High-end kayak manufacturer increases efficiencies after MGP grant funding supports the implementation of a new ERP system | Manufacturing Growth Programme

Gaybo trading as Wave Sport are a manufacturer of kayaks and canoes, established in 1968 operating from their factory in East Sussex. The business has an international reach with a focus on UK and EU markets.

The business has established a strong market position as a premium manufacturer of quality sporting products. They also produce sailing dinghies for market leaders Topper and Fusion using a 3-layer technology. Furthermore, they have a longstanding relationship with Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes who took their sledges to the South Pole.

To achieve their ambitious plans for growth The business sought support from the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP). After a strategic business diagnostic review with Daren Booth, the Manufacturing Growth Manager for MGP, Daren organised for an external business coach to assist with the implementation of a business improvement project that would improve on its production planning process across the business. As part of the project, an ERP (enterprise resource planning) management system was put into place.

The new ERP system will combine an off the shelf package with crucial bespoke programming additions to roll key information into one integrated platform. Integration will save data duplication, increase data accuracy, increase visibility of information, assist materials planning with greater access to real time information and ensure more efficient planning from receipt of order, through production, to despatch of goods. By implementing a formal best practice ERP management system, it has enabled production efficiencies and process enhancements.

Director Andre Goldsmith stated, “Sales have been strong this year. Kayaking is a very accessible and affordable sport. Accordingly, ‘staycation’ has led to high demand across many of our markets in both private and fleet purchasing as people strive to make the most of their leisure time and escape to the water. High transport cost and scarcity of product has reduced imported competition which has, in turn, created additional demand for high quality brands such as ours.”

Daren Booth, Manufacturing Growth Manager for MGP stated, “This is a longstanding local manufacturer of high-quality sports goods and has an ethos to further leverage its marketplace position. Committed to the legacy started by his father the current MD is equally as committed to continue to grow, to further develop its product suite without any reduction in quality of product; this against a backdrop of competing lower grade product types. A strong advocate of local employment opportunities in a rural location of the South East.”

The business has experienced supply chain complications that they attribute to Brexit, skills shortages and rising materials costs. Despite sourcing as many of their materials as possible in the UK they remain beholden to global pricing on the component elements of those materials and other goods that are only available off-shore. Supply chain issues are creating scarcity and delays of raw materials.

Andre Goldsmith added “Investment and support from the MGP has helped us to make changes to our complete cycle of manufacturing and planning of, giving us a renewed focus for growth (from a reduced trading period due to covid). It has established a new chapter for Gaybo in the medium to longer term. Our business is committed to its longstanding legacy as a local employer that enables the creation and safeguarding of local jobs, and as a strong global manufacturer. We have already created new jobs this year and will continue to recruit in line with sustainable increases in demand.”

Future improvements for the business include continued development of the ERP system to further build best practice across the business, utilising additional features within the system to drive production processes (be that quality, less waste, efficiencies of production, stock control, material planning, completion of products and other associated benefits). They also continue to maintain and grow the brands’ presence and market leading credentials with new products and technologies.


More details on Gaybo Limited trading as Wave Sport and Perception brands, are available at www.wavesport.com and www.perception.co.uk