Camira Group Ltd
A textile company with sites in Meltham and Mirfield is taking its contract fabrics around the world.
Camira Fabrics, which was formed in 1974 as Camborne Fabrics, is supplying fabrics for bus and train seats and office seating to customer as far afield as Switzerland, Australia and Russia.
Exports account for about 60% of total turnover – and continue to grow. The firm sells into all 28 member states of the European Union while Turkey provides a bridge into both Europe and Asia.
Priority global markets continue to make progress with North America and Asia Pacific seeing export values rise.
Camira opened its first US showroom in Chicago in 2014, targeting the important interior architecture and design sector.
In April this year, the company moved its distribution centre from Indianapolis to Grand Rapids, Michigan – putting Camira on the doorstep of some of the biggest contract and transport seating companies.
In China, the firm opened new showroom and office premises in Shanghai in spring, 2013, and appointed a new distributor for Australia and New Zealand.
Among its community activities, Camira has not neglected its overseas markets – with donations to the New Zealand Whale & Dolphin Trust as a “give-back” programme on sales of its blazer fabric made from New Zealand traceable wool.
Marketing director Ian Burn said: “The principles of service, sustainability and innovation backed by product choice and breadth of capability have made Camira not just survive but thrive in the competitive global textiles industry.
”Our service offering means we service our UK clients with next day delivery and same day despatch for overseas orders – so our customers don’t need to hold stock.
Local stock support in North America, China and Australia means Camira is closer to key global markets for faster regional distribution.
Mr Burn said: “We penetrate the market at multiple levels to ensure we target not just director customers, but key influencers and corporate end-users.”
During the coming year, Camira aims to home its global product and marketing strategies with customers in Europe and Asia Pacific.
He added: “Germany continues to be a priority market due to its market size and potential.
“We are recruiting a second specifier sales manager, based in Berlin, to build our focus in the architectural specification.”
Mr Burn said the company would also focus on regional transport operators and Deutsche Bahn. Products for both sectors are being developed.
A company designing complex production facilities for engineering, chemical and pharmaceutical firms has built itself a worldwide reputation.
Manrochem Ltd, based at New North Parade in Huddersfield, was formed in 1990 to undertake process design for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
Over the past 25 years, it has grown in size and reputation and now carries out projects across the world for clients in a wide range of sectors.
Business director and co-owner Edward Jennings said: “Our company strapline is ‘Making it Possible’ and we pride ourselves on being the first port of call whenever a business wants to implement a new process, a new production facility, an increase in production, safety or environmental issues or just to ask us to help answer what they view as unanswerable questions.”
Manrochem Ltd is the foundation of the Manrochem Group, which also includes Manrochem Technical Services Ltd and its Asia and Middle East facility Manrochem India Private Ltd, based in Chennai.
Clients include blue-chip businesses such as Rolls- Royce as well as businesses with local sites, including pharmaceuticals firm Thornton & Ross at Linthwaite and speciality chemical company Lubrizol at Leeds Road, Huddersfield.
Mr Jennings said achievements over the past 12 months included moving the Chennai office into new premises, increasing its staffing levels and supplying new computer systems, furniture and facilities. He said: “This in turn has produced enquiries and work throughout the Middle East and Asia and turned our facility into a new, modern and marketable facility.”
Mr Jennings added: “We have the diverse ability and qualifications to undertake project that other companies can’t match or don’t want.
“We actively encourage working with our clients to solve their problems. One of our statement is that there are no ‘stupid questions’. If you don’t know, we might – and then we have a way forward together.
“We have access to a national and international pool of associated companies and individuals, allowing us to offer experts and expertise across an extremely diverse range of industrial processes.”
Manrochem Ltd aims to increase its 20-strong staff, open up new markets and boost its marketing over the coming year.
Mr Jennings said: “Manrochem provides a vital service that enables industry to increase, streamline and improve production through better systems, safer operations and environmentally-compliant process design.”
The Engine Room
Design and brand agency the Engine Room is powering ahead in overseas markets.
The company, formed in 2001 and based at the Creative Lofts in Northumberland Street, Huddersfield, boasts an 11-strong team consisting of designers, strategists, web developers and creative writers who work with businesses ranging from global multi-billion turnover medical technology companies to regional SMEs in the manufacturing and service sectors.
The firm has two consecutive national design effectiveness trophies to its name and is a member of the Design Business Association, which promotes professional excellence in the sector.
During the past 12 months, the agency has seen an “explosion” in export business – boosting overseas sales and profits. The Engine Room has 10 projects under way around the world.
Brand manager Nikki Taylor said: “A UKTI-supported market visit report to Switzerland in the spring led to a substantial development of an existing client relationship with the global medical technology corporate CareFusion along with the winning of a new client, Grifols, a Spanish-based multi-national pharmaceutical and chemical company specialising in blood plasma technology.”
Other international highlights include increased export sales compared with the previous 12 month-period and new client wins in Finland, Spain and Switzerland.
Projects completed or in progress including ones in Namibia, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Australia and the USA.
Nikki said: “Our brand and digital expertise is gaining recognition across these territories with video commissions being undertaken in Namibia, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Denmark and Germany.
“The development of a relationship with UKTI, which supported our initial market visit, is helping to guide us particularly with our visits to Africa and Saudi Arabia.
“There is clear evidence that our work is also leading to an upturn in exports for our clients, particularly emphasised with out client Polyseam now exporting across the world with its new GRAFT adhesive and sealant products – designed by The Engine Room.”
Over the next 12 months, the company plans to boost new business development in the UK and its target countries, pursue opportunities for speaker slots and workshop presentations to raise its national and international profile, develop the management skills of its workforce – and retain a focus on providing first-class design.