Focus SB implements tailored MRP and ERP system10 January 2019

Support with controlling processes and improving production efficiencies is helping a Sussex manufacturer make the most of a multi-million pound Far East opportunity.

Electrical wiring accessories specialist Focus SB has accessed support from the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) to implement a tailored Materials Requirement Planning & Enterprise Resource Planning (MRP/ERP) system at its factory in St Leonards-on-Sea.

This £200,000 investment has introduced a new way of working and given it the platform to build on an increase in turnover to £4.7m in 2018, with the plan to take it to £6m over the next 12 months.

One of the key drivers in this expansion will be a major push into China, supplying electrical accessories, such as switches and electrical sockets.

“We manufacture thousands of different products and needed a way of understanding demand for each item and how we can then use that information to better plan and control production,” comments MD Gary Stevens.

“As a busy SME, it’s sometimes difficult to take yourself out of the business to gain a strategic view and that’s why we turned to experts from the MGP. This assistance helped us sharpen our thinking and explore the finer details and this eventually led to a new way of working and a sizeable investment into a new MRP/ERP system.”

He adds: “It was a real learning curve, but the results will be fantastic. We now have full visibility of materials, stock, demand and any processes that may need to be improved.

“It was important that we made this change, as we have some very exciting opportunities to explore, not least maximising the fact we are the only UK and European electrical supplier to hold China Quality Certification for the manufacture of electrical accessories in the UK for export into the Chinese market.

“This means we can supply our luxury products direct and, along with our Chinese distribution partner, we have already invested in a showroom at the Jin Mau Tower to support a marketing drive to treble existing sales in China to £1.5m.”

Adam Offord

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