Obtaining finance for growth and acquisitions
Mecmesin is a manufacturing success story. Established for 35 years, the company – which is privately-owned and based in Slinfold, West Sussex – is a leading designer and manufacturer of force and torque test equipment. Its products are used to monitor the quality of components, materials and finished products, from factory floor through to the R&D laboratory, across multiple industries from aerospace to textiles.
Over 75% of Mecmesin’s sales are currently exported, with growth driven through subsidiaries in the USA, China, Thailand and Germany. Some components are manufactured in the UK to complement output from the group’s manufacturing subsidiary in Chengdu, China, which also produces parts for other European manufacturers. Additionally, Mecmesin has a global network of distributors in more than 50 countries, able to provide technical expertise and after-sales support to customers locally.
Five years ago, Mecmesin’s senior management team, led by managing director John Page, agreed that they needed additional financial expertise, particularly as continued growth brought added complexity to the business.
Having explored a number of interim Financial Director options, Mecmesin selected FD Solutions, with the engagement led by Chris Backhouse. Chris has a strong background in the manufacturing and technology sectors, as well as experience of operating in global markets.
John Page, managing director of Mecmesin explains, “We were impressed with FD Solutions and their level of expertise. They quickly established reliable timely management information, including cash flow projections, that immediately meant we could see things coming and plan accordingly, rather than purely reacting, and we have benefitted enormously from this strategic insight. With a global marketplace, the implications of changes in foreign exchange rates, for example, were also significant, directly impacting our bottom line. Chris addressed that by helping us set a strategy and then by putting systems in place that gave us clarity and the ability to respond confidently to rate changes and other currency issues.
“FD Solutions also helped us to deal with the banks and other financiers who, as has been well publicised, have been reluctant to lend money in recent years. We have grown both organically and through a number of acquisitions and this required funding. Having FD Solutions’ support and Chris on our team gave lenders the confidence to finance us. FD Solutions advised us when the time was right to have more internal financial resource and assisted us with the appointment of a full-time financial controller.”
Mr Page went on to say that “Mecmesin’s senior management team is heavily sales biased and it has been invaluable to have support from an experienced finance team, who also see our business from a commercial perspective. Personally, I have learned a lot from their involvement. They have brought structure and clarity to our management information and finances that is essential for good decision making, adding value to the business in the process and have helped to position us well for continuing success.”