The firefighter with a burning ambition to grow

Batley-based Angloco has been designing and building special purpose firefighting and rescue vehicles for 40 years. And from growing exports to improving the production techniques on its factory floor, this is one smart manufacturer that knows how to learn.

The £17m-turnover company exports to customers in 50 countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.  Between 50 to 75 per cent of Angloco’s production output is exported.

One region in which Angloco has developed a strong market presence is the Caribbean. The company has recently secured its third, five-year rolling contract to service all fire vehicles in Barbados and has won an order from St Lucia worth more than £500,000 for two firefighting vehicles.

There are rarely any instant wins in this business, notes Brown. Angloco’s customers tend to be publicly owned and careful with their budgets. Purchasing decisions can take a long time.  And that puts an onus on the quality of the distributor in every single market. United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI) has helped us to find high quality distributors,” says Brown. “They keep us informed of tender opportunities and our association with them gives us a head start. There’s no doubt that this ongoing support has helped us to grow our exports.”

Driven in part, no doubt, by its international sales growth, the company has also had to focus on improving the “build time” of the vehicles. Angloco has used the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) to help with the introduction of  lean manufacturing principles. As a result of the changes, Angloco’s next new vehicle was built one month ahead of schedule and below budgeted assembly hours. Information supply, workshop organisation and material controls have all been transformed.

UKTI has helped businesses such as Angloco with advice and support in many aspects of exporting. Arrange a face-to-face meeting with a UKTI advisor today.

The Business Growth Service is now closed to new customers. Contractual commitments to existing customers will be honoured, as long as all support and related activity is completed by 31 March 2016. If you’re looking to find what business support is available in your area, your local Growth Hub may be able to help.