Manufacturing Growth Programme

Black Country manufacturer expands into different supply chains to enhance growth

Black Country based Teepee Electrical, with 25 years’ experience as a niche supplier to the automotive industry, engaged with the Manufacturing Growth Programme to enhance their supply chain by understanding and accessing new routes to market.

Teepee is a leading supplier of specialist cable harnesses, wiring looms and panel assemblies to a broad range of industry sectors throughout the UK and internationally including the automotive and rail sectors. As a low to medium volume supplier Teepee were challenged with the turbulent nature of their turnover.

Another major challenge they found was competition from East European companies who can undercut prices by as much as 40%. Despite these challenges, Teepee consistently employs around 50 staff and continues to invest time and money in order to keep up with changing technologies in the automotive and rail industry. Most notable is the growing electric vehicle market.

Teepee engaged with the Manufacturing Growth Programme and their local Manufacturing Growth Manager Helen Fortune. Helen supported the business through GROWTHmapper, an in-depth business diagnostic tool, where Market Knowledge came out as a perceived strength, however, Teepee wanted to work on a project to investigate ‘New Market’ opportunities, specifically in the electrical vehicle market.

As the electric vehicle market continues to grow Teepee identified that they had an opportunity to become a key player in the manufacturing supply chain. Teepee required assistance from an expert to gain a deeper understanding of the market, the key players, and their wiring harness requirements. Teepee also identified that they would like to look at the feasibility of tendering for business in this sector and become part of the supply chain.

Steve Clarke, Managing Director of Teepee Electrical Limited comments; “As a result of working with the Manufacturing Growth Programme we engaged with an external expert to evaluate the feasibility of entering the electric vehicle sector as a low to medium volume supplier. We undertook market research which gave us a deeper understanding of the market including a competitor and product analysis.”

“We now have a better understanding of the tender opportunities we could approach while successfully identifying UK manufacturers in a variety of commercial, industrial, agricultural and off-road markets.”

As a result, Teepee Electrical are expecting an increase in their Gross Value Add (GVA) for 2020 financial year from last year’s, while also filling in operational gaps to supply new customers, which it has been highly successful in achieving.

The impact of COVID-19: Teepee have managed to work throughout the lockdown period due to an increased demand of critical supply chain items including; wiring harnesses for the Blue-Light sector and cable assemblies for essential medical equipment. Teepee has been successful in reassigning their workforce from non-urgent work to supporting these essential services, which is a testament to their dedicated workforce and the flexibility and strength of team working in their business

“Teepee Electrical are a passionate business who are always considering new routes market and new ideas to assist the growth that they so desire. Their fantastic ‘can do’ attitude drives them forwards and gives them a strong platform to continue building a sustainable business. Future opportunities for Teepee in both automotive and rail are extremely encouraging as they look forward to the new decade.” Comments Helen Fortune, Black Country Manufacturing Growth Manager.

Going forward Teepee Electrical are looking at re-engaging with the Manufacturing Growth Programme to support them prepare a new sales and marketing strategy designed to achieve a new 3-year business plan (Orbit) as well as a 12-month single page plan, incorporating what they have learned about the electrical vehicle market.

“Working with the Manufacturing Growth Programme has been hugely beneficial to our business. The benefit of having an external expert supported by grant funding should not be underestimated. It has increased our knowledge of the very important and burgeoning electric vehicle market and provided us with vital product information we shall need to enter the EV supply chain.” Concluded Steve.

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