Feeding a reputation for engineering excellence online
Sharon Pratten, managing director, outside the premises.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 30 Jul 2018
GRIMSBY’S Carrera Engineering is closing in on a dozen years in business, having steadily and consistently grown as it works alongside key clients in the food sector.
The comprehensive process-focused services are clearly valued by the sector it operates in, with quality and deliverance earning loyalty.
Such is the strength of repeat business, that a website build has been 12 years in the making, with word of mouth and reliance from satisfied customers the cornerstone of the offer.
Now it is embracing the digital platform as a new generation of business leaders emerge, aware it needs a presence online, as well as a name in the sector.
Sharon Pratten is the managing director of the Thorold Street firm, having taken the role when her husband Wayne passed away prematurely five years ago.
It followed a major move to significantly larger premises, from Birchin Way, which helped facilitate the growth.
Mrs Pratten, who administered the business in the early days, before the enforced switch saw her take the lead role, said: “Carrera is going from strength to strength. We have been in Thorold Street for Nine years now and we are again working close to capacity.
“At the time it was such a vast difference from Birchin Way where the men were challenged by limited working areas, and even at times, reluctantly working outside to keep projects running. We purchased in, what was then, a sizeable workshop, and it was a little daunting, but we have done it by offering value, consistent quality that has developed customer loyalty, which in turn has allowed us to invest in more staff and machinery to aid and sustain Carrera’s growth.”
Inside the workshop.
A total of 28 people are now employed, with several members of the original workforce from when it started at Birchin Way.
“It is predominantly the food industry we serve, that’s what has made us who we are,” Mrs Pratten said. “We know our sector and our business, and while we do look at other areas, it is the core. We have several customers with sites elsewhere in the country, not just in Grimsby, but we are predominantly operating in this region.”
The website has been delivered with the Telegraph team, and it highlights the full range of services that Carrera Engineering can offer.
“It is something we have needed to do for a long time, we need that presence,” Mrs Pratten said. “It is great that we haven’t needed to do it to generate new business, but the other side of the coin is that it is an opportunity to underline to anyone our services.
“We provide customers with skilled engineering labour for general on-site maintenance extending our skills and services offered to a full turnkey operation, with the removal and installation of new production lines and associated works.
“Some of our customers haven’t got the skilled staff and equipment on site to carry out maintenance, often during the night or over a weekend, and we therefore undertake this for several customers.”
Carrera, named after the Porsche, is a further nod to the quality and excellence delivered.
Mr Pratten (pictured right) passed away at the age of 39, and huge credit is given to the team for driving his legacy forward.
“I was in the business with Wayne from day one,” she said. “I divided my time between Carrera, and also at Pretty Woman (a lingerie business in Sea View Street, Cleethorpes, which she sold after 12 years to concentrate on Carrera) therefore, the general day to day activities weren’t alien to me. Obviously the dynamics have changed a lot, but with director Guy Baslington taking the reins of production activities and ensuring the continuity of our customers’ needs are met, we have been able to overcome some very challenging times, but all very much worthwhile challenges all the same.
“For everyone here to be able to maintain consistency, from what happened, to where we are now, that is down to everybody here, everyone plays their part in keeping the steel wheels of Carrera rolling. I am enjoying it, and I am very fortunate I have got a good team alongside me.
“The business has grown year-on-year, steadily, and we have been able to keep up with the growth. I think Carrera has a very good name in the town. We are well established now and undertake work for some high profile and blue chip customers within the food industry.
“It is great that we can be relied upon to deliver, that is what has kept us there, to be able to service and deliver, meeting clients’ budgets. Servicing the food industry with engineering skills is extremely competitive, and we have to be mindful of that and our customers’ needs and requirements, always.”
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