Mentoring programme boosts growth at MKM Creations

Posted on 13 Nov 2015 by The Manufacturer

The plant pot manufacturer has seen a significant rise in turnover and an increase in profitability thanks to Boost Business Lancashire’s Growth Mentoring programme.

The Mentoring Programme allowed the Chorley-based business to develop an effective marketing strategy that has expanded its customer-base, and implemented new production processes.

Owner, Mark Francis founded the business after a career in the armed forces.

Initially making his products from steel and aluminum, Francis eventually identified a supplier that produces fibre glass moulds that can be used to mass produce some of his designs for his customers, which include landscape gardeners, interior designers, local garden centres and hotels.

As in many manufacturing stories, Francis set out to grow the business by raising production and expanding his customer-base without losing the quality that had generated his initial success.

After hearing about the Growth Mentoring Programme, he contacted the £7.2m Lancashire Business Growth Hub – Boost Business Lancashire – and was assigned a mentor at support organisation Orvia, Clive Thompson.

Francis commented: “Clive’s help, support and knowledge has been invaluable to the expansion of our business. We really can’t express enough gratitude to Clive and to Orvia for all the help we have received from the Boost programme.”

The mentoring, Francis claimed, helped him to better understand pricing structures and profitability, attract extra work through commissions from designers and architects, and review the services of his fibre glass mould supplier to ensure consistency and quality.

Thompson continued: “Mark displayed real enthusiasm and passion for his products, and was keen to capture the potential for his designs, without losing quality. We focused the mentoring time on making sure the business can expand on solid foundations.

Ann Holcroft, operations manager at Orvia, added: “Mark has really enjoyed the Boost mentoring process and has benefited from having an experienced mentor to help with his growth issues, especially in areas where he didn’t have any previous experience.

Boost Business Lancashire is delivered by Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, and it’s supported by money from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).