JPL Flavour Technologies develop and manufacture flavours, specialising in alcoholic, soft drinks and flavour profile boosters.
Based in The Wirral, the business was established by Flavourist Jake Lavelle and starting trading in March 2016. Jake has extensive product & development knowledge and the business was employing seven people.
Jake explains: “We were performing well, but for the business to grow we needed to start working with large food and drinks manufacturers. Despite liking our product this proved impossible because we weren’t accredited to the right standard."
Food and Drink is the largest manufacturing industry in the UK and Jake knew from his previous experience in the sector that accessing the major end users and high end supply chains was essential for the business to grow.
“We needed British Retail Consortium (BRC) accreditation, but the cost to achieve this was prohibitive, which was when we heard about the Manufacturing Growth Fund,” Jake adds.
The Manufacturing Growth Fund offers grant funding to increase the productivity of small and medium manufacturing enterprises in the North West of England. Phil Anders is a specialist Manufacturing Advisor in Liverpool City Region and he met with Jake to understand JPL's growth plans.
“JPL had made brilliant strides in their short time operating and they were already working to a high standard," explains Phil. "It was clear from meeting Jake and the team that they had ambitions to grow the business and they were prepared to work hard to achieve this.”
Jake adds; “It was really helpful to speak to an expert about our plans. The BRC accreditation was a large investment, and it was important to consider the risks before implementing this. Phil reassured me that it was the right decision when we analysed the new markets it would open up and jobs it would create in the business.”
Together Jake and Phil devised a consultancy project, of which 30% of the cost would be grant funded by the Manufacturing Growth Fund.
Phil adds: “The move to new standards is a major step change for JPL, but it won’t begin and end in achieving the accreditation. The business needs to undertake a full a review of existing work practices, change processes and procedures and transfer that knowledge throughout the workforce to ensure consistency across the board. They must strive for operational excellence to win the best contracts.”
Jake procured the services of a consultant who specialised in quality systems and BRC accreditation to deliver the project, and over a three month period the business implemented new processes, upskilled the workforce and identified new equipment to improve productivity.
“We achieved BRC accreditation in April 2017. Since then we have started supplying five large food and drink manufacturers and taken on two more employees to help us meet demand, including an accounts officer to manage the increased volume of invoices we have to manage," continues Jake.
"By handing over some of the day-to-day aspects of running the business my time has been freed up to focus on what I’m passionate about - flavour development and winning new business.
“The Manufacturing Growth Fund has enabled us to make a huge leap forward, it is the best thing we could have done for the business. I’m due to start recruiting for a new Flavourist to increase our range, which will only see us grow further.
“My advice to any manufacturing businesses is to find out how the Manufacturing Growth Fund can help your operation – you’d be mad not to!”
The Manufacturing Growth Fund is available to small and medium enterprises operating across the North West of England and is delivered collaboratively by the Business Growth Hub, part of The Growth Company, and the Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub, Cumbria Business Growth Hub and Rural Growth Network, Boost - Lancashire's Business Growth Hub and Liverpool City Region's Local Growth Hub.