Splice Cast are in the business of saving lives! Based in Newtown, the company specialises in both the production and re-sale of predominantly medical products. Their flagship range of cervical cancer detection instruments includes several brands of their own as well as some unique patented add-on devices which make the procedures more accurate. All their products are sold in the UK and Europe.
“We make several pallets of products per day, and with current statistics, one case of potential cancer is diagnosed per pallet of product – so we are truly in the business of saving lives.”
1. What challenges and potential issues did you face due to the Brexit uncertainty?
As a supplier of vital medical products and devices, Splice Cast have a key role to play as a partner in many supply chains such as the NHS. In order to meet contractual obligations, Managing Director Duncan Morren and the team felt that Brexit poses a number of potential threats, mainly to logistical and supply requirements:
“Fluctuating interest rates due to the Brexit uncertainty would make tendering and quoting for work very precarious. Additionally, we also need to purchase much larger volumes to get a better price and thus offset some of the exchange rate issues.
We also need to supply to a rigid schedule as our products are used by NHS clinics and it is critical that we have stocks. Potential delays in material deliveries and availability from Europe and further afield, would be disastrous – we could lose contracts and potentially be liable for damages – we’ve already been asked for proof of our ability to mitigate potential supply issues and larger stockholding is becoming vital. To address this and mitigate the risks, we will need to invest in more storage space to hold the additional stock.”
2. Your reasons for applying for the Brexit Resilience Grant: what projects is this going to be invested towards and how do you think the fund would help you tackle the challenges posed by Brexit?
Support from the Brexit Resilience Grant (£48,595) has contributed to making the additional warehouse space available, which in turn allows us to hold bigger stocks of raw materials as well as finished goods to protect us from the effects of border delays and interrupted supplies. This has been a vital step in making us ready for Brexit and potential supply difficulties, as well as retaining our current customers and contracts.
3. Any feedback you might have on your engagement with the Business Wales service and the support you’ve received
We found the support given by Rowan Jones, our Relationship Manager, very helpful. We have an ongoing relationship with him, so he informed us of the grant, helped us to apply for it and kept in touch with us every step of the way. The support is meaningful and helpful, and it is good to know that medical manufacturing still has the support of the Welsh Government. Keep up the good work – we are very grateful for the help in these uncertain times.
4. What other activities are you undertaking to prepare your business for the UK leaving the EU?
It is difficult to predict how Brexit will turn out, so it is correspondingly difficult to plan for. We have additional staff and have put on a second shift to cope with expected peaks and troughs in demand from both private and NHS sectors. We have also upgraded our IT provision to make ordering simpler and faster, which should make it easy for our customers to ensure continuity of supply. It’s an uncertain time, but we regard Brexit as an opportunity for UK manufacturers.