From recession to rejuvenation, one Barnsley company at the cutting edge of manufacturing is continuing to grow its order book.
Like many UK manufacturers, the 2008 crash and subsequent recession meant Cutting Technologies faced challenging times.
The traditional heavy engineering side of the business had slowed in tandem with the downturn in UK manufacturing and the Barnsley company found itself at a crossroads.
Fortunately the business’s directors recognised the growth potential in developing the creative side of their business and since then Cutting Technologies hasn’t looked back.
Through its inventive and entrepreneurial spirit in pursuing new markets, the company diversified into the design, creative and interiors sectors. In the past three years Cutting Technologies has manufactured everything from laser cut latex clothing for Paris Couture Week to hundreds of engraved cider pumps for Rekorderlig.
By using existing and new machinery in innovative ways, Cutting Technologies has diversified, grown and challenged perceptions of what’s possible when it comes to laser cutting and engraving.
This innovation has gone hand in hand with investment. In the past year, Cutting Technologies has invested £1.25million in the most technologically advanced laser equipment in the world.
“It was relatively early in the recession that we recognised the growth potential in developing the creative side of the business,” said co-founder and business development director Jane Robinson. “We poured our resources in that direction and now business is growing at an impressive rate with the company turning over £3.1m in 2014.
“We’ve always catered for a variety of markets so when one is down, another is up, but we’ve been confident enough to break out of our traditional manufacturing base and forge links with designers, leading brands, architects and developers.”
Cutting Technologies’ improved ability to cut copper, thanks to a new Fiber laser, offers huge potential for export and continuous improvement and is a priority for the company over the next few years.
The recent capital investments will create 10 jobs by next spring and will also open up new opportunities in the re-emerging construction sectors. “We are seeing an upsurge in construction-related orders and that is excellent news for the ongoing economic recovery,” added Jane. “Growth in property construction is particularly strong and by combining our entrepreneurial spirit with some savvy marketing and PR, we’re continually connecting with new markets.”
Last year Jane was accepted as a Freeman of the Company of Cutlers in Sheffield and named one of the Top 100 Role Models in manufacturing. She joined 450 members who qualify as Freemen and she strives to promote the interests of the manufacturing industry in the Sheffield City Region and UK-wide.
“It was a huge honour to be invited to join the Company of Cutlers alongside so many notable figures in the regional manufacturing industry. One of my key aims is to use both positions to encourage more girls to consider careers in manufacturing and engineering.”