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How Cambridge Precision increased their turnover by 25%

Written by Growth Works

Since 1994, award-winning Cambridge Precision Ltd (CPL) have manufactured high-precision machined components. They help companies make complex products in sectors ranging from medical technology and digital imaging to aerospace and audio equipment.

The challenge: Rapidly scaling up production capabilities to take on a large client project

An existing client wanted CPL’s help to rapidly develop a new product from prototype to full production, and at scale. It was an excellent opportunity for CPL’s growth, particularly while recovering from the impact of the COVID pandemic.

But it would require a significant scaling-up of CPL’s resources, without compromising their current work for other customers.

“We have just done a business plan and we are looking at almost doubling our growth by 2026. That’s quite a game-changer in terms of traditional business growth. But in the beginning, we had three blockers: the first one was who owned the IP (to their new product), the second was getting some tech skills into the project, and the third one was funding.”

Nick Raven, Operations Director of CPL

CPL decided to look for outside help to raise funding towards buying the new machinery required to scale up production. The company had explored business funding opportunities in the past. But support never seemed to be available for established, innovative businesses like theirs.

“Historically, business funding and support has been very prescriptive about how it has to be used. We didn’t fit the criteria because we’re either too large an organisation or too adventurous. We aren’t a start-up, and we don’t need old-fashioned training on how to move our business forward, because we actually have a good handle on that.”

Lyn Disley, Communications Manager of CPL

The solution: Expert support to access business funding CPL was eligible for

CPL discovered Growth Works could help identify suitable business funding they could apply for, and provide tailored business advice.

“Growth Works seemed more exciting, more finger-on-the-pulse than other business support we’d seen. We could talk real business, real issues with them, and they saw the value in what we wanted to do.”

Nick Raven, Operations Director, CPL

Following support from Growth Works, CPL submitted a successful application for a CapEx grant of £138k.

This grant helped CPL buy state-of-the-art digital production equipment so they can manufacture a lot more components, much faster. They bought seven new machine tools – each the size of a room – and two robots.

After an intense few months of preparation, acquiring another manufacturing site and hiring additional staff, the new machinery was installed. Production started just a few days later.

The outcome: Increased turnover, happy clients, and boosted business confidence

By increasing their production capacity, CPL have not only met but exceeded output and financial figures predicted pre-COVID. Turnover has increased from a predicted 15% to 25%.

“We are really pleased and extremely grateful for the springboard that Growth Works has given us,” Lyn says.

“Working with Growth Works gave us a double benefit. As well as reducing the risk to our business by helping us with cashflow, it also gave us an incredible confidence boost. When another client approached us more recently with a new opportunity that had to be actioned quickly, I don’t know if we’d have gone ahead if we hadn’t had the assurance of Growth Works’ belief in us.”

Lyn Disley, Communications Manager of CPL

Externally and internally, the rewards for CPL are clear. CPL have been able to take on extra commissions to meet their clients’ needs.

“Our clients are ecstatic we’ve been able to scale up our production. A lot of their design projects were on hold through COVID, for a year or more, and now they’re trying to get back on track. So they’re very happy we can help them with this.”

Nick Raven, Operations Director of CPL

The funding injection has been a catalyst for restructuring and strengthening CPL’s ways of working. “As an organisational development project, there have been huge benefits on many levels,” Lyn says.

  • Over the last year, CPL have:
  • Secured national and international customers
  • Maintained resilient and well-informed customer relationships
  • Expanded their physical space and equipment
  • Streamlined manufacturing processes, improving efficiency while maintaining strong quality control
  • Continued their commitment to staff development and lifelong learning.

“Our staff think it’s great they work for a company that’s so progressive and in a good position during the current uncertain economic times,” Nick says.

With a focus on consolidating progress and staff development in 2023, CPL are keen to explore further the support Growth Works offers.

“We’re a larger organisation now, with five sites spread across three locations, and so we need to ensure staff provide a unified response to the challenges ahead,” Lyn says. “And we know Growth Works can help us with the training and organisational development we now need.”

Could your business benefit from expert support and funding to help you unlock further growth? Click here to check your eligibility and tell us about your business to join our programme.

Written by Growth Works, Editorial team
Supporting growth ambitious and fast-growing businesses in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough to plan for bigger, scale faster and stay ahead of the game.

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