Manufacturer sees volumes increase after move to four day week and major investment

Laura Clarke

The UK’s leading manufacturer of scaffold board end bands has posted an impressive 12% increase in volumes, thanks to a timely investment in ancillary equipment and a switch to a 4-day working week.

Chilwell Products, which is now under third generation family ownership, has invested nearly £100,000 into equipping eleven of its power presses with the latest servo feed technology from Bruderer UK.

Located at its factory on Lows Lane in Stanton by Dale, the company was originally looking to continue using air feeds, but were convinced by experts from the high speed press specialist to trial its MF-2P servo feeders and the results have been astonishing.

Volumes have gone from 15.6million to 17.5million over the last twelve months and, better still, the firm has managed to achieve this in just four days, making Friday a permanent day off as a thank you (whilst all staff still maintain full pay).

Laura, who took over the reins from her mother and now Company Secretary and Director Lorraine Clarke in 2019, is a firm believer in work/rest balance and ensuring Chilwell Products looks after the heart of its operation – its people.

Boosted by the new technology and changes on the shopfloor, the 30-year-old business leader has written into employee contracts that they’ll never have to work on Fridays or weekends again.

It’s also worth noting that annual salaries are remaining the same, despite staff working five hours less every week.

Laura comments: “We’ve made the changes and have still achieved a 45% increase in capacity, helping us increase turnover and giving us the chance to go after new opportunities.”