NW business briefs: Fuel Exhausts; Wigan Athletic FC; Kutchenhaus; Redmoor Health

A manufacturer of motorcycle exhausts is unlocking its capacity to innovate and grow with the support of North West tech adoption programme, Made Smarter, in a move that will create two production jobs.

Fuel Exhausts, based in Kendal, is investing in a 3D scanner to capture digital versions of parts and components, 3D CAD software, and a 3D printer for producing prototypes of end caps and parts for exhausts. The £30,000 integrated digital design solution, which has been match funded by the Made Smarter Adoption Programme, will enable the business to design and test product ideas in virtual reality before manufacturing them.

It will radically change the way the business operates, making the prototyping process 14 times quicker, increasing productivity, eliminating waste, reducing costs, and increasing profitability. Meanwhile, 3D scanning technology will introduce reverse engineering of parts into the business, opening new markets.

Damian Turner, who runs the business with wife Louise, said: “We are a small but very dedicated team who strive to provide a fantastic product with second to none customer service.

“Over the two decades we have been trading, digital technology has moved to the forefront in many areas of manufacturing, with the support of Made Smarter we are ready to embrace the opportunity it offers to manufacture prototype parts and new products in-house and move into other areas of production for parts and accessories to complement our current range of exhausts.”

Donna Edwards, Made Smarter’s North West Adoption Programme director, said: “Fuel Exhausts is among hundreds of manufacturers in the region grasping the opportunities offered by Made Smarter which include expert, impartial technology advice, digital transformation workshops to help take that first step to transform a business, a leadership programme, and funded digital technology internships.”

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Wigan Athletic FC

Wigan Athletic FC has announced a partnership with compliance and asset management software provider, Sypro, to manage risk across its estate. Sypro will manage the assets of the League One club, which was acquired by Phoenix 2021 in March last year, at the DW Stadium, Robin Park, and its first team and academy training sites.

Its system allows an organisation to keep on top of regular maintenance through simple management, easy allocation of tasks through a customisable schedule, and robust process tracking to minimise maintenance costs across multiple sites. It also ensures that the review, approval, and auditing processes are managed effectively for every task, mitigating any legal risks for the organisation.

Risk Manager is also a cost-effective way for organisations to review, detect and manage the areas that are most at risk within their operations – and to address them and allocate any work required to mitigate those risks.

Josh Mitchell, head of sales at Sypro, said: “We’re proud to be announcing this new partnership with Wigan Athletic to help manage the wide variety of activities and opportunities across its stadium and training grounds. Risk management in buildings is not just about old structures that come with inherited risks, but about newer buildings and the challenges by ever-evolving modern systems and practices.”

Andy Birch, operations manager at Wigan Athletic, said: “The system, when coupled with the support received from Sypro, made the overall package far more competitive than other systems that we had looked at. It is also great to have a system in place that can keep pace with our ambitions as we continue to expand at a large rate, preventing any issues that could have occurred from this expansion.”

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The latest Kutchenhaus store in Potters Bar

Rochdale-based luxury kitchen retailer Kutchenhaus is celebrating reaching a milestone of 50 showrooms and has sights set on increasing this number by 50% by the end of 2022.

Kutchenhaus is the UK retail franchise arm of Nobilia, Europe’s largest kitchen manufacturer. In the past 12 months, it has opened 15 showrooms, an increase of 43% year-on-year, and has reported record revenue growth of 68%. Its 50th franchise opened in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, on the High Street.

Showrooms offer private and virtual appointments which makes it easy for those who aren’t able to visit in person. The head office technical team in Rochdale supports each franchisee to ensure customer service is maintained, which is reflected in an ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot. Up next, the business has set an ambitious target of 50% showroom growth to reach 75, and has forecast a 44% growth in sales by the end of 2022.

Sean Ford, national head of sales and operations for Kutchenhaus, said: “Kutchenhaus prides itself on customer service, so we are pleased that our hard work is paying off with record revenue and excellent reviews.

“Our franchisees enjoy the independence of being an entrepreneur, and also benefit from the cooperative and flexible support of a multinational business that provides them with multiple benefits, including generating strong online leads and market leading consumer finance. We have an ambitious plan in place to develop the business further in the next 12 months.”

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Marc and Alison Schmid

Health tech agency Redmoor Health has hit a record £3m turnover after a major expansion. The Chorley-based company has added two new divisions to the business – Redmoor Creative and Redmoor Skills Academy – following a major restructure.

Marc Schmid, who founded the business in 2017, said they were on track to grow to £5m turnover and 35 staff by 2024. He said: “It’s been a phenomenal 12 months and with the two new divisions we’re well placed for the next stage of our growth journey. Over the last 12-18 months we have been investing ourselves in the business to get us to this position.

“We’re now in discussion with a number of partners to help us move to the next level and invest further in the business to help manage the demands being placed on the team for our expertise and support.”

The £3m turnover is for the 12 months to the end of March 2022 and compares with £1.7m turnover for the previous year. Redmoor Health made a total profit of £1m during the same period, which has been largely reinvested into launching Redmoor Creative and Redmoor Skills Academy.

Redmoor Health specialise in supporting health and social care staff to deploy technology but decided to diversify after continually being asked for training support and marketing and PR help. Schmid said: “That’s why we spent £450,000 launching our agency Redmoor Creative. In addition, our £200,000 investment in Redmoor Skills Academy means we can provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training for staff.”

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