Turning up the heat at Midland Cold Rolled Sections
Wolverhampton-based engineering business Midland Cold Rolled Sections Limited (MCRS) is one of the region’s leading providers of custom roll forming. It also delivers a range of additional engineering services, including fabrication, welding, press-braking, presswork and drilling.
Renowned for the quality of its work, MCRS designs, manufactures and supplies cold rolled sections using all types of materials, both hot and cold rolled steels, aluminium, stainless steels and all types of coated material. MCRS specialises in delivering bespoke solutions to a wide range of customers, large and small, in a number of important sectors, including energy, automotive, construction, industrial, agricultural and shop-fitting to name but a few.
On its current site since 2000, the business has enjoyed steady growth under the expert guidance of director and founder, John Barnard. A growing reputation and strong customer base helped MCRS ride out the worst of the recession, when many similar engineering businesses fared less well. The arrival in July 2016 of new co-owners and directors, Wayne Fletcher and Russell Eynon, former work colleagues from Hadley Group, gave the business new life and a realistic plan for future growth.
Buying into the business for its potential, the new directors have not been slow in bringing in new machines and new skills to complement the dedicated team of engineers. Like many small firms, the small team and large range of services requires everyone to possess a number of skills, from cold-rolling and welding to plasma cutting and punching. MCRS supplies products to end-users, like galvanised steel fence posts for the UK’s leading supplier of fencing and access controls. But is equally at home with the tight deadlines and exacting standards of the region’s heavy industry supply chain, where it forms an important link.
Customer service drives growth: The business possesses the skills, experience and capacity to tackle almost any project, but the new management recognised that a return to traditional high-quality customer-centric service could set the business apart from its competitors. Russell Eynon, Director at MCRS commented, “When you’re looking to transform a business like MCRS and put the client at the heart of everything we do, it’s not always about grants and funding. Sometimes you need advice from experienced individuals like those we deal with at the City Council and their partners at the Black Country Growth Hub, who helped shape the growth strategy that is already delivering results.”
With the help and support of the City Council and its partners in the Growth Hub strategies have been developed to move the work away from one-off projects to longer-term regular repeat contracts. Large single projects might help drive costs down, but it can leave clients with stock sitting in their warehouses for longer. By working closely with clients to arrive at the best, most economical solution, which is not always obvious at the outset, MCRS is able to improve quality and lead times, for all its customers, without impacting cost – a genuine win-win. The support provided to the business has been delivered as a result of the ERDF Black Country AIM Programme.
Much like the steel has to be formed with small incremental changes to prevent breakages, the business is moving forward with support that introduces small changes for maximum impact. New machines have increased capacity; new experience on the shop floor has brought new skills; quality and innovation has attracted new clients.
Since Russell and Wayne arrived, four new jobs have been created and the flexibility of this growing, dedicated workforce means capacity can be increased rapidly to meet the often-pressing deadlines imposed by clients; a challenge gratefully accepted by all at MCRS. A strong local client base has not distracted the team at MCRS from seeking to export its expertise. One recent project involved working closely with a leading European industrial flooring business, to design and manufacture innovative prototype parts that will increase the durability of concrete floors.
With a growing order book, a trebling of turnover, new products and new tooling, the future is not only bright for MCRS and its suppliers, but for the local community that needs the jobs being created by the firm’s success, to help improve the region’s prosperity.