In May 2018, existing owners Paul and Mary Hawksworth, who ran the family-owned business for 20 years, decided to retire full time from Cutwel. Managers Adam Gillard, Graham Short and Shaunie Mangham undertook a management buyout with the backing of Leeds Based private equity firm NorthEdge.
The new management team identified real potential in the business and set out to strengthen their supply of high quality products and achieve the best customer service levels within the SME engineering market.
Over the last 12 months, the directors have appointed a cohesive and knowledgeable middle management team to manage the day-to-day running of the business. Working with the new HR manager, they provide specialised development and support to their departments. Regular management training is a key component in helping develop their leadership capabilities and drive future success.
Another key aspect of development that is important to Cutwel is ongoing training and recruitment. In 12 months, headcount has increased from 52 to over 80 employees, with the strengthening of sales, warehouse and finance teams proving instrumental to continuing growth and success.
Cutwel is known for its highly skilled and technically trained staff and so it was key this quality was maintained with all new recruits. The Cutwel Academy, led by the Product Training Manager Liam Scaramuzza and Training Team Manager Caroline Cooke, provides comprehensive training for new sales staff. This comprises of thorough training on Cutwel’s products and systems to ensure they are given every opportunity to succeed.
With a view to further growth, Cutwel has also invested in process management. Barriers between departmental communication have been lifted, allowing for more collaboration across all departments to better co-ordinate and implement company strategy. A complete re-structuring of the warehouse was also undertaken, with barcode scanners and a new goods-in door streamlining arduous tasks.
Technology has fuelled much of the advancements made throughout Cutwel in the last 12 months, both from a sales and operational perspective. New systems like Refract and Phocas aim to give a better understanding of the company’s strengths and weaknesses through intelligent call listening and data analysis. On the marketing front, new AI-driven web optimisation software provides online users a more personalised shopping experience.
ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Committee
While Cutwel is very focused on its long-term sales and operational goals, it is also aiming to engage more with the community and improve its environmental footprint. An ESG committee was formed in Q3 2018 with an aim of giving its staff a say in how the organisation is run. From this, they have organised several themed charity days supporting both national (e.g. Comic Relief) and local (e.g. Kelford School) charities. Recycling bins and new water coolers from a fresh water source, while using no plastic, have also helped the company adopt a greener ethos.
Overall, Cutwel have experienced excellent growth in the last 12 months. With a near 20% rise in Cutwel’s turnover and an increase in the size of the management team, the future is looking bright for Cutwel. Below are some growth stats which highlight how far the company has come since the management buyout just over 12 months ago.
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