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Manufacturer sees customer increase after Innovation Sprint support

Autentica sees increase in customers

A Blackpool-based manufacturer of auto parts and accessories for motor vehicles has achieved a 30 per cent increase in customers and has recruited two new full-time engineers, after taking part in Edge Hill University’s fully-funded Innovation Sprint Programme, available through Boost.

Autentica which employs five people, offers a wide range of high quality 3D-printed auto parts particularly targeting car enthusiasts and professional mechanics. The parts range from engine components and suspension parts to interior trim and exterior accessories.

Irma Gilbert, founder and CEO, entered the Rapid Innovation Sprint Programme to build a market development strategy for growth by scaling up their existing portfolio of products and services and increasing their market share globally. She sought to create an effective strategy, by taking an insight-driven approach to define market opportunities and create customer profiles and routes to market, underpinned by a sound revenue model. 

Irma hoped the strategy would also to lead to the creation of new jobs, and the adoption of a new digital technologies which will increase market demand. The Innovation Sprint Progamme looked at developing several operational processes to optimise business performance and improve profitability, key to unlocking Autentica’s scale-up potential. This provided Autentica with the infrastructure to increase its market share globally. Several changes were identified in the business model during the Programme to achieve scalability.

Firstly, key internal business processes needed to be made more systematic and repeatable. Qualification is critical in ascertaining the core drivers, expectations, and complexities on any given customer project. A key enabler to unlocking the opportunity was the use of a new CRM system to form the basis of new business development strategy, active prospecting, client qualification and project initiation. During the workshops, Autentica worked on a new qualification process to ensure they correctly categorise projects, manage a balanced portfolio of customers and can assign resources efficiently. 

Digital business technologies were going to be important in managing the uplift in market demand, Irma worked on a plan to adopt and successfully embed the new CRM system into the business development activities, aligned to the strategic growth plan. Irma said: “The Rapid Innovation Sprint Programme changed everything for Autentica! The support has been incredible, resulting in us securing a £100k innovation fund and the adoption of a new CRM system. We have gone from strength to strength, so much so, we have recruited two new staff members as a direct result of the growth we have achieved since completing the programme.”

Irma used the latter stages of the programme to devise a Growth Action Plan for embedding the business model changes. As a direct result of the programme, Autentica has created two new full time engineer roles and as the company grows and staffing diversifies, access to engineers has been a key priority to meet the sales demand generated. As a direct result of their new strategy, Autentica has strengthened their resilience in the marketplace and secured £100k in innovation funding to increase their market share globally.

The programme has given Autentica the plan and the infrastructure to achieve real scale, allowing them to drive up their revenue, create new jobs and ensure profitability. The SME Productivity & Innovation Centre (PIC) at Edge Hill University delivers impact through an intensive fully-funded programme that helps established SMEs, with the vision and potential for growth, build a coherent business model strategy to scale-up.

Boost is helping Lancashire businesses. We have a range of funded support programmes and a team of business advisers you can talk to. To speak to someone from the Growth Hub about business support, contact Boost online or call 0800 488 0057.

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