For many people there comes a time when they know it’s ‘now or never’ – that it’s time to ‘bite the bullet’ and start their own business.
For Ideal Aluminium Systems Ltd’s managing director, Mark Walley and his co-directors Craig Turner, Mike Moulding and James Tyldesley, this was at the start of the 2014. Mark had spent twenty-three years in the industry; he and Craig had worked together for almost twenty of those and they had both worked with Mike and James for the last fifteen. Their employer at the time, a large commercial aluminium fenestration fabricator based in the North West, was sadly a victim of the recession and it went into administration. An investor couldn’t be found for the whole company and although some parts of the business survived the fenestration division was liquidated in February 2014. Confident of their industry knowledge and skills the four men felt well equipped to start their own commercial aluminium fabrication company rather than look for alternative employment and so, in April, they established Ideal Aluminium Systems Ltd based in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester.
The directors wanted to build their business not on a shoestring but in a well-considered, professional manner. They decided to position the company to work in the commercial sector, manufacturing aluminium windows, doors, shop fronts and curtain walling for retail, leisure and education projects with contracts up to and around £60,000. They knew that to succeed in this market they must deliver their contracts in a profitable way. This would require having a manufacturing facility that was both efficient and flexible; to do this would require investment in the right sort of machinery from the start.
Mark was familiar with machines from elumatec. He thought they were easy to use whether you were an experienced fabricator or new to the industry. He also knew, through years of experience, they were robust and would stand the test of time. In short, having looked at other machines available for working aluminium he recommended to the Board they bought a start-up package from elumatec UK. This comprised a DG79 double mitre saw, AS70/20 copy router & EP120 Crimper. The package would enable them to make commercial products to a high standard of finish and also have the manufacturing capability to take on larger, high-end residential contracts should they choose to. The machines would also allow them to offer multiple aluminium systems; Ideal currently manufactures products using Technal and Senior Architectural Systems (SAS).
Ideal Aluminium Systems Ltd has been manufacturing since April 2014 and is already becoming a well-respected aluminium fabricator. Commenting on the long-term plans for the business, Mark said: “We started Ideal by looking to the future. Our 3,000 square foot factory is sufficient for today but we chose it because we have the option to expand into the adjoining unit as the business grows. Likewise, the machinery we purchased from elumatec was not the cheapest but the Board agreed its build quality, high specification and the available training and support made it the best value for money. We are confident we have made the right choices in all aspects of our new venture and have quickly settled into planning for Ideal’s expansion.”