Quattro Foods Ltd have implemented some expertly planned changes to their business as a result of conducting a business improvement project supported by the Manufacturing Growth Programme.
Based in Portsmouth, Quattro Foods Ltd provides bespoke food products for the restaurant, retail and wholesale sectors. The business is heavily focused on the development and manufacturing of chilled, ambient and frozen foods. Key expertise is in developing new recipes from a client’s concept, to provide a product that meets the specific customer requirements. Through this capability and the use of high-quality ingredients, the company has built up a strong customer base across both the private and public sector.
Quattro Foods enjoyed a fantastic start to 2020, with new contracts secured, 24-hour shifts introduced to deliver additional capacity and a £90,000 investment signed off on new filling technology. The Company accessed support through the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) and their local Manufacturing Growth Manager, Robin Simpson, helped the business to conduct a GROWTHmapper business diagnostic to identify key areas for further improvement.
The GROWTHmapper analysis highlighted a need to explore the wider marketplace for business development opportunities. An action plan was formed to investigate how Quattro could be more proactive in finding new markets and customers, with recognition that the improvement plan should utilise their great capability for developing new products.
Quattro Foods Ltd benefited from an MGP grant, part-funding the cost of a business improvement project which reviewed existing practices and researched potential opportunities. The improvement project included a deep analysis of the business, looking at internal factors such as staff skills and workflows, as well as external factors, such as exploring new markets and opportunities for new product development.
The project created great strides in streamlining some of their production methods, while also discovering avenues into new markets and product development opportunities. This led to increased demand for specific product lines, notably in supplying major supermarkets with ‘white label’ products, which was a new area for the business.
On completion of the project, Sam Brower, Managing Director at Quattro Foods Ltd commented that “The project went fantastically well. It was good to have somebody to look at the business objectively, and to be able to offer their insight and support.”.
However, soon after this project was completed, Covid-19 struck. As a company supplying into a restaurant trade that has been particularly badly hit by the pandemic, 98 per cent of business was lost overnight, leading at the time to the furloughing of some 80% of the workforce.
Fortunately, the strength of the internal processes and a skilled management team have helped the business to weather the storm and demand has picked up in some discrete areas. Nevertheless, the lasting impact of Covid-19 – especially a huge reduction in customer orders, caused in part by the reduced footfall in the City of London – means that trading conditions are expected to be very challenging for some months to come.
Over the longer term, senior management know that there are further opportunities for growth in other parts of the food industry and, in time, are aiming to use the Manufacturing Growth Programme again, to assist in those plans for market development. Robin Simpson, Manufacturing Growth Manager for the Solent region commented that; “Quattro Foods is an excellent Company and a prime example of how a smaller manufacturer can compete against major players. In supplying to some leading restaurant chains and retailers, most of us will have tasted how good their products are, though few of us will actually realise it. I am really looking forwards to assisting them on the next stage of their journey.”.
More details on Quattro Foods Ltd can be found at www.quattrofoods.co.uk