Car parts firm nets full order book after first Facebook foray

K2 founders Dominic King and John Wilkinson with James Smith of the ERDF-funded Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP).
K2 founders Dominic King and John Wilkinson with James Smith of the ERDF-funded Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP).

An engineering start-up has been bombarded with orders from around the world within an hour of putting its first post on social media – thanks to help provided by the EU-funded Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP).

Topcliffe-based K2 Design & Fabrication Ltd, which fabricates specialist car parts, set up a Facebook page and secured 80 orders from as far afield as Australia and Singapore within 60 minutes of its first post.

The company, founded by friends Duncan Oakes and Dominic King in January, is already taking £25,000 per month in orders after receiving specialist advice from an MGP-funded marketing expert. It has taken on an extra member of staff and is looking at employing another.

“To say we have got off to a flying start is an understatement,” said Mr Oakes. “Within weeks of starting up, we have gone from worrying about how we can get orders to worrying about how quickly we can fabricate parts and ship them all over the world.

“We’re already putting Topcliffe on the map around the world as the place to order high-quality specialist vehicle parts.”

From its 2,000 sq ft workshop, the company fabricates roll-cages, bumpers, footplates, tubular side-rails, engine shields and guards for cars such as Land Rover Defenders. Its move into social media means that it has tapped into specialist vehicle enthusiast communities online around the world.

The company worked with manufacturing growth manager James Smith and Linden Kitson from Swalk LLP in Leeds, who advised the firm to get online as soon as possible and showed it how to use Facebook to generate orders.

The MGP, which is funded by 
the EU’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and 
delivered by Economic Growth 
Solutions (EGS), aims to fill the void left by the defunct Manufacturing Advice Service.

This is being achieved through a network of experienced manufacturing growth managers, access to industry specialists and the opportunity to apply for grants typically starting at £1,400 and raising to a maximum £3,500.