Social media drives SME’s global order book

North Yorkshire-based K2 Design & Fabrication has been bombarded with orders from around the world, all within an hour of putting its first post on social media.

The company fabricates roll cages, bumpers, footplates, tubular side rails, engine shields and guards for cars such as Land Rover Defenders – image courtesy of K2 Design & Fabrication.
The company fabricates roll cages, bumpers, footplates, tubular side rails, engine shields and guards for cars such as Land Rover Defenders – image courtesy of K2 Design & Fabrication.

The business, which fabricates specialist automotive parts, set up a Facebook page within 60 minutes of its first post secured 80 orders from as far afield as Australia and Singapore.

The company, founded by friends Duncan Oakes and Dominic King in at the start of 2017, continues to be swamped with enquiries and is already taking £25,000 a month in orders.

K2 Design & Fabrication has taken on an extra member of staff to cope with demand and is looking at employing another person because of the strength of its future order book.

From its 2,000 sqft workshop, the business fabricates roll cages, bumpers, footplates, tubular side rails, engine shields and guards for cars such as Land Rover Defenders. Its move into social media has allowed it to tap into specialist vehicle enthusiast communities online around the world.

Duncan Oakes explained that the company worked with MGP manufacturing growth manager James Smith and Linden Kitson from Leeds-based Swalk LLP, who advised the firm to get online and showed it how to use Facebook to generate orders.

He noted: “Within weeks of starting up, we have gone from worrying about how we can get orders to worrying about how quickly we can fabricate parts and ship them all over the world.

“We knew we needed help marketing the business and turned to the [Manufacturing Growth Programme], which provided us with an action plan and a grant to cover some of the costs of working with Linden and great advice to propel our business forward.

“We’re already putting Topcliffe on the map around the world as the place to order high-quality specialist vehicle parts. One customer in Australia was so happy that they even made a promotional video for us, which is being posted on all sorts of car forums.”

social media - L to R: Dominic King, John Wilkinson (both K2), and James Smith (MGP).
L to R: Dominic King, John Wilkinson (both K2), and James Smith (MGP).

James Smith commented “K2 Design & Fabrication’s growth highlights that British manufacturing is the best in the world. It’s important that UK businesses, particularly SMEs, are given the support they need to thrive and continue to be the backbone of a strong and prosperous economy.”

The MGP, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Economic Growth Solutions (EGS), is promising to fill the void left by the Manufacturing Advice Service (MAS) by providing access to specialist assistance to help manufacturers grow and improve.

This is being achieved through a 18-strong network of experienced manufacturing growth managers, access to industry specialists and the opportunity to apply for grants typically starting at £1,400 and raising to a maximum £3,500.