Bellagio Stone, a family run business based at the Heathcote Industrial Estate in Warwick, consistently completed more than 100 orders a week from early November to mid-January, marking a hugely successful period for the company after receiving business support from WMG at the University of Warwick and the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub.
The natural stone surface specialists were introduced to WMG by Growth Hub account manager Jaymie Thakordas to help them fulfil increasing demand in the second half of 2018, after a lengthy period of growth which saw the firm expand from four to 40 staff in just over a decade.
WMG’s SME Group representatives carried out an end-to-end analysis of Bellagio’s production processes between February and June last year, and pinpointed ways the business could improve efficiency.
When these recommended changes were implemented, the business successfully navigated through the busiest 12 week period in its history.
Director Mike Boyden said: “A really busy week for us is usually around 80 orders, so I think that without the assistance from WMG and the Growth Hub, we would have found it difficult to complete the 100 orders every week between November and mid-January.
“It was by far our busiest ever period and it sets us up for an exciting year ahead.”
Bellagio Stone was founded in 2005 by directors Catherine and Rob Wilkinson, who continue to oversee plans for its future and are still involved on a day-to-day level with the business.
Catherine said: “We invested £250,000 in a new CNC saw last year, which revolutionised our cutting process and now we are bringing in a £100,000 edge polisher, which will allow us to reallocate staff and improve our production rate.
“We are also aiming to expand our in-store sales this year, our work with WMG has really helped us reanalyse our position and look ahead.”
The company has a long standing relationship with the Growth Hub, which has helped the team access grant funding and aided them in their move to Heathcote Industrial Estate.
Jaymie Thakordas, account manager and business mentor, said: “The future is exciting for Bellagio Stone and I think they have a lot to look forward to.
“I introduced them to WMG as I believed it would benefit the team to reanalyse their processes and see where they could improve on what they already had, I am glad this was able to help them during their busiest ever period.”
WMG’s work involved analysing the flow of materials through the process, starting at the Bellagio Stone yard and ending at despatch to identify where improvements could be made based on observations and performance data.
Dr Liz McArdle, Innovation Manager, WMG SME Group, said: “We felt it was crucial to analyse the current process flow and ways of working across Bellagio Stone, with a view to identifying and prioritising ways in which changes could be made that would have the biggest impact.
“We are delighted that our work has helped them through a busy time and look ahead to the future.”
The WMG SME Programme is part-funded by ERDF and WMG centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult.