A Ruthin-based food manufacturer has increased sales by 120% and is now targeting international clients, with its approach to digital a key ingredient in its success.
Patchwork Traditional Food Company, which specialises in pâtés, chutneys, olive oil, and relishes, has also grown its client base in the foodservice industry with sales increasing by 38%.
The success has also resulted in two new recruits in the last 12 months, taking the company’s workforce to 24.
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The family-run business launched a new e-commerce website, focused more on social media marketing, and integrated cloud-based systems for CRM, stock management, and accounting into its operations.
Support from Superfast Business Wales was crucial
And Jo Rudkin, head of sales, says support from Superfast Business Wales throughout the digital transformation was crucial.
She said: “The guidance from Superfast Business Wales not only gave us peace of mind, it provided additional tactics we could employ to maximise our efforts.
“For example, we received a comprehensive website report with recommendations ahead of our new site going live, and in the last year, we have experienced a 200% increase in visitors and a 120% growth in sales.
“And the tips on social media about how to build the brand has led to major improvements in our online presence and social media engagement. For example, Rufus Carter, our managing director and son of founder Margaret, films and edits recipe ideas and these attract a lot of views.
Going digital has saved us time on various processes
“Our digital business advisor also assisted us with cloud computing solutions and we’ve implemented three new systems for CRM, stock management, and accounting. The CRM system in particular has been a huge benefit for our sales team, with the software helping them to prioritise calls, be more organised, and ensure they speak to the right people at the right time.
“Going digital has saved us time on various processes, and that’s allowed us to develop the team further, for example with product training and more in-depth one-to-ones.”
Patchwork was founded in 1982 with just £9 by Margaret, a home cook, who started selling her home-made pâtés to local pubs in nearby Llangollen.
Jo added: “The business has come a long way since 1982 and we believe this is the start of a fascinating new era for the brand.
We will be developing and launching new products
“At present, foodservice accounts for 30% of our sales, but our goal is to increase this beyond 50%. In addition, we would like to begin selling internationally including to Europe and North America. On the retail side, one of our objectives is to achieve BRC Accreditation to supply larger foodservice customers.
“To assist with all of these goals we will be developing and launching new products such as vegan pâté and lower fat alternatives.”
“We have also recruited for key positions, including Dr Graham Jackson who joined as our chairman in January. Dr Jackson has a wealth of experience in both foodservice and exporting.”
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