08 September 2005 | Anusha Bradley
The firm that supplies the bats used by England cricketers Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen has credited its rapid growth to its decision to outsource its procurement, manufacturing and logistics functions.
The company, Woodworm, has gone from selling 200 bats a year three years ago to 15,000 in the past 12 months. Sales of its branded equipment hit the £1 million mark last month. It signed a lifetime sponsorship deal with Flintoff in April and following the game's heightened profile in this summer's Ashes series, it expects to triple sales in the next year.
Yet the company consists of just five staff based in Billingshurst, West Sussex.
Mike Hiard, Woodworm partner, said: "We knew from the outset that our [outsourced] model would be the best way of doing things.
"In such a tight market, we wanted to create a situation where there was a tap we could turn on and off."
The vast majority of Woodworm's products are outsourced to six suppliers in India, Tibet, Indonesia and China. Logistics services are provided by a local company.
"We treat our outsourcing partners as if they work in one big factory and we are in constant communication," said Hiard.