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Weighing up the competition

Metroweigh supply high-tech weighing equipment
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Metroweigh supply high-tech weighing equipment
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

Have you ever noticed that your microwave meals are all the exact same size and wondered how it’s done? Our Loughton Seedbed Centre customer, Metroweigh, are the company behind it, supplying supermarkets up and down the country with weighing and inline inspection equipment that not only keeps meal sizes consistent, but also detects for contaminants in the food.

The machinery behind the business

Supplying weighing and inline inspection equipment for food manufacturing companies, Metroweigh source their products from Germany, commissioning, assembling and calibrating them for food manufacturing companies. “The food packaged by our machines is checked for the correct weight and then run over an x-ray machine or metal detector which scans for contaminants such as glass, stone or metal, ensuring that it doesn’t end up in your food,” explains Nick Watts, Managing Director of Metroweigh. “Most people don’t realise that food is detected for contaminants; it used to be just metal detectors, but M&S led the way by incorporating x-rays into their lines which can detect anything that’s denser than the food.”

Plans for growth

Metroweigh have been active for forty years but have recently decided to bite the bullet and implement new strategies to get to the next level: “The company was founded in 1979; it’s always been fairly small but now we’re trying to grow. We want to take market share and we’ve sat around for too long; we’ve got a really good name in the industry, but we never really got out and sold stuff. There’s only about four other companies that manufacture these machines so we’ve decided to get a sales team on board so we can start to take on these big boys. Our competitors are mainly Midlands-based, so we’re concentrating on taking over the food industry in London and the South.”

A location to facilitate growth

Metroweigh has been able to expand their office at the Loughton Seedbed Centre as the business has grown due to the flexible businesss accommodation contracts: “We have a warehouse, a workshop and an office all merged into one unit; we used to have two units, but we brought everything together into one big one.

“The location is great too; a lot of companies don’t want to send engineers into London, but for us it’s fine because we’re so close here at the Loughton Seedbed Centre. We have the train close by so we can send our engineers into the capital easily.

“We’ve also got sales people on board; we use a lead-generation company and when they get us leads we then send sales people out to them. But most of our business still comes through repeat customers because the machines are running 24/7 so after about four years they need replacing and that’s lot of what we do.”

With such high-level growth, Metroweigh are keen to ensure they have strategies in place to deal with the new business they secure: “We set ourselves targets for all the sales people and for the business; we have a set of KPIs and we’re trying to implement a sturdy structure within the business. I’ve employed some people from other industries because of their experience in that regard. For example, I head hunted a guy from the NHS who used to organise the rotas for the surgeons from three different hospitals. He now controls where our engineers go and makes sure they’re at the right places on time. It’s all to improve the way the business operates going forward.”

With plans to take over the South East, Metroweigh have the necessary solid systems in place to facilitate their growth and compete with the biggest businesses in the industry.

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