GJD Manufacturing is a leading manufacturer and designer of electronic perimeter detection equipment and high performance LED illumination based in Heywood, Rochdale.
End user clients for its portfolio of products include the Royal Family, National Trust heritage sites, places of worship, schools, commercial businesses, and the residential sector.
Recent projects include Stonehenge, the famous World Heritage Site, which underwent a massive £27 million renovation project that required a high-end, sophisticated perimeter detection and security system.
Watch now: find out more about GJD Manufacturing's business journey in this video
GJD's Innovation Challenge
GJD Managing Director, Mark Tibbenham, wanted to explore new ways of increasing revenues through product innovation.
The majority of the company’s UK competitors concentrate on exporting existing products rather than developing new ones, and Mark had seen an opportunity to differentiate GJD from the rest of the market.
Specifically, the company was looking to develop an intelligent laser scanner for drone detection and ground based threats that would enable them to access a market estimated to be worth around $500 million by the end of 2020.
As Innovation Growth Manager Yvonne Grady, explains: “Through our partnership with the region’s universities, we’re able to provide local businesses with access to world-class academic knowledge and research facilities – and along with it, the potential to make a real difference to businesses across Greater Manchester.
“As a result, GJD have been able to develop a new Industry-University partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University that will bring new skills into the company.”
The Power of Collaboration
Innovate UK are one of the Hub’s principal partners and specialist advisors helped GJD make a successful application to the organisation for a grant worth £141,750. The company used this to build a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University that would play a key role helping to develop new advanced technology for their laser security range.
The company also enrolled on Innovate UK’s ‘Innovate to Succeed’ programme, which includes an IP Audit worth £3,000 and strategic innovation management support.
Access to GC International Trade was also provided, and helped the company to secure nearly £77,000 from the GM Export Fund to enable them to expand into new markets and increase export sales.
GJD is now in the process of setting up a USA office in Arcadia, Los Angeles and has recently formed a strategic partnership with LILIN Americas, an entity of Taiwan based IP video manufacturer Merit LILIN. The new joint initiative is designed to accelerate North American adoption of GJD’s IP-based presence detection and illumination systems.
The GJD Incorporated office will launch from January 2018 and will become GJD’s sales hub for USA, Canada and South America. It will employ a second dedicated export sales manager to steer USA growth strategy.
Going From Strength to Strength
Since the input from the Hub, the business was shortlisted in the 2016 Venturefest Manchester Innovation Showcase Competition, and in April 2017 won the Queen's Award for Enterprise for International Trade.
In July 2017, GJD was awarded the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) Chairman’s Award for GJD’s contribution to exporting 2017.
Mark explains: “GJD has gone from strength to strength. We have been quick to recognise the changing needs of the market and the importance of the latest technologies to meet those needs.
“The support we have received from the Business Growth Hub and their partners has opened new doors for GJD and been the catalyst for further growth.
“Over the last three years GJD’s export growth has increased year-on-year by around 17.5%.
“Two new jobs have been created and at least four jobs protected as a direct result of the success we have achieved in growing our international business by bolstering our sales and marketing initiatives combined with R&D programmes that have resulted in the global launch of new and innovative products.”