Could we create a medical hub in Fife and carve out a new industry for the region? Bay Solutions Scotland – one of the firms at the forefront of its manufacturing sector – certainly thinks so
Set against the backdrop of a GDP (Gross Domestic Product) that’s lagging behind the rest of the UK’s, and the steady disappearance of a string of long established Scottish based manufacturing companies, a young and rapidly expanding Fife company is starting to make big waves in the field of sub-contract electronic manufacturing.
John Cramb and Gavin Howe set up Bay Solutions Scotland in in 2013, at a 1000ft premises in Dalgety Bay. The aim: to put to good use the 50 years of design and management experience in electronics manufacturing between them.
In its first year the company’s turnover was £92k; since then Bay Solutions has experienced a turnover increase of 461%, opened a second 8000ft manufacturing premises in Glenrothes and expanded its workforce to a further seven locally recruited and highly skilled team members.
Bay Solutions has also gained ISO 9001, a certification for its quality management system (QMS) for organisations and is skilled in all stages of high standard electronic mechanical assembly, from giving advice in the early stages of a new product’s design to the procurement of components through to the completion of the product and testing.
It also offer a logistics service, exporting its customer’s finished products all over the world. As well as NPI (New Product Introduction), cable assembly and testing, Bay Solutions specialises in the manufacturing of medical devices and is one of only two electronic manufacturing companies in Scotland with the ISO 13485:2003 and EN ISO 13485:2012 certifications, the internationally agreed standard that sets out the requirements for a quality management system specific to the medical devices industry.
It has manufactured innovative products such as snap40, a newly developed wireless monitor worn by patients in hospitals which transmits regular vital signs updates to doctors.
After receiving £2 million in funding from investors led by Par Equity, the Edinburgh-based team at snap40 contracted Bay Solutions to manufacture their product, which is now demonstrating its performance in a major clinical trial at a UK hospital and hopes to be on the market in early 2017.
David Bowie, co-founder and COO at snap40, said: “Choosing to work with Bay Solutions on our product was a straight forward decision for snap40. I have known and worked with John Cramb for many years and he has always been a very competent and trustworthy person. He is very well respected in the industry as someone who takes a pride in his work and can work with companies on their full supply chain and manufacturing set-up.
“John and his team at Bay Solutions Scotland are partners to businesses in the truest sense.”
The team at Bay Solutions Scotland also manufactured surgical instrument tracking technology which gives real-time objective performance feedback for Edinburgh based EoSurgical.
Roland Partridge, MD and co founder of EoSurgical, said: “Bay Solutions Scotland has been instrumental in helping us grow our business. John and the team have put a huge amount of effort into improving everything from the product itself to supply chain management, assembly, quality control, packaging, distribution and stock management.”
Supply chain management is now considered a key competitive differentiator in today’s manufacturing landscape, unsurprising given the difference this makes in keeping costs down and quality high, and the team at Bay Solutions Scotland has developed a network of proven, adaptive suppliers that are managed by its in-house supply chain manager.
Operations director John Cramb said: “We pride ourselves in providing customers with cost reductions across the board – from raw materials to logistics and even stationery supplies. If we can’t find a cost reduction, we’ll find someone who can, or we won’t charge. We have a reputation for honesty and reliability. If we say we’ll do it, we’ll do it.”
With an expanding workforce which has been locally recruited, Bay Solutions Scotland has shown that it is committed to Fife’s young working population.
Three of its staff came from Opportunities Fife, a government-funded recruitment programme for 16-25 year olds who are not currently in education or employment.
Cramb said: “I have grown my career here in Fife and am committed to providing our young people with the same opportunities. Fife is a good place to do business, both logistically and also in terms of the quality of people available.”
Supporting British companies is also something that Cramb and Howe are keen on.
Cramb said: “Britain has a good reputation for producing high quality products, particularly metalwork. It’s difficult to compete against China for mouldings and plastics but there is something reassuring about sourcing raw materials closer to home. It also makes good business sense.”
Looking ahead, Bay Solutions Scotland has ambitious growth plans for the company that are also ambitious for Fife. Cramb believes the Kingdom could look to create a medical hub whereby businesses that look to operate in this sector could collaborate to create a new industry for the region.
He said: “Electronics and instrumenting engineering is one of five sectors that make up two-thirds Scotland’s exports, and we have scope to build on this. I believe the Kingdom has an opportunity to capture the market for medical NPD (new product development) and manufacturing with support from Fife Council and Fife Business Gateway.”