A Coventry manufacturing business has its sights set on growth after facing an uncertain future.
MPL Fabrications, based on Alderman’s Green Industrial Estate, is a light sheet metal company making parts for lifts through to bespoke prototype projects for the MOD.
The company, which employs 15 staff, is run by Director Kevin Duffy who has kept the business going as a legacy to his father-in-law – Roy Hill – who started the business 35 years ago but passed away eight years ago.
His successor died last year, leaving Kevin, who had taken early retirement from Jaguar Land Rover, to manage the company.
Kevin said: “We are a high-end fabrications business – working on everything from one-off prototypes through to batch runs of a few thousand for smaller products such as hinges.
“My father-in-law started the company 35 years ago, initially running it as a one-person business but gradually he started to employ people. We’ve got five or six staff for whom this has been their only job, including one who started as an apprentice and is now our production manager.
“I was told that it might be best to close the business last year but I couldn’t do that. I wanted to keep it going because it is Roy’s legacy and, also, because I wanted to be able to keep the team employed.”
Kevin signed the company up to membership of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, which is supporting MPL Fabrications in a range of ways to help it achieve growth.
It has put him in contact with a digital marketing company to help grow its customer base with a new brochure and marketing strategy. The Chamber is also assisting with grant funding to improve the firm’s website.
On top of that, the MPL Fabrications team is gaining access to Chamber masterclasses and Kevin is receiving advice from Chamber president Tom Mongan.
Kevin said: “I can’t speak highly enough of the Chamber. I went to one face-to-face event last year when the restrictions were lifted for a short period and got talking to Tom and it’s been a massive help.
“My aim is to grow the business again and the support from the Chamber has been invaluable. They’ve also introduced me to the Growth Hub, who have been very helpful too.
“We’ve just taken on our first salesperson, so it really feels like we are moving in the right direction and we are hoping to grow our customer base.”
Tom Mongan said: “I used to deal with Roy in my time at Subcon Laser so I knew the business well.
“It was great to meet Kevin at the Chamber event last year and, as soon as we got chatting, I knew that we would be able to help him in his efforts to grow the business.
“As president and as someone with a background in manufacturing, I am determined to get more and more manufacturers into the Chamber and to get them coming along to events – when we are able to meet face-to-face again.
“I can see the benefits it can bring to a business and MPL is a great example of that. Just taking a couple of hours out of his day to attend that event has opened up a whole range of opportunities for Kevin and the team, and that’s exactly what the Chamber is about.”