But the firm lost four of its five major customers during the most recent recession, and wanted to improve customer service and kick start growth by upgrading its technology. John Baldwin, managing director of the firm and a member of the family that introduced jiffy bags to the UK in the 1960s, hopes to boost turnover by 20% by the end of the year.
He said: “Like many small businesses, it’s been an uphill struggle but we had the resources in place to weather the storm. Now it’s about moving ahead and upgrading our machinery was vital to this.”
Working with Damian Cliff, Senior Relationship Manager at NatWest’s Derby office, and Jane McIntyre from Lombard, NatWest’s dedicated asset finance division, Baldwin was able to fund the purchase of a new case maker, sample making tables and an air compressor to maintain the machinery.
Custompak has also been able to recruit three new members of staff to join the existing team of 23.
Baldwin, who bought the firm in 2008, said: “The upgrade has been critical to us improving our customer offering; as well as improving quality. We now have a much quicker response time and this has helped us increase sales and compete with the bigger players in the sector, while staying hands-on and agile. NatWest understood what our business needed and helped us every step of the way.”
NatWest’s Cliff said: “The investment will ensure Custompak stays ahead of competitors whilst safeguarding the values of an established family business.”