The Brackley firm that designs and builds garage workshop units you could eat your dinner off has received a Queens Award after nearly doubling their exports.
This month Dominic Wishlade, founder of Dura Workshop Systems, based in St James Road, was handed the award by the Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, Lady Juliet Townsend LVO.
Dura make bespoke fitted workshops, at first for private garages, but since forming in 1997 have expanded to the commercial market including dealerships, motorsport teams, and even Formula One teams.
In part, the firm received the award after a 97 per cent growth in sales and exports over the last 12 months.
Marketing co-ordinator Daniel Calvert said while manning a promotion stall at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed they were told 250 times that their workshops looked cleaner than a kitchen. But he puts their success abroad, and a 40 per cent increase in domestic sales, down to internal investment and having the right people for the job.
“It is a number of things,” he said: “First of all our infrastructure. We’ve moved offices in the last year to bigger premises enabling us to take on more staff to deal with the export side of things.
“We can deal with more customers, interact with them more. And we’ve just started doing 3D visualisation so they can better understand what they will get.”
Mr Calvert said they had also capitalised on opportunities to explain their product at the biggest trade shows in the sector, but added: “I think the reason we won the award is down two things. One, we’ve increased our distribution network around the world, with partners in Norway, Sweden, France, Germany, and now the Middle East.
“But we also took on an export director about five years ago who speaks multiple languages. That helped overcome barriers helping to better understand the customer, so he and the team behind can create a product better tailored to the customer.”
Aston Martin were an early adopter of the Dura principles embedding their products into their worldwide corporate image.