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Goodfish Group acquires another GEM

Cannock | Business Picks | Published:

Goodfish Group, the rapidly expanding injection moulding and toolmaking business based in Cannock, has completed another acquisition, this time in the East Midlands.

Its latest site, in Loughborough, will operate under the name Goodfish (East Midlands) Ltd, or GEM for short.

The company said having a third mouldshop and toolroom to add to those in Cannock and Worcester gave the group a rare level of flexibility. The new plant adds another 20 injection moulding machines, five vacuum-forming machines, supported by robots and other ancillary equipment.

Andy Hollis, who joined Goodfish in 2011, has been appointed operations director at GEM. He is already working on investment and other plans with the 45 new employees, to help bring the business in line with Goodfish Group standards and practices.

Group managing director Greg McDonald said: “Goodfish East Midlands is a perfect fit for our group. Its focus on mouldings, formings and sub-assemblies for the point of sale industry dilutes our growing automotive business in Cannock and Worcester.

"This has long been part of our plan – we don’t want any one sector to account for more than a third of the Group’s total turnover.

"The additional moulding capacity enables us to take on larger projects for existing and new customers, without the risk of testing our capacity levels. And with our moulding press range stretched upwards to 1,000 tonnes, we can also take on a wider range of work. Plus the vacuum-forming capability provides existing customers with additional options when considering the development of new products."

Mr McDonald has pursued an aggressive growth strategy since founding the business in 2010.

“We’ve always carried more overhead in the business than we would need if we were just planning to tread water as we’ve long recognised that size matters in this business," he said. "There are plenty of ‘mom & pop’ shops in the injection-moulding industry, but they’re sub-scale when it comes to seeking purchasing power from suppliers or in terms of being able to offer a varied and interesting career development path to managers.

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"With sales expected to reach £10 million in 2017, we’re half way to reaching our target of £20 million by 2020, and we’ve still got two and a half years to get there”.

This ambition is helping attract a skilled and ambitious group of new managers with the creation of group roles since Goodfish acquired its second moulding operation, in Worcester, in early 2015.

Mr McDonald said: “We see people and our culture as the key differentiators of our group. We want to be different; we want to forge our own style. So we’ve recently taken on a group human resources and development manager, Cheryl Bradbury, to help manage the development of our people”.

A month into the job, Ms Bradbury is already busy implementing an HR management system to help keep tabs on the rising head count. “As Goodfish increased their employee numbers each year, they found the spreadsheet methods of the past for keeping track of employees, their appraisals and development needs, became too cumbersome,” she said.

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Goodfish first started to use cloud-based systems to manage time and attendance, absenteeism and holidays in early 2013. This made it much easier to manage holidays, whilst significantly reducing the administrative burden, but it also helped deliver transparency across the business and set the business up for future growth. In January this year, another cloud-based system was trialled to help manage the growing number of recruitment processes being handled by the team. This was such a success it influenced the selection of an HR system, which had long been under consideration.

“Our recent advert in the Express & Star is part of the current campaign to add positions across the group," Cheryl Bradbury added.

“Our latest new starter, Robert Carr, joined us in May as new product introduction engineer, a group role that will see Robert working with Goodfish Cannock, Powell & Harber in Worcester and Goodfish East Midlands, coordinating with the teams and ensuring that new projects are brought into production on schedule and efficiencies are maximised."

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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