Chelmsford-based fabricator D&D Engineering is celebrating 10 years in the industry this year.
Manager Sally Smith believes that the key to the company’s longevity is being flexible and finding solutions to complex projects. She said: “Our MD, David Ruggles, is very hands on in the factory and being an experienced fabricator he can ‘take up the slack’ when we are busy to ensure we deliver on time.”
Over the decade the firm has been in business it has seen the market become more competitive, with clients either deciding to manufacture in house or requiring lower prices. Smith added: “I came on board back in 2010 and to assist the company with improving its buying, which has helped us stay competitive.
“A lot of fabrication is being made in Europe and the saving in employment costs seems to mean the product is cheaper, however we have seen thinner materials and lower grade stainless steel used more frequently.”
Most of the company’s projects are bespoke and its products are based on high-end specification. It has also produced items for high street chains such as Nandos, KFC and Pizza Express.
Other completions include the servery counters at ZSL London Zoo for CKE Contracts and a complete new extraction system and full kitchen with specific fabrication requirements for Fortnum & Mason’s Jubilee Tearooms.
During a contract for Gordon’s School in Woking, the project’s designer George Panks of MYA Consulting, suggested having 50 x 50mm mirror polished stainless steel box section rolled and used as over shelf supports. Ruggles recalled: “We’d never done it before and the first batch didn’t roll well at all. This meant adding on time to our build and with the delivery date not changing we worked in between service at the state boarding school to complete it. Hats off to MYA though – the results were excellent.”
D&D Engineering is aiming to continue to provide quality products along with accessible customer service. Ruggles concluded: “I personally cannot stand ‘big company syndrome’ and never getting through to the right, or same person. So our clients will only ever speak to someone who knows them and wants to deal with the enquiry. Building and maintaining relationships is something we believe is key to our ongoing success.”