Design and innovation, based on customers’ needs, backed up by quality manufacturing and a comprehensive service offering, has been a recipe for success for the Marsden Group.
The company has used a combination of in-house design and studios to create its range.
It follows a similar pattern for manufacturing too, buying material locally and fabricating niche and specialist products or outsourcing simpler and standard equipment which is made abroad, using tooling which Marsden owns.
When Marsden identified a need in the NHS to be able to weigh heavier patients, the company came up with a chair scale that can weigh up to 250 kg, or 39 stones, but it didn’t stop there. It made the chair 40 per cent larger too – and reckons that it is still the only chair on the UK market that can accommodate the bulk of a 250 kg patient in addition to being able to accurately measure their weight.
The company has also responded to the changing shape of the NHS, including the increased role of the GP and care in the home.
Marsden recently unveiled the lightest, most portable, one-piece baby weighing device on the market, designed to be easily carried by visiting midwives and health visitors, accurate to two grams and with a battery life of 700 hours.
Managing director Richard Black says business is good, but health budgets are being squeezed and that means Marsden needs to look at new and growing markets.
“We have maintained our profitability. It is definitely tougher, but our market share has grown,” says Mr Black.
The move towards community based health and nursing opens up a new market which the company is keen to exploit.
Marsden sells and services scales from Scotland to Plymouth, but it isn’t solely focused on the UK market.
About 15 per cent of its turnover comes from exports sold by distributors in other EU countries. The company has also sold to China and South Africa and is looking at the Middle East.
The US is a less attractive market as it doesn’t have regulations covering weighing equipment in hospitals, so there is less demand for the accuracy and quality of product that is Marsden’s stock in trade.