Phineas Group Ltd is a British company which specialises in the design and manufacture of plastic display products for shoe retailers.
According to Dan Wright, Managing Director: “We originally set up operations in China 16 years ago to satisfy a large number of orders from the Far East. However, in recent years we noticed a trend among mid-market retailers to turn towards European manufacturers due to quality and lead times. We decided it would be ideal if we were able to manufacture more of our products in the UK in order to satisfy this demand."
The company is moving to a new 18,000 sq ft factory in Bristol, with state-of-the-art-plastic moulding facilities. However, some issues were encountered shortly after opening the new factory, causing the company to approach the Business Growth Service, who recommended the Management Advisory Service (MAS) for support. "It brought the management team together and identified that we needed to restructure parts of the workforce in order to ensure the right skills were in place to sustain production in our new factory. MAS helped us look at the automation of our assembly process, ensuring we had a cost effective way of running ‘lights outs’ production.
"By automating our production we have been able to backshore the manufacturing of six products that were previously made in China to our new factory in Bristol."
The strategic project helped to identify skills deficiencies within the company, and encouraged the creation of a number of positions including marketing manager, business development manager, process engineer, tooling engineer and compliance manager among others.
“Off the back of this, we landed a significant contract with a UK company in the medical sector. MAS helped us to start thinking more like a medium-sized business, ensuring that we are better prepared and with a more streamlined production process so that we are in a better position to take on bigger projects moving forward.” (Manufacturing Advisory Service)