BUSINESS MONTHLY: Management team key to Master Cutler’s ‘year off’

New Master Cutler Craig McKay, centre, leads the procession to Sheffield Cathedral.
New Master Cutler Craig McKay, centre, leads the procession to Sheffield Cathedral.
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Craig McKay has spent two years putting a six-strong management team in place that can run Evenort pretty much without him – an exercise he recommends to all bosses.

He said: “It has benefits. If you’re running around working in the business, how are you going to grow it?

“When are you going to take time out of your diary to make the business work independently of you? If you’re insisting on doing everything, it can be limiting. Far better to develop a senior management team so that you can plan strategically.

“I would recommend others do it, it’s nothing to be frightened of.”

Evenort could be about to be granted its first patent which could transform the company. It is the latest in a series of advances at the firm, led by Mr McKay, who says he has been heavily influenced by the Cutlers’ company.

He said: “In 2007 my company was half the size, it had no apprentices and no contacts with universities. Now they are a key feature of the business.”

Today, Evenort employs 50, has two knowledge partnership students, aims for 15 per cent of the workforce in apprenticeships and is taking on three apprentices this month. Turnover is set to hit £7million this year.

“After I was invited to be a Freeman, I was influenced by all these successful people.

“A former Master, Doug Liversidge suggested a knowledge transfer partnership. Then I found that once you start getting graduates in the business improves.”

The firm was founded by Craig’s father Joe who, aged 75, is retiring this year. Brother Glen, aged 41, is sales director and Craig’s wife Karen is quality manager.

“I think the future in manufacturing is around innovation, R&D and products we can develop using our knowledge. We brought a designer into the business because we wanted to be more innovative and now we’ve submitted our first patent application for a leak-free connection which could be transformative.

“We didn’t want to be a bigger version of ourselves, we wanted to be a company with intellectual property and a product range.”