When Oxley Developments decided to consolidate all operations at its HQ near Ulverston, detailed planning was critical to the success of the project.
The company makes LED lighting systems and high-specification electronic equipment for the defence and aerospace markets.
Jayne Moorby, Marketing Manager, said: “We wanted to consolidate at one location to reduce overheads and make manufacturing more efficient.
“Having three sites, one in Ulverston and two in Barrow, meant we had products, equipment and people constantly moving up and down the A590.
“Lighting and systems had been in Ulverston, and components in Barrow. Combining them in one place allows us to multi-skill people across both areas.”
Oxley turned to the Chamber’s business support arm, Cumbria Business Growth Hub, to facilitate the move. The Growth Hub helped the business to apply for an £84,000 Cumbria Growth Fund grant towards the £1m project, which safeguarded 42.5 full-time-equivalent posts.
As a logistical project, it went really well. Our detailed planning and project focus paid off. Our customers saw minimal disruption and we were able to quickly get manufacturing back to operating at full capacity.
Once the funding was in the place, the company drew up detailed plans to execute the move, which took place over three months in 2017.
Planning was critical to keep production disruption to a minimum. A project team met regularly to plot every step of the move.
The company also took the opportunity to upgrade equipment and technology and retrain staff where required, building this activity into its plan.
Jayne said: “We did the move in three phases.
“Our sales and customer-facing teams had to work closely with manufacturing and planning to ensure we had a smooth flow of information within the business and to customers.
“We had preparation work to do at Ulverston because we needed to put in new electrical systems and relocate some activities to make room for the operation coming up from Barrow. We also created a new canteen due to the increased number of people who would be based onsite.”
She added: “As a logistical project, it went really well.
“Our detailed planning and project focus paid off. Our customers saw minimal disruption and we were able to quickly get manufacturing in Ulverston back to operating at full capacity.
“We also moved a number of the team and it was critical to us to ensure that they had a smooth transition and the planning process facilitated this.”