A significant contract with Amazon has allowed a Grantham-based manufacturer of safety signs to continue to grow sales over the last twelve months.
Viking Signs, which designs and manufactures the largest range of safety signs in the UK from its factory in Lincolnshire, has signed a deal to become a direct supplier for the online retailer’s new business division, supplying up to 30,000 products for the B2B market.
The company is now looking to target a clutch of new contracts after it tapped into support from the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) to work towards the ISO 9001 quality accreditation – an important step towards improving efficiencies and competing for larger orders.
Supported by a manufacturing growth manager and an experienced industry consultant, the firm is very near to completing the process and will shortly be undertaking the Stage 1 assessment that will then lead to full certification in a few months.
Darren Joint, managing director of Viking Signs and a member of the EEF’s Regional Advisory Board, explained: “Going for ISO 9001 has been about much more than just getting the standard, it has allowed us to fine tune existing systems and introduce new processes, flexible working patterns and eliminate waste.”
He continued: “As we continue to grow we will be in a position to win larger contracts with larger organisations, many of which deem the ISO accreditation as a prerequisite for doing business. It’s difficult to quantify how much work it will generate, but we are confident that we can increase turnover by another 10% over the next twelve months.”
Viking Signs, which employs 14 people at its Dysart Road facility, designs and manufactures a range of safety signs, machine labels and corporate signs for clients across the public and private sector.
As well as enjoying sales growth in the past year, the Viking team has also worked to boost productivity through the introduction of flexible working patterns that mean it can operate its digital ‘on demand’ factory for more hours per week.
Further investment in a cutting-edge production equipment has also been necessary, with £100,000 spent on the acquisition of a third flatbed UV printer.
Darren concluded: “Going forward, we expect to see continued growth in Amazon as a B2B channel and will also be investing in R&D to further develop our own E-commerce channels and in data automation to streamline our digital production processes, speeding up the pace of product development in the process.”
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