A specialist in architectural ironmongery and security products is heading for its 20th year with the help of Walsall Council’s Winning Opportunities in Walsall (WOW) programme.
Strand Hardware, which employs 14 people at its 8,000 sq ft site on the town’s Premier Business Park, is tapping into the innovation-based initiative to develop and launch a range of new products.
The company hopes the new range will widen its customer base as well as increasing turnover in the process.
“We are currently sole distributors in the UK for two leading European brands: ‘Athmer’ door seals and finger protectors and ‘Antipanic’ emergency exit hardware which complement our own range of products,” explained Catherine Franks, joint managing director at Strand Hardware.
“Whilst this combination has seen us grow year on year, there is a lot of competition in our industry so we simply can’t stand still. There is a constant need to innovate and our technical team came up with initial thoughts around a new range of windows fittings which could be more contemporary in style.”
She continued: “The problem we had being a small business is that we have very little resource to take the ideas forward and make them happen.”
Working with innovation change adviser, Chris Davis, from Walsall Council, the company developed an action plan for taking the business forward.
“We simply wouldn’t have known how to pitch our business idea without the support of WOW, yet now we can draw upon the skills and expertise of the Design Council, an unbelievable resource to have,” added Ms Franks.
“With this new-found impetus, we should be able to launch the new range of products by late 2011 – a year ahead of schedule. This will undoubtedly future-proof the business, safeguard positions and create employment opportunities going forward.”