A Gloucester construction equipment manufacturer has seen business almost double in 2020 and expand into multiple global marketplaces.
Wheatway Solutions manufactures an attachable bucket that fits onto earth diggers such as excavators, tractors and loaders, which sorts the earth into soil, compost and aggregates.
This makes two jobs into one: the contractor would usually dig the earth, then sort the pile of earth that has been dug up.
Engineer Colin Smith established Wheatway Solutions more than ten years ago. He wanted to fill a gap in the construction and recycling industries for cost-effective screening solutions for entrepreneurial and smaller businesses.
The business now has six industrial production sites and has worked with Gloucestershire Growth Hub to build its growth strategy based on innovation of products with an international USP.
Colin secured his first international deal through in Sweden off the back of a YouTube video, which allowed the business to move into its first large industrial unit.
Colin said: “This particular manufacturer did a lot of industry advertising and it gave us the chance to piggyback on theirs and market our product to a wider audience.
“We tend to work with less established dealers – the entrepreneurial dealers who are younger and smaller. They have more tenacity, more drive. Whilst it’s a risky strategy, it’s paid off for us, we try and support them as much as they support us.”
This strategy saw him risk a 6-month sale or return option to his next international client which resulted in the client becoming one of Colin’s longest and largest accounts providing Wheatway Solutions with a minimum of £500,000 per annum in business.
In December 2019, when the news of the pandemic started making the headlines, Colin brought forward a planned website update which completed at the start of lockdown in the UK.
He said: “That was one of the best moves we made at that time because our website traffic and engagement increased, and we saw an increase in inbound leads where previously we were doing sales pitching and outreaching. The company has almost doubled its previous year’s sales volume in 2020, with expansion into Germany and the USA.
Colin tackled the challenge of Brexit by opening a warehouse in Belgium last November. This allowed Wheatway Solutions to miss the port queues and shifted from working with Duty and Taxes to working with DDP.
Colin has found that the network that The Growth Hub has, has been one of the most helpful resources to grow his business and achieve his business vision of being a global exporter. “The biggest advantage we have had with The Growth Hub is their extensive network. If I didn’t know something, they would connect me with someone that did and that has been a huge help in building the business to where we are today,” said Colin.
Wheatway Solutions has its sights set on the Rising Sun economies and further developing the USA markets, with their innovation and ability they certainly seem able to achieve that.