A book keeper and secretary who bought a company is now the owner of an enterprise that is reaping the benefits of the climb out of recession with orders set to double in the next two years and further staff set to be appointed.
Orgbar is an engineering company that specialises in machining aluminium, non-ferrous metals and plastics for use in industries ranging from Commercial Refrigeration, shop fitting and exhibition stands, Transport and high end Hi-Fi accessories.
It has been owned since 2008 by Dana Krauze,who had previously worked as a book-keeper and company secretary in the engineering sector. Through what she describes as a mixture of ‘stupidity and bravery’ she decided to move into managing her own company, and bought an Aluminium Fabrication business, now known as Orgbar, out of receivership.
The company in Earlswood had previously operated predominantly in the rail, automotive and shop fitting sectors all hit by the recession. However, Dana believed she had bought into a good team and saw potential to grow the company by expanding the range of products they could handle, enabling diversification into other industry sectors.
It has taken time to implement change and survive through a challenging few years. Sheer determination to succeed, overcome the knocks, belief and continued on-going personal investment into Orgbar, saw the business stabilise, move into profit and start to grow as the economy moved out of recession.
At the end of 2013, the level of enquiries being converted into orders was rising and the company were projecting doubling sales to £1m+ in the next 2 years.
However, Dana had the option of continuing to grow at a controlled pace in line with their strategy or accelerate planned investment into plant and equipment to increase production and capacity,recruit additional staff and take advantage of the opportunities they had worked hard to secure and accelerate growth.
She applied for Warwickshire Rural Growth Network’s Micro-Enterprise Grant for funding to help her buy the equipment. The University of Warwick Science Park’s Access to Finance team helped in preparing her business case and Orgbar were able to obtain a £13,000 grant. This money will pay for a new metal saw and other equipment that has greatly increased the company’s efficiency. Already they are reaping the rewards with higher productivity than they could have done otherwise and secured new sales.
Dana Krauze says: “The grant was so helpful in enabling us to move on to the next level. It will pay for machinery which we need if we are to continue to grow. Once we have the machinery, we can meet increasing orders and take on new staff. It’s good news for us and for the region.”
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council and a board director of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is the kind of good news that shows the value of the grant system and the support that the network can bring to small companies to help them make the next step, establish themselves further and, importantly for the region, create jobs. Orgbar is one of a number of companies that have used the grant to purchase equipment that enables them to grow and we are seeing more and more of these stories which is fantastic news for everyone.”
Sean Farnell, a board member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Orgbar is a perfect example of the kind of innovative company the CWLEP wants to encourage as we build on Coventry and Warwickshire’s reputation as a great place to live and work.
“Dana has shown fantastic entrepreneurial skills to develop a niche product and her hard work and determination is already reaping rewards.”
The Warwickshire Rural Growth Network is funded by Defra, the Rural development Programme for England which is funded by Defra and the European Union and the Government Equalities Office.
PICTURE CAPTION: From the left, Lisa Jones and Dana Krauze from Orgbar