Supply Plus is a leading British manufacturer and supplier of firefighting and safety equipment. Servicing various industries, from firefighting to the fuel delivery, the company exports to over 40 countries worldwide annually. It has a storied history dating back to the 1700’s, when constituent company Bayley Ladders established a pedigree in creating fire rescue equipment. Supply Plus continues this tradition, engineering essential hardware designed to allow firefighters and safety personnel to operate with maximum efficiency and safety, globally.
The company sought new funding to support an increased overseas footprint. While remaining domestic experts in firefighting and safety equipment and champions of reliability and innovation.
Seizing overseas opportunities
Operating out of Cambridgeshire, Supply Plus consists of three brands AS Fire & Safety, Bayley and Collins Youldon manufacturing a range of specialist products for both UK and international use. The success of the business domestically and in the EU encouraged the team to further broaden its horizons. Expanding the product lines into new regions and countries was therefore on the agenda. Further overseas expansion required strong leadership and unified company vision.
To fulfil this goal, the leadership team decided to fulfil a management buyout (MBO), enabling them to lead the company from the helm in new overseas markets. Giving Supply Plus more flexibility in how it responded to ever-evolving foreign opportunities.
Flexible alternative funding
Supply Plus chose alternative finance as a means of supporting the MBO and providing working capital. After a competitive pitch, Supply Plus decided to partner with Independent Growth Finance (IGF). The decision was made by evaluating reasonable terms and ensuring a flexible approach towards lending. A £1m invoice discounting facility was provided.
Invoice discounting provides more month-to-month freedom when compared to traditional funding methods, such as overdrafts. Allowing a business liquidity when needed to capitalise on growth opportunities.
Derek Gotts, CEO of Supply Plus, explains: “We wanted a pain free funding process, that would allow us to concentrate on steering the company on a path to greater expansion. At the same time, we had to make sure we were preparing for a future full of innovative developments, while nurturing the right talent to make this a possibility. We decided on IGF as our partner because they had experience in the sector and provided us with flexible funding terms. We are a proud British business, and we appreciate working with a partner of a similar size, and growth ambitions much like our own.”
Innovative product development
After a successful MBO, Supply Plus decided to utilise working capital to expand internal capability. With a team of 60 trained to work with a diverse product range, the company is well prepared to respond to the demands of diverse international markets. The management team is now building for future growth by continually investing in a successful apprenticeship scheme.
Supply Plus has also utilised funding to develop products for export, notably for the European fuel delivery market.. The export opportunity for Fire based products within southern Europe is huge, with products also being used across Northern Africa. Likewise, Commonwealth areas are an important market, with expansion into the far east is also planned.
Jeff Greenfield, ABL director of IGF added: “We are thrilled to be working with such an established British company, one that sees the value in both the domestic and export markets. Despite the UK’s current economic uncertainty, growth is very much on the agenda for many UK businesses, and we are extremely proud to support this. We look forward to a long relationship with Supply Plus.”