at the heart of everything the company does. “Turning the knowledge and experience we have in the business into systems and giving people the training they need to do the job is essential. It will be vital as the company grows,” he says.
Seven of the 20 staff currently employed are apprentices, with 16 year old Josh Pickersgill winning ‘Apprentice of the Year’ and MPM being named ‘Employer of the Year’ at recent industry awards.
“It has been great to have support from the Leeds City Region LEP’s Business Growth Programme and, before that from Leeds City Council. Their backing has been very important in helping to build the business and bring new people into the team,” says Ben.
Business grants of between £10,000 and £1 million are available through the Leeds City Region LEP’s Business Growth Programme, launched in February this year and funded through central government’s Regional Growth Fund. A total fund of over £25.7m is available over the next three years to drive business investment and growth in the City Region.
Phil Cole, Leeds City Council’s Head of Business and Enterprise, explained: “The funding is designed to help companies invest for growth and create new job opportunities.
“Grants cover up to 20% of the total cost of an individual investment in new premises, fit outs and equipment. So, an investment of £100,000 could qualify for a grant of up to £20,000, while an investment of £250,000 could be eligible for a grant of £50,000.”