“We wouldn’t be here today without Ney,” begins Steve Green, managing director of WG Kitchens. With over 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, Steve was aware of Ney’s solid reputation as a woodworking machinery supplier and, through the grape vine, had heard stories about its willingness to help small businesses grow. With his sights firmly set on creating his own furniture manufacturing business, he approached Ney, hoping to have his own success story to tell.
“It was now or never,” recalls Steve. “My colleague and I had just been made redundant from a contract kitchen company and we both knew that it was the right time to set up our own business.” Together, the duo created a business plan, with the right machinery at the forefront of their minds.
“Like any new company, money was tight,” explains Steve. “From the off, we knew we wanted to make high-quality cabinetry for the retail market – less superior products were not an option for us. To do this we would need several machines but we knew that getting the right machinery at a price we could afford would be no mean feat.”
After securing some funding from the Government’s Department of Trade and Industry, Steve, like so many other small business owners, turned to Ney’s ProWood Finance team. “We’d heard great things about Ney’s finance agreements and the options didn’t disappoint. The terms were flexible and perfectly suited to a new company. ProWood also allowed us to purchase different machines as we continued to grow, simply and economically – something we have utilised in the four years we have been in business.”
Establishing the business in a 3000 sq ft unit in Staffordshire, the workshop included four machines, all purchased through Ney. A range of new and used machines was chosen to reflect WG Kitchen’s budget: a radius edgebander and trimming machine, a Paoloni beam saw, an Ortza edgebanding machine and an Ortza CNC machine. Ney’s engineers were also on hand to train staff on how to use and maintain each machine.
Growth for the company was quick, and larger premises and more staff were required a few years later. “We reached the targets of our five year business plan in two years. We simply needed more space to cope with the orders,” explains Steve.
With the company’s turnover almost doubling year on year and its growth up by 225% since it opened for business, it wasn’t only the premises that needed to be upgraded. “With unexpected growth we found that the machinery we originally bought was struggling with the workload. We were needing to create over 200 cabinets a week – something our machines were not designed to do,” explains Steve. “We spoke to Ney and together we came up with a solution. Within 24 hours we had new machines being delivered to the premises and old ones being taken away.”
The new machines included a Fravol Smart, which was chosen specifically for WG Kitchens' work. “Ney has made a point of getting to know us and the work we do, which has proved extremely useful when researching new machinery and components. The Smart was recommended to us because of our work with 50mm board. It’s the only one on the market in this price bracket that can work with a material this thick.”
Additional growth was also taken into account with the arrival of a MasterWood Project 310 CNC and a Mayer beam saw. “Each machine was demonstrated to us in Ney’s showroom and both Ney and WG Kitchens were confident that the machinery would increase productivity considerably without the need for more staff – manufacturing up to 350 cabinets a week.”
For now, this is where the story ends but the next chapter is in sight. The business duo has already set WG Kitchen’s future targets. “With Ney by our side we are confident that we’ll be able to double our output in the next two years. We’re certain that we wouldn’t have been able to set the company up without Ney’s help and we’re confident that our partnership will continue to get stronger and stronger,” says Steve.
Customers are welcome to visit Ney’s in-house exhibition between 10-12th April.