Outsourcing can help a fast-growing business grow even faster
Tredwell Electrical was formed in 1991 and is one of Ireland's leading manufacturers of electrical control panels and switchgear. The company has developed a strong delivery culture and customer focus and is a full service electrical control panel manufacturer to its customer base in Ireland as well as its overseas markets.
From its specialist manufacturing facility in Limerick, Tredwell continues to invest in world-class electrical design and software development as it develops its range of products.
"Since 2008 export sales have been the key to growing and developing our business and in the last 12 months group turnover has grown by 35pc.
"From the beginning, we have always developed expertise in market sectors and then sought to further develop customers within these sectors and today we continue to follow this strategy in all our export markets," founder and managing director Stefan Uhlemann said.
Tredwell Electrical's impressive growth has shown that specialist manufacturers can still achieve success in Ireland.
Equally impressive is that they achieved significant growth in recent years with limited external finance.
The major source of funding has been through retained profit and positive working capital management. As the company continues to expand its export business it may need to look at external sources of finance. The reduction in traditional bank lending means directors should explore finance options such as asset finance, invoice factoring/discounting or export finance.
During a significant growth phase it is important to ensure that appropriate risk and management controls are put in place within the organisation.
Tredwell continues to achieve growth through developing its product offering and its export-led markets.
Developing such products and markets can be capital intensive and the company should take account of all available enterprise-related tax incentives. This can include the 'Research & Development Tax Credit' which can result in beneficial tax relief of up to 37.5pc of the allowable expenditure incurred on qualifying R&D costs.
If the company requires capital to fund its further development it may consider raising such funds under the 'Employment and Investment Incentive' scheme, which can provide individuals with an opportunity to invest in a company and qualify for tax relief on the cost of same.
It is very hard for any business to grow without innovating, accessing new market segments or exporting to new geographical markets, all of which introduce a measure of unknown into business planning. During episodes of fast growth the need for up-to-date and even real-time information becomes a necessity.
Outsourcing all or some elements of the finance function can alleviate some of the bottlenecks associated with fast-growing businesses.
By outsourcing financial administrative functions to a specialist provider, this becomes a strategic decision that brings savings, increases process efficiencies and improves the quality of financial information, facilitating better decision making by company management.
Audit and assurance partner, BDO Ireland
Director, advisory & outsourcing, BDO Ireland
Sunday Indo Business