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StairBox steps up production with another business expansion

Having moved to premises three times the size of its previous site just 18 months ago, specialist manufacturer StairBox is planning a 25,000 sq ft extension to its Trentham Lakes base.

The proposed development will improve manufacturing efficiency, allowing the business to increase production, and will create 50 new jobs.

StairBox, the trading name for AVC (Classic Woodworkers), has been supplying joinery manufacturing throughout the UK for the past 23 years. Directors Vaughn Steele and Andrew Hancock were joined in the business by their sons and, in 2008, the rebrand to StairBox marked a new focus on online sales.

Using the latest technology to offer an online service allows customers to design and buy their staircases over the internet and has spearheaded the business’s growth and improved performance.

Alex Hancock from StairBox said: “We have embraced digital technology in every aspect of the business.

“We have created a unique online StairBuilder tool to enable customers to design their ideal staircase and we provide a full range of advice and information guides on our website to help with the staircase build.

“In addition to the online tools that we have created for our customers, we have also developed our own software platform to improve our business performance. This software takes the order from the initial web or telephone enquiry through to planning, picking of the parts, design, production and delivery.

“Our designers use the latest 3D technology to create new styles and concepts so that our customers’ wants and needs are catered for, and our programming department converts CadCam drawings from the sales process into useable manufacturing instructions.

“Our software platform works out which jobs to produce together in order to maximise the use of material and to reduce waste. It measures the number of jobs per team member, the number of remedial works required and automatically loads time and allocates processes to team members and production equipment.

“It also tracks sales performance for individual members of the team.”

Since StairBox moved to Trentham Lakes last year, production has doubled from around 150 staircases a week to over 300, the team has doubled from 50 to 100 and its fleet of delivery vehicles has grown from 9 to 18 to support this impressive growth.

“We knew when we moved that the premises would be big enough to cope with our expansion plans. The new extension will create safe and dry storage for incoming timber and finished products, ready for delivery, and will create a new area for bench assembly and finishing.

“The location is perfect as we want to stay in Stoke-on-Trent and being close to the A50 and A500 is ideal for all our goods in and out, plus being next to the Britannia Stadium is an excellent landmark.”

StairBox is entering the Growth, Business Innovation and Business of the Year categories in The Sentinel Business Awards 2017.

Any business interested in finding out more about StairBox can visit www.stairbox.com.

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