A Fife-based business, which smashed its first-year turnover target by 50% and created 11 new jobs in the past 12 months, has secured a £40k grant from the Scottish Government.
The Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) money, which was obtained with assistance from Business Gateway Fife, has helped Avtek (Scotland) Ltd pay for new machinery worth £135k.
The equipment, which was installed in its Dalgety Bay headquarters last month (October), has allowed Avtek to immediately fulfil £1 million worth of orders from clients throughout the UK.
The business, which was set up last November to design, manufacture and install commercial glazing, is now projecting turnover for 2015/2016 at £2.5 million, more than a three-fold increase on the £750k achieved this year.
Mark Lawrie, Operations Director, Avtek (Scotland) Ltd, said: “When we launched we never thought the business would grow so fast. By offering both a bespoke design, fabrication and installation service for windows, entry systems, curtain walling etc. alongside specialist installation on behalf of national suppliers, such as Velfac, we essentially carry out the job of two contractors. Many of the jobs we’ve undertaken have required both arms of the business and clients have benefited from having just one point of contact. As a result, enquiry levels now exceed capacity and we currently have an estimated £2 million worth of projects waiting to be priced.
“Originally we were going to outsource our fabrication work but the control, lead times, costs and margins didn’t work for us, so we decided to bring it in-house. We invested in some aluminium fabrication equipment last year and very quickly demand outgrew what we could do in our original facilities in Elgin Industrial Estate in Dunfermline so we moved to a unit 6000sqft in Ridge way, Dalgety Bay, in July. Now that the modern, new machinery has been installed we can focus on growing the fabrication side of the business throughout the UK.”
He added: “Our Business Gateway adviser, Lynne Baillie, has been with us every step of the way. Although I had 20 years’ experience in the industry I’d never ran my own business so I went to Business Gateway to see what I needed to do. Lynne has not only helped us apply for funding, including the RSA application, she’s provided sound advice whenever needed. Because the business is moving so fast it’s good to be able to go back to her for a sense check as you do find yourself sucked into the day-to-day goings on and often don’t get the chance to step back from the coalface.”
Lynne Baillie, Business Gateway Fife, said: “Avtek has quickly become a major player in its sector. Set up by Mark, Ian Campbell, Ronald Shevas and Richard Campbell last November the business has filled a gap in the market by providing high-quality work and outstanding customer service. With the installation of new machinery, Avtek is set to grow even further, gaining a greater foothold throughout the UK. We’re delighted that our support has helped Mark and his team drive the business forward.”
Since launching with just one employee, Avtek has taken on three apprentices and created a further eight full-time positions.
It has also secured a raft of new work since June, including contracts to install Velfac windows at the new Wick Community Campus and the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, Technal curtain walling, windows and doors at Timmergreens and Warddykes Primary Schools and Metal Technology curtain walling, windows and doors at Forfar Community Campus.
Mr Lawrie said: “Our original plan was to look at projects around the £50k to £100k mark, but our clients required another sub-contractor who would commit to tendering and delivering projects up to £1m. Last December we secured our first contract which was worth £265k and is now sitting at £400k. From here, our name has spread quickly as clients cannot speak highly enough about the quality of our work.
“We cover all construction, from office developments to hospitals, schools to colleges and with our wealth of experience we can solve problems that Main Contractors so often encounter. Being able to create so many jobs in the first year has been fantastic. Being in a position to offer school leavers and young people a chance to learn through apprenticeships not only arms them with a trade but provides us with a team who are trained the right way.”
For more information on Avtek (Scotland) Ltd visit www.avteksolutions.co.uk
To find out how Business Gateway Fife can help your business call 01592 858333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org