Manufacturing services company targets turnover growth

Seaham-based Smart Manufacturing Solutions, which provides recruitment and technology services to automotive, aerospace and rail manufacturers, has revealed plans to double its turnover and increase its headcount.

The company, which was launched in November 2020, employs a team of ten office staff at its headquarters in Byron House on Seaham Grange Industrial Estate.

It has a further ten offsite management staff alongside more than 100 inspectors working on a sub-contract basis within manufacturing firms across the region.

The company now wants to increase its turnover from £1.6m to about £3.2m by expanding its client portfolio, staff and inspector headcount.

Pete Williams, who heads up the business with Craig Wood and Adam Smith, said that the company launched at “probably the worst time” but added: “For us it was an opportunity to streamline our processes and get the correct managerial systems in place.”

He said: “Since then we’ve secured several high profile automotive manufacturing clients which supply directly into Nissan and other OEM’s. Our aim now is to raise the profile of the business so our potential clients know exactly what we can offer.”

Alongside its recruitment arm, which is managed by Smith, the company provides an app which offers services to enhance production and quality levels for its data.

Through the app, SMS can accurately record client data in a paperless way to support Net Zero targets.

It also provides a managed service of team leaders and inspectors who are integrated into companies to quality-check parts before they are packed for distribution.

Smith said: “When Pete and Craig were in the development stages of the business, I was running my own recruitment firm, which specialises in the oil and gas industry. A mutual friend introduced us, and it was clear from the first meeting that there was a synergy between the three of us, so we decided to create SMS, allowing us to become a fully integrated provider of quality and recruitment services under one roof.”

The company has now signed a three-year service level agreement with Cummins Engines in Darlington and a further three-year SLA with a Tier One supplier in Newton Aycliffe, adding to its growing portfolio of clients within the automotive industry.

It now aims to add further clients within the aerospace and rail industries as part of its plans for growth during 2022.

Wood added: “We’re also visible on the factory floor, we embed ourselves within the businesses we support, so we can fully understand their needs and can come up with solutions which improve their production and efficiency levels.”