Innovation Award entrant – Alpha Manufacturing
A Staffordshire manufacturing company has launched a subsidiary lifestyle brand after spotting a gap in the market for British-manufactured metal sheds and outdoor living products.
Alpha Manufacturing launched HEX Living in 2022 after supply issues and import problems presented an opportunity to introduce a range of UK-designed and manufactured products to offer buyers an improved experience with more choice, higher quality and readier availability.
All HEX Living products are designed, manufactured and assembled at Alpha Manufacturing’s 80,000 sq ft state-of-the-art facility in Hixon, near Stafford.
A dedicated team of fewer than 10 people are working on manufacturing and promoting the project but they are already gaining traction.
“Being designed and manufactured in the UK gives us a real competitive advantage over competitors whose products are primarily imported from abroad, said Paul Clews, Managing Director of Alpha Manufacturing.
“Thanks to the size of our manufacturing plant, we can manufacture and hold large volumes of stock in Staffordshire. This means we can deliver our products anywhere in the country in just five working days and without expensive delivery charges, providing an excellent purchasing experience for our customers.”
HEX Living has successfully secured major retail partners who list products online and stock in stores. The business also heavily invested in exhibiting at two major trade shows in 2022 – Glee and Solex. Both exhibitions proved successful and generated enquiries and sales.
An articulated trailer has been converted into a mobile showroom, a new storage facility has been built and an e-commerce website has been created for retail customers.
The company has invested in a machine to make custom-designed packaging which it has called ‘a game changer’ for the business as it allows more recycled packaging and reduces the need for single-use plastics.
Paul Clews added: “We’re excited to see where the HEX Living brand goes and the success of the exciting new product ranges being worked on. The Alpha Manufacturing team have really thrown themselves into manufacturing the latest products and it’s great to see the collection going through the facility.”
Alpha Manufacturing is part of the Hex Group that was set up by current CEO Martin Smith’s parents 40 years ago. It has entered the Innovation Award category of the Staffordshire University Business Awards.