A Cwmcarn-based engineering and manufacturing company is praising the support it has received from Business Wales after turning to the Welsh Government’s service for advice on how to improve its business operations and for guidance on funding opportunities.
Mechtek Automation, which is located on the outskirts of Newport, specialises in designing, building and installing automated production lines for manufacturing companies around the world. Once the company secures a contract, the production line is built and tested on site at the company’s premises and then dismantled and shipped to the customer site, before being re-assembled by Mechtek’s engineers.
The company employs a small team of five designers and specialists, and supplements this with local sub-contractors and temporary staff for the build phase of its large contracts.
The company’s founder and managing director Andrew Williams turned to Business Wales in 2016 to access external advice and support on how to improve his business operations, as well as seeking assistance with identifying funding opportunities for research and development.
A dedicated Business Wales adviser worked closely with Andrew to look at restructuring the business to improve internal procedures and processes, whilst also providing marketing support to help Mechtek Automation attract new customers and secure further contracts. This culminated in the company securing a new contract in Poland in excess of £1.2m.
The advice from Business Wales also helped the company identify a sales strategy and distinguish between the sales efforts needed for large overseas contracts and establishing a brand for its specialised automation services for smaller, faster turnaround projects in the UK.
Business Wales was also able to help Mechtek Automation receive funding assistance from Finance Wales to support the company while waiting for large contracts to come to fruition.
The adviser is currently providing ongoing support to assist the company with finding engineering graduates to join the team.
Speaking about his experience with Business Wales, Andrew said: “Working with Business Wales has given us a strong platform from which we can move forward; and with new contracts secured, the future is looking really positive for Mechtek Automation.”
Mechtek Automation’s top 5 tips for anyone else starting up their own business would be:
- Think long term – but survive short term.
- Use technology to your advantage and automate your business management systems to save time and let you focus less on admin duties.
- Be respectful to your customers and deliver the best service you can.
- Keep a close eye on costs.
- Don’t forget about the importance of marketing. Reputation takes time to build – and can be lost if not maintained.
Business Wales, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, supports the sustainable growth of small and medium size enterprises across the country by offering access to information, guidance and business support.