Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Efficiency Drive Pays off for North Medical Group

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Efficiency Drive Pays off for North Medical Group

Article excerpt

Byline: Iain Laing

AFAMILY firm which began by making cutlery and reinvented itself crafting medical supplies for First World War veterans has just seen a big surge in growth after an efficiency programme.

Peacocks Medical Group, which has been based in Newcastle city centre for 105 years, is seeing its strongest growth for decades after an overhaul to make itself more efficient, more profitable and win new business.

It has increased its workforce by 47 to 175 in the last 18 months, saw orders rise by 40% in five years and increased its production capacity by 60% in the same time and pushed its revenues from pounds 7.2m to pounds 10m in the last two years.

This is largely the work of the 35-year-old managing director Chris Peacock, who two years ago became the fourth generation of his family to run the business, although he works closely with his father Colin Peacock, who is company chairman.

He is now working on expanding the firm's base by more than a third with the creation of a 10,000sq ft extension and plans to increase revenues by 20% a year for the next few years, taking on scores more staff as he does so.

"We have been building our reputation and getting into new markets by offering a very bespoke service at a very reasonable price," he said.

"We are for instance offering specially made medical devices such as leg braces in the right time for the patient, which is normally a few days rather than the six to eight weeks which is common among our competitors.

"And we have been trying to do this more efficiently than ever before as the prices in the market have gone down by 50% in the last ten years and we are now one of the most competitive companies in the field.

"All this has changed in the last few years. As the market has got more competitive and the economy has slowed we have tried to keep ahead by providing a better service more efficiently. …

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