Fastest growing exporter invests in Barnsley workforce to boost growth

Published 26th January 2014 at 11:37am

A Barnsley manufacturer, in the Sheffield City Region, which has seen exports triple in three years is investing in its workforce to equip them for further growth.

Naylor Industries has recently completed a rigorous management development programme for the 12-strong team which leads its clayware division. Clay pipes are the company’s biggest export product and last year they sold £2.4 million worth to customers in 35 countries including New Zealand, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

In a bid to further increase sales, the clay division has completed a bespoke course of professional coaching, delivered in partnership with Enterprising Barnsley – a business support programme, delivered by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

Naylor Industries chief operating officer Bridie Warner-Adsetts said: “Naylor is committed to personal and professional development and this focused programme was specifically designed to build the skills and boost the confidence of every member in the clayware management team.

“Each and every one of them is now better equipped to help us capitalise on a large investment we are making in new drying and firing equipment, set to boost clay pipe production capacity in 2014.”

Naylor Industries, which also supplies concrete and plastic products to the construction and utility industries, has manufactured high-specification clay pipes at its 40 acre Cawthorne site for 123 years. The current chief executive Edward Naylor is great grandson of founder George Naylor.

Export growth over the last three years has been a key factor contributing to an expected record turnover of £42 million at Naylor this year, ending February 2014.

Bridie said: “We are a traditional British manufacturer with an excellent pedigree and that still counts for a great deal in the international market. We’ve combined this reputation with innovative product development and renewed vigour in export over the past three years to increase overseas sales.”

Workforce development is an essential part of Naylor’s growth strategy and this bespoke programme of workshops and one-to-one sessions was delivered by Enterprising Barnsley business coach Dorothy Betts. The initiative is part of a package of support for human resources at the company, which employs 212 at its base in Barnsley. Seventy work in the clay division.

Enterprising Barnsley has previously delivered business coaching for other groups of directors, managers and team leaders and is supporting the company’s proactive approach to nurture a workforce for the future through the recruitment of manufacturing apprentices and management trainees.

Bridie said: “We have a highly skilled, loyal and long-serving workforce at Naylor and our aim now is to take that forward, bringing in more young people to learn production techniques and creating two new management trainee opportunities for science and engineering under-graduates.”

Naylor currently has nine apprentices across its business and is resolved to increase that number by at least one a year for the foreseeable future. Two management trainees, who will gain sponsorship for their studies and on-the-job management training, will start later this year.

Enterprising Barnsley Business Development Manager Steve Hawkins said: “It is fantastic to see an established Barnsley company investing in its workforce in a comprehensive way to support immediate and long term growth. We are extremely happy to support Naylor’s investment in people.”

Bridie said: “The support from Enterprising Barnsley to develop our workforce has been tremendous. The last few years have seen a dramatic turn-around of fortunes at Naylor following tough times in the recession-hit UK construction industry and a low period for us, in export. We are now in a strong position to grow, create wealth and skilled jobs in the local economy.”

Naylor Industries was placed in the latest HSBC Sunday Times’ Track 200 list of fastest-growing British exporters and gained a recent accolade as exporter of the year at the Made in Yorkshire awards.

Naylor’s leading export products include Denlock, a jacking pipe which can be driven under roads and pavements without the need for digging trenches, which is proving popular in fast-growing economies such as Brunei and Saudi Arabia. The company’s chemical and thermal resistant ceramic pipe, Hathernware, is also attracting more buyers abroad in chemical manufacturing, food production and waste-to-energy sectors as well as clinical settings. This pipe can withstand aggressive substances such as acids and protect contents from any contaminated ground conditions.

Naylor Industries’ PLC has also seen significant growth in overseas sales of its premium quality Yorkshire Flowerpots, produced in its Barnsley-based gardenware division. And, all the company’s product range is available for export including products from its plastics and concrete divisions.

Enterprising Barnsley is supported financially by the European Union and has attracted £2,259,511 investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.