Third generation success for machining manufacturer

Posted on 1 Jun 2015 by Callum Bentley

When Stuart Yalden’s grandfather founded GW Martin in 1959 he could not have foreseen the challenges and opportunities he would meet in the years ahead.

Yet touring the Hampshire factory today, it is clear that the engineering company is thriving with its future growth plans clearly on target. This is largely in part to the forward-thinking management and also to the support of the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), now part of the Business Growth Service.

GW Martin is a sub-contractor in the engineering industry supplying precision machined components and assemblies. It now employs 46 staff and has a £4 million turnover. Mr Yaldens is the third generation of the family following George’s sons, Richard and Graham, and his daughter, Brenda, who is Stuart’s mother.

Having worked in the wider engineering industry for over 20 years, Yaldens joined the business in 2011 and took on the role of Managing Director in 2014. His vision on joining the company was to focus investments on modernizing the business and building on the team’s skills through training and succession planning of key roles to ensure that the business flourished for the next 50 years.

Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), is now part of the Business Growth Service.

Thanks to the advice and support of the Business Growth Service funding, GW Martin now has a strategy in place to increase manufacturing capacity and to create a strong and sustainable business for the future. The company expects 10% growth year on year and this year alone, has invested over £1 million in new plant, machinery and processes.

As Yaldens explains: “We met with MAS, part of the Business Growth Service, in 2012 and last year implemented a new business growth strategy. We were able to access additional match-funding and support for consultancy on an action plan, a new ERP system, leadership training and a vital 20% contribution our new plant and machinery.

“As a result, our capacity is set to increase from £4 million to £5.5 million over the next three years and our staffing levels, which have increased by 25% since 2011, are to be boosted by a further 16 jobs and we have safeguarded two more.”

Colin Evans, business growth manager says: “GW Martin has been very open to advice on all parts of its business. It is great to work with people with a broad vision who are willing to look strategically at all aspects for innovation.”

MAS is part of the Business Growth Service (BGS) offering support tailored to the needs of manufacturers to help them improve and grow. BGS brings together GrowthAccelerator and the Manufacturing Advisory Service, with additional elements from the Intellectual Property Office (Intellectual Property Audits) and the Design Council (Design Mentoring).

The manufacturing offer is closely aligned with GROW:OffshoreWind and Fit for Nuclear (F4N), the latter delivered by the Nuclear AMRC (NAMRC).The Business Growth Service also refers SME manufacturers to the right support provided by other agencies, including UK Trade & Investment, Innovate UK (including High Value Manufacturing Catapults), the British Business Bank, local Growth Hubs and UK Export Finance.