“We don’t do boring,” says group chief executive Guy Perry currently flushed with success after sealing a major European deal for its new equestrian category.
The stylish hardware gives stables a wow factor by binning the traditional sober brown in favour of modern matching candy pink and baby blue hinges, saddle racks and shovels.
When a relative suggested the horsey makeover as something that would go down well with younger riders and businesses looking to attract new custom, Perry admits he was unconvinced.
But, in the spirit of the firm’s inclusive, open management approach, he agreed to give the concept a go.
Of course algorithms matter, but ultimately people buy from people
Now the products “are a sell-out, both at home, in Europe and internationally,” he adds.
Innovations of all kinds are set to be the norm in future as a £4 million investment, supported by Barclays, the only bank it has ever had since it began in 1925, transforms capacity.
Later this month A Perry & Co (Hinges), to give it its official name, will host HRH the Duke of Kent for the official opening of a new five-acre factory site, located alongside its existing 40,000 square foot operation deep in the UK’s manufacturing heartland of the West Midlands’ Black Country.
Currently generating a £12 million turnover and 20 per cent growth, further increases are expected to double revenues to £24 million come 2020.
A Perry heads for bright future as they launched their new equestrian range
Its 30,000 products sell through 2,500 trade partners such as engineering companies, architects practices, country stores and garden centres.
Celebrated for their quality the hinges, threaded bars, field gates and architectural ironmongery end up in high profile locations such as Buckingham Palace and Wembley Stadium, contributed to the planning of the HS2 rail project and have been deployed in studios making Star Wars, Harry Potter and Dr Who.
It was a licensing agreement with Aardmann Animations that produced the popular Shaun the Sheep sculpture, an apt collaboration given that, like Wallace and Gromit productions, A Perry is a rare blend these days of both the grounded old school and innovative modern.
Among its soon-to-be 115 staff, one member has been there 58 years, and while other manufacturers in the area have long gone, A Perry has survived to see its engineering skills and working practices such as providing apprenticeships now valued again.
TEAMWORK: Machine operator Trevor Hewitt, left, with group chief executive Guy Perry, right
After adding 400 new customers each year, 2017 is set to be a record breaker with 600 coming on board.
Explaining the company’s resilience, Guy, who singles out local borough council Sandwell for the way it backs enterprise and independent firms in the area, says: “Being a family firm we’ve been able to make and implement major decisions very quickly.
“Our willingness and ability to change to both design and manufacturing as well as importing and distribution models kept us in business.
“We recognised evolving was the only way, so now our products are a diverse mix of iron-based and others – the consequence of a boom in the high tech, construction and manufacturing industries.
“Customers want reliable, high quality, value-for-money products delivered within a day. We’ve introduced an extended 25 years guarantee for some that is enhancing our reputation even further.”
STABLE SHAKE UP: Perry’s new equestrian range
A Perry’s strong ethical ethos has been instrumental in bringing new clients on board, he continues, “because we stick to selling to trade customers and don’t compete against them as a standard supplier. We can also act as their warehousing and distribution facility if they wish.
“This fosters loyalty and should the competition lure them away with big discounts they always return.”
Over 90 per cent of business is domestic, but with the new factory come plans for a deeper push into Europe as well as the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
A new range of upmarket architectural ironmongery is in the pipeline along with PerryShield a higher fire protection grade of latches, locks and hinges with the 25-year mechanical guarantee.
These were already planned to meet more stringent legislation, “but they will become even more relevant in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster,” predicts Guy.
RELIABLE: A Perry produces high quality, value-for-money products
Embracing efficient lean production and distribution processes, as well using 3D…