Kevin Cook of Business Doctors with Jane Reynard of Scolaquip
Kevin Cook of Business Doctors with Jane Reynard of Scolaquip

Cheshire school materials manufacturer celebrates 28% growth

A north west manufacturer of arts and crafts items for the education sector has overhauled its business strategy to achieve an increase in turnover of over 28 per cent.

Scolaquip manufactures and supplies the biggest range of paints, crayons, modelling materials and adhesives in the UK from its base in Middlewich. As well as its own famous brand, Scola, the company also distributes other well-known brands like Berol and Crayola.

In 2016 the business was seeing static turnover and diminishing profitability, so managing director Jane Reynard took the decision to overhaul the business strategy. After inviting help from a business expert, she and her management team are now celebrating success as turnover has now passed the £4.5 million mark.

The new strategy, introduced with the help of Kevin Cook of Cheshire-based business consultants, Business Doctors, saw the company investing in new manufacturing equipment, developing a more disciplined and consistent approach to its operations as well as driving sales in new export markets.

Commenting on the company’s growth over the past two years, Reynard said, “Having an external pair of eyes looking at the business has been a real game-changer for us.

“Kevin helped us to concentrate on our strengths and identify opportunities for improvement and expansion. After 18 months of hard work, turnover has grown by approaching 30 per cent. In that time our cash flow stresses have eased, we have opened to new export markets and hired new staff.

“It’s fair to say that we have all regained our mojo and everyone is encouraged to think outside the box and voice their ideas for improvement. I can only describe the help we have had as the ‘cattle-prod effect’ – painful but effective!”

Kevin Cook praised the team at Scolaquip for their resolve and passion, saying, “The success of Scolaquip today is testament to the determination of the workforce to turn the business around. In doing so, turnover is up and the company has a bright future.

“There has been investment in new kit, new jobs have been created and it’s a thriving place to work. It’s a great success story.”

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