Building for the future: Design manufacturers’ three-year plan

PUBLISHED: 15:47 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:26 26 September 2019

Matt Cater, owner and director of Fathom. Picture: Simon Buck

Matt Cater, owner and director of Fathom. Picture: Simon Buck

Simon Buck

A Norfolk business has set its course for new markets following a name change and under a new manager.

Fathom, formerly known as Creative Displays and Walton Designs, designs and manufactures retail displays and contract furniture.

The Thetford firm, which employs almost 70 staff and has an annual turnover of more than £6 million, has enjoyed significant growth in recent years.

The latest strategic shift is the result of Matt Cater taking full control and sole ownership of the business after buying out the previous shareholders.

He said: "I'm really excited about where we're heading. The fathom brand is all about digging deeper. We have a great reputation, which we're rightly proud of. We are known within the flooring point of sale industry where a good majority of our work comes from, but as part of our vision for the business we've identified many new and exciting opportunities.

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"We are investing heavily and continuing to diversify in order to secure our future and unlock the potential we have as a business."

As part of its three-year growth plan the company is hoping to launch a new range of commercial workspace products for commercial interiors.

Adrian Iles, Fathom's managing director, who joined the business two years ago from Multiyork, said the goal behind creating a single brand was to establish a bedrock on which the business could continue to grow.

"The ultimate aim was to harmonize us all as one team and with one culture going forward," said Mr Iles.

"The first thing we did was write a three-year 2021 vision for the business with supporting core objectives. It's about investing in the business so we can invest in our people, invest in our infrastructure and in our machinery. We are introducing a fully automated omnichannel website which is around how we give customers confidence that we are the right company to deal with."

He continued: "We're implementing a full and bespoke ERP system (enterprise resource planning) that's going to interact with our customers from our website, telephone calls, sales orders, and right the way through to manufacture, distribution and installation."

The firm is also planning significant investments in its staff.

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