SHIRE Beds, a bed manufacturing company based near Dewsbury, has a new spring in its mattresses thanks to an appearance on TV and, more recently, help from the Yorkshire & Humber Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS).
MAS is a DTI initiative, funded by Leeds-based regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, which provides "hands on" advice and support to manufacturing businesses.
Shire Beds, a family run firm, was established in 1997 by Safdar Hussain. Employing 30 people, the business, which supplies a range of beds to retail outlets across the UK, has a current turnover of 2m.
Last year the company was featured on the BBC2 TV programme, "I'll Show Them Who's Boss". Presenter and business guru, Sir Gerry Robinson, made some radical suggestions about the way Shire Beds should be run, including advising the family to appoint one of Safdar's daughters, Naheed Effendi, as managing director, whilst her two brothers in law, Naeem Warsi and Sajid Butt continued to have a hands-on role within the business.
Mr Robinson advised the family that the right leadership would help the firm become more efficient.
Naheed, a qualified accountant, spent a lot of time thinking about how the business could improve production and increase profits and, subsequently, invited MAS to undertake a diagnostic report.
The MAS consultants' recommendations included changing the layout of the factory to make it more efficient. MAS also arranged for a grant to enable the firm to purchase a machine to quilt its range of bed covers, a process which had previously been outsourced.
Following the successful implementation of new procedures and processes highlighted in the MAS report, and the introduction of new business practices, Naheed returned to her full time job as an accountant with the Leeds office of KPMG but is still very involved with the family business.
Naheed's sister, Farkhanda Butt, recently took the decision to leave the teaching profession and is now spearheading the firm's PR and marketing activities.
She said: "Calling upon the expert advice and services of MAS proved to be a catalyst of positive change, and we will aim to continue to implement their recommendations as we develop and expand."