Manufacturing Champion - Taylor Forgings Ltd
01-05-2019, 02:33 PM - Views: 210
We are delighted to present May's Manufacturing Champion - Taylor Forgings Ltd.
The following article was written by @June Smith - Make UK Membership and External Affairs Manager for Yorkshire & the Humber.
A manufacturing success story underpinned by investment in skills, productivity improvement and a fistful of Yorkshire grit
Against a backdrop of Brexit uncertainty and the government’s technical notices confirming the difficulties the steel sector would face if we exit the EU abruptly at the end of March, this is the story of a stainless steel stockists, determined not only to weather this storm but to invest so as to future proof their business.
Nestled in the corner of Acre Hill Lane, Sheffield are 5th generation family owned Taylor Forgings. Despite a national picture of orders and output balances forecast to fall in the next three months as uncertainty around Brexit impacts more strongly across the manufacturing sector, Taylor Forgings have ploughed ahead and are investing for growth to the amount of £750 000 in the last six months, with more to come by the end of 2019.
The business has recently relocated to its present site increasing the footprint from 8000sq ft to 56000sq ft and more importantly scaling up annual production hours from 6000 to 42000. Having previously operated over three sites, the move has enabled all operations, some previously outsourced, to be consolidated on the one site. When asked why take the decision to make this investment now in such a turbulent trading environment, Simon Bluff, Managing Director, appeared quite nonplussed as he replied "well, we’ve got the strongest order book we’ve had in years!"
Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation (formerly EEF), champions UK manufacturing, showcasing our businesses along with their innovation and creativity, and encouraging young talent to choose manufacturing as a career. As Simon and I chat further, it becomes apparent that the success of this growing family business is also the result of strategic planning. Underpinned by a business acumen acquired as man and boy in the family business, the company’s adherence to its growth plan and growth objectives are testament to Simon’s leadership qualities and vision for the business, Simon explained "We are unique as a steel stockholder with a manufacturing capability and are developing a valued and responsive one stop shop offer for our customers. This is illustrated by the recently added in-house Non-Destructive Testing facility, which later in the year will be complemented by our own mechanical testing laboratory."
Their future proofing strategy is multifaceted. The move to the new site has enabled productivity improvement through bringing processes in-house and a larger footprint which enables production improvements and a more efficient linear workflow. The increased space is facilitating further capital investment and growth, having already installed new CNC digitally enabled machines, weekly production has increased by 180 hours, and with machines now able to run through the night, these 3 machines alone, will add a further 120 hours. There are further investment plans to introduce an in-house heat treatment facility in the next three years.
Business relationships and culture also have a part to play. Vertically integrated supply chain relationships underpinned by integrity and trust have fostered a collaborative arrangement whereby elongated payment terms have released revenue to enable self- funded investment for growth. This in turn has increased their capability to meet customer’s requirements. With a unique ability to draw from stock and an in house manufacturing capability, customers are reacting very positively to the responsive turnaround of enquiries. Said a customer recently on visiting the new facility: "Wow, I can give you more work now." Further success is apparent as the business is being approached for subcontract machining jobs and emergency enquiries.
Taylor Forgings places great emphasis on its human capital, investing in the working environment and providing a competitive reward package. Since the HQ move, the headcount has increased by 3 skilled machinists and 3 new machine shop apprentices to a headcount of 20 people. Further testament to the positive business culture is the request from older workers who, wishing to be part of the new growth strategy, have asked to retire flexibly on reduced hours, deferring their leaving date whilst also aiding succession planning and the valuable retention of knowledge and experience which can be passed on to the future workforce.
Well done to Taylor Forgings, instilling confidence throughout the supply chain and investing in skills and productivity improvements to future proof their business. A final comment from Simon "we work with traditional values twinned with modern manufacturing methods."
Last edited by Daniel Kirmatzis; 07-05-2019 at 08:29 AM.
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