The Humber LEP visited KV Transix Ltd in Driffield to find out how a Growing the Humber grant helped them to purchase innovative new equipment, which supported them to become a more successful and competitive business and allowed them to grow as a company.
Business name: KV Transfix Ltd, Kelleythorpe Industrial Estate, Driffield, East Yorkshire.
Business overview: KV Transfix Limited are designers and manufacturers of specialist and bespoke component parts for automised vehicles across a varied spectrum ranging from emergency vehicles to taxis; from on-site work vehicles to specialist police vehicles. The company enjoys an almost unique place in its chosen sector. The company produces fittings for ambulances for example – which are then fitted to the vehicles by external companies who commission the kits.
What the company wanted to achieve: The business applied for funding to buy a brand new state-of-the-art laser cutter and press break – replacing their previous equipment and ensuring they could create more products onsite.
Grant received: The business was awarded a Growing the Humber grant in December 2018. Growing the Humber is a programme funded from the Humber’s Local Growth Fund allocation, secured from Government as part of its commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.
Funding invested: Total investment of £429,231 supported with a grant of £42,923
Jobs expected and jobs created (Full Time Equivalent): The business expected to create five new roles, however the success of the investment has meant that it has been possible to recruit six new people.
How the grant funding benefited the business:
Linda Jackson, Financial Director of KV Transfix, said: “We needed to purchase two new machines, as our punch machine at that point was very old and our sheet metal machinery needed updating – some processes took too long and we couldn’t do certain other things.
“We were relying on outsourcing some of our laser-manufactured parts to other companies in the UK.”
Linda explained that by buying in their own laser, in gave them more control over what parts they could create in house, it could help them produce the exact parts they needed, and it would help them provide those parts to their customers in a more cost-effective way.
The business can now be more innovative – with their new lasers able to cut thicker sheet metals – providing more products – which in turn delivers a better customer service.
The grant funding enabled the business to purchase all this upgraded machinery and bring all their operations in house, making their business more profitable along the way – as Linda added: “We will now be saving £30,000 a year that we had previously spent on bought-in parts.”
Previously the firm had to wait up to three weeks for outsourced parts to arrive, which meant their clients had to wait longer, and the parts were more expensive, with the costs also having to be passed onto the customer. Operations are now both quicker and cheaper, making KV Transfix more competitive.
The company purchased the equipment in February 2019, and are now getting to grips with the new technology.
Linda said: “What happened was our existing staff trained on the new equipment – with some of our welders learning new skills to move over onto the machinery – so we then had to replace those welders with new employees. We employed new assembly staff to put the parts together, and we also created the new role of production planner in our office.”
She added: “We are now looking to the future and seeing what else we can do – there is a possibility we could also add a nightshift.”
Linda also said that customers were coming in with all different kinds of requests – so they were examining the capabilities of the machine and looking at how they can expand what services they offer in the future.
Linda also acknowledged the role of the Humber Business Growth Hub. East Riding based Growth Hub advisor, Darren Roberts helped the business with the application, which she said was a straight forward process. She went on to say: “We couldn’t have purchased the equipment without help from the LEP. We probably would have had to wait for this equipment much longer – we might not even have it yet – and in that time we would have continued to have to outsource our services – so for us it was the sooner the better.”