“We were able to go ahead with our plans to expand, thanks to ART. The key part was someone coming out and sitting down with us, taking an interest in our business and offering their help and advice as well as the loan.”
Midlands Components manufactures critical components, metal fasteners, nuts and bolts for the Oil and Gas, Aerospace, MoD and Automotive sectors. It was established in 2013 by a group of partners who had previously worked together in different capacities, each with experience of the sector and with complementary engineering and business expertise.
“We reached a position last year where we had to make a decision about staying as we were or going for growth,” says partner Sean Butler. “Ours is a challenging and competitive marketplace, but we decided to expand. We are confident about the quality and reduced lead times we can offer and know that we have the knowledge and expertise to produce complex parts that others can’t.”
Sean said the banks did everything but help, so he started trawling the internet for potential funders and discovered that most were basing their lending decisions on automated scoring systems. “It was simply a matter of ‘the computer says no’. No-one was interested in sitting down and discussing our specific circumstances,” says Sean, “until I phoned ART Business Loans. I couldn’t believe it when Roz said she would be interested to come out to visit us and discuss our proposition. We were delighted.”
ART approved a loan to support cashflow during the months that didn’t look so strong, allowing Midlands Components to invest in more people and equipment, and also offered valuable advice. “It can be intimidating when potential funders start asking for proof that you will make a profit and be able to grow and sustain your business as well as pay them back, but Roz was brilliant,” says Sean. “She helped us through every stage to ensure that we asked ourselves the right questions and put together sound sets of figures. She encouraged us to ask for the amount we really needed, not less just to avoid a rejection. Roz stressed that is important to be realistic. She also recommended an asset finance company that helped us to purchase three new machines that increased capacity and removed constraints within the factory.
The future is looking bright for Midlands Components, which has just posted its accounts showing a profit of 9% for the last financial year. “We were able to go ahead with our plans to expand, thanks to ART,” says Sean. “The key part was someone coming out and sitting down with us, taking an interest in our business and offering their help and advice as well as the loan.”