• Sheffield-based forgers aim for almost £20 million increase in sales turnover
  • Fast growing firm plans total business transformation to win increased aerospace business

Productivity experts Sharing in Growth (SiG) have selected Independent Forgings & Alloys (IFA), a rapidly growing Sheffield forging firm, to join their award-winning business transformation programme.

IFA, which operates from a 250,000 sq. ft. facility in Sheffield, now plans to increase its annual sales turnover from £23 million in 2018 to almost £42 million by 2024.

IFA manufactures high-integrity, open-die forged components for OEMs and tier-one suppliers within the aerospace, nuclear, power generation, marine and oil and gas sectors for customers such as Rolls-Royce PLC, GE Aviation, Safran, BAE Systems, Siemens, Baker Hughes GE and Babcock International.

Its turnover has grown from £2.3 million in 2001, when it was bought by its management team, and has huge potential to grow further. IFA exports to more than 15 countries across Europe, Asia and North America, and employs over 150 people. However, to fulfil its growth ambitions, the company needs to invest in both its capability and capacity. In 2018 IFA received an £8.5m capital investment from BGF and will now work with Sharing in Growth to focus on leadership, culture and operational capability.

Said IFA CEO Andy McGuinness: “Our growth plans mean we must secure more higher-volume, long-term agreements in aerospace. This is an extremely price-sensitive market, so we require significant investment in capital equipment, and we need Sharing in Growth’s specialist expertise to help raise our competitiveness. Otherwise those long-term contracts will go to multi-national competitors with greater resources and financial backing.”

Ring Forging UKIFA’s strategy is to maintain their agility and customer responsiveness while moving to a model of operational excellence, based on efficient, reliable and repeatable quality, delivery and cost performance. This step change will include communication of their new strategy to engage the whole organisation towards a common goal; improved and integrated business development, new product introduction and cost modelling systems; implementation of a scalable production planning and control process; and a review of their supply chain systems.

Said Sharing in Growth CEO Andy Page: “I am delighted to welcome Independent Forgings & Alloys onto our Sharing in Growth programme. IFA recognises that a multi-faceted approach is needed to secure real growth in high value manufacturing; companies need access to capital and finance; investment in technology and innovation; and they need the skills and capability to operate productively and competitively.

“Our organisation applies more than 2,000 years of industry expertise to help companies like IFA develop their skills and capability. We’ve now supported over 60 beneficiaries to secure more than £4 billion in contracts two years ahead of schedule. This is equivalent to over 7,000 jobs so we are well on target to safeguard 10,000 UK jobs by 2020. Our programme is effective because it has the unique scope and scale, commensurate with the challenge of helping programme participants to win a larger share of the global aerospace market.”

A not-for-profit organisation, Sharing in Growth is supported by the Regional Growth Fund and by more than £150 million in private investment. Over 60 companies, with some 10,000 employees, have benefitted from the Sharing in Growth programme across the UK. Each company participates in a bespoke and intense training and business transformation programme delivered by SiG’s own 100 strong team of business coaches as well as a bank of world-leading experts including The University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing, Deloitte, Industry Forum and the National Physical Laboratory.

Companies interested in joining the Sharing in Growth programme should click here.