Equipment maker outgrows premises as sales top £3m

Kitchen extraction systems supplier CK Direct has shifted to new premises to meet growing demand for its products.

The Peterborough-based company has almost trebled the size of its offices from 3,500 square ft premises to a 10,000 square ft site after moving to a new HQ in the city that is able to accommodate more equipment and enhance process flow.

The move, which brings all its workshops under one roof, is also designed to increase productivity and improve lead times for customers.

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CK Direct claims to have grown by an average of 28% a year for the last four years, increasing turnover from £1.2m in 2010 to £3.2m last year.

Five years ago, the majority of its customers came from independent restaurants, small hotels and takeaways, but today its clients include major food chains such as Subway, Punch Taverns and Red Hot World Buffet Group as well as schools, colleges and care homes.

The company went through a restructuring in 2010, which was followed by a significant investment in new high-tech manufacturing machinery.

This, says managing director Tony Ricciardi, proved to be the catalyst for the growth of its business.

“It allowed us to design, manufacture and install high quality bespoke commercial kitchen extraction systems at a competitive cost,” he explained. “At the same time it enabled us to reduce lead times and improve our call-out and breakdown response for customers. As a result we began to win key public sector contracts from schools and care homes and major restaurant and pub chains.”

CK Direct was established 12 years ago with two people and now employs 25 staff. It first started producing its own brand of extract hoods back in 2005 and after they became popular with customers it decided to focus its production on ventilation hoods and systems.

Riccardi says the move to a larger HQshows how far the company has come in a short space of time. “We are very proud of our move to new larger premises as it emphasises both the success of the past and our confidence in the future,” he commented.

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