Naylor demonstrates the importance of best practice

Naylor, a Barnsley-based specialist manufacturer of building and construction products, is opening its doors this week to local companies.

The business has seen turnover grow from £35m to £50m in four years, with almost 21% over the last year alone, fuelled by a number of strategic acquisitions and significant international demand that has seen export levels treble.

In a move to share industry best practice, on November 21 Naylor’s management will provide an account of how it managed this expansion, followed by a guided tour of its factory and a first glimpse of its new £2.2m kiln.

Since engaging with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), Naylor has had a “roller-coaster four years,” explained its COO, Bridie Warner-Adsetts; adding that though challenging, the decisions made have resulted in a “more efficient, strategically positioned business.”

She continued: “We wanted to give something back and if our story can help other manufacturers at the start of their journeys then that’s great. The best practice visit will also give our staff the chance to reflect on what we’ve achieved and even generate some new ideas we can take forward.”

Overseas success has predominantly involved the expansion of two products; Hathernware, a chemical and thermal resistant ceramic pipe, and Denlok, a ceramic jacking pipe that can be driven under roads and cities without the need for digging trenches.

The latter has proven popular in fast-growing economies the likes of Brunei, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

Bridie continued: “We may just smash the £50m turnover mark this year for the first time in our history and now employ over 350 people across five sites in Yorkshire, Fife and the West Midlands. That equates to the creation of 100 jobs in the last four years.

“A large part of this success has been down to the support we’ve received from MAS. Our advisor helped us to understand the business, what our strengths were and, at the same time, identified potential weaknesses we had to overcome.

“Through MAS, Enterprising Barnsley and GrowthAccelerator, we accessed [invaluable] funding towards a marketing review, coaching support, management training and the change programme that encompassed all areas of the business.”

MAS advisor, Stephen Goodare described Naylor as a prime example of a manufacturer that has utilised external expertise to accelerate business growth and cited the importance of a management team who are receptive to change.

He concluded: “Any companies planning on taking a similar journey should book a place on the best practice visit. It will give you the inspiration to make the vision a reality.”