Shiver me timbers, a positive manufacturing story

The successful launch of a brand new e-commerce system is set to help UK manufacturing specialist Timberform increases sales both at home and abroad
 Timberform's General Manager, Jeremy Navrady

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With an increased online presence, Timberform hopes it will add an extra £1 million of sales this year, with a particular focus on boosting market share of the buoyant private education sector in the United Arab Emirates.

The specialist manufacturer of outdoor wooden shelters, buildings and play equipment benefitted from the support offered by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) to improve the functionality of its website.

Employing 50 people at its Foxwoods Industrial Park factory in Chesterfield, Timberform hopes the new campaign will result in turnover surpassing the £5 million mark for the first time since the company was taken over by Barnsley-based Metalliform just over a year ago.

Timberform’s General Manager, Jeremy Navrady commented:Timberform (Action P2).jpg

“We enjoyed a sustained period of growth in 2012 and currently provide a range of outdoor play equipment and buildings for a customer base of more than 1,000 schools across the UK.

“Our understanding of the education sector and the fact we can tailor existing products to suit specific requirements are both big selling points and we are one of the few companies in our sector to be FSC approved for all our timber.”

Navrady continued:

“One of the key aims for 2012 was to ramp up our marketing activity and this focused on transforming the website so that it helped us penetrate new markets and customers could also complete transactions online.

“We’ve been able to do this with the help of MAS, who provided strategic support and grant funding for us to team up with Blue Dolphin on the functionality of our site.”

Trading under the brand name Timberline, the company has already seen a substantial increase in traffic to the website, with many of the initial leads being converted into orders. Something Timberform hopes to further increase sales by exhibiting at the Gulf Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) Exhibition in Dubai for the first time in March.

MAS’ Specialist Adviser, Ian Davie picked up the story:

“The management team identified a number of barriers that were holding the business back, primarily the lack of a website that reflected the full scope of what it did.

“We sat down with them and made them aware of the grant funding available, which speeded up the project by probably six months. Going forward, we are continuing to provide on the ground support and access to experts that can make a positive difference to its performance.”

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