Exporting Case Study: Autac
Autac is a leading designer/manufacturer of cable solutions.
Autac is a leading designer and manufacturer of standard and bespoke cable solutions, partnering with clients across the world, delivering high-quality cable products, from its two manufacturing sites in Macclesfield, UK.
A third-generation family-run business, established in 1964 and serving a variety of sectors including agriculture, automotive, aviation, chemical, communications, marine, medical and safety. Autac has seen significant growth since husband-and-wife team David and Sallie Lowe bought the business in 2016, with revenue increasing from £1.7 million to £5 million over that period.
Exporting has been a key part of the company’s growth strategy for the business enabling them to develop the brand and sales within a range of markets including Australia, China, the Middle East and Northern Europe, and recently South Africa. Access to these international markets has been achievable thanks to a variety of methods such as using European and global distributors, selling directly into the OEM sector, and offering bespoke-designed options such as high-performance solutions to withstand extreme temperatures and other high value-added services.
Building strong relationships with their partners, distributors and end consumers has been key to their incredible growth over the last six years. Autac is now an established and trusted brand, with a strong reputation for being a solutions-driven business, with a focus on innovation, customer service and quality, and enjoys a loyal national and international customer base.
The company is firmly on course to achieving its ambition of becoming a £10M business and strengthening its position as a high-quality British manufacturer. And their recent investment into a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, Autac Two, will allow the business to cater for the huge increase in demand. The new facility is a sizeable 12,500 square feet and will nearly triple the floor space of the existing manufacturing site, Autac One.
For both the domestic and international markets Autac has invested in a marketing communication strategy, with a focus on building awareness for and growing the Autac brand, showcasing the value-add and high-quality products and services and creating opportunities for the team to meet and collaborate with new and existing customers and partners from around the world.
David Lowe, Autac’s Managing Director said, “We are incredibly proud of the role Autac plays within the UK manufacturing sector, upholding the world-renowned reputation for high-quality and innovation. And thanks to our partnership with key organisations such as the Manufacturers’ Alliance, and ‘Made in Britain’ we have been able to focus on improving our operations, developing our Assembly and EV divisions and supporting our customers, going above and beyond to help them to succeed. With this in mind, I make multiple visits throughout the year, to meet directly with our European and International customers and partners, to discuss and develop plans for the future.”
Autac is also a member of their local chamber of commerce, North Cheshire Chamber of Commerce and thanks to its support, is able to stay up to date on the latest export regulations and document changes. Some of the team have also undertaken training programmes through the Chamber, a vital part of continuing professional development, enabling them to manage their supply chain and operations more effectively in this fast-changing environment.
Terry Hayward, Chief Executive at North Cheshire Chamber of Commerce commented, “We have been working with Autac since they started exporting over 30 years ago. They are an important employer and well-respected manufacturer in Macclesfield and this reputation, alongside the “Made in Britain” brand, has been instrumental in their development of overseas markets. Whilst offering export documentation and business growth-related training, the Chamber is also on hand to answer any immediate questions Autac may have on what is required for their goods to successfully clear customs, especially in more complex markets. As the team moves to their new manufacturing facility, giving them the capacity to increase production further, we look forward to supporting them with their export endeavours for many years to come.”
Autac has ambitious plans for the future. With a focus on increasing capacity, improving lead-times, and maintaining the same high-quality and innovation to their customers. Further investment is planned in new technologies, key people and talent, and an objective to reinforce the strength of the Autac brand and reputation across international markets.