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DKM Sheetmetal to make a further £600,000 investment
Forty years after it was established, Gloucestershire-based DKM Sheetmetal is celebrating – with some serious investment.
Established in 1979 to provide fine limit sheet metal and fabrication services to clients from a range of industries, DKM has announced it will invest a further £600,000, taking its total investment in the past two years to over £2m.
The company’s latest installations include: full Amada automation enabling 24hour unmanned production, together with two Press brakes incorporating the latest 3i technology – providing faster and continuous production to meet the needs of its clients.
DKM’s confident plans for expansion do not stop at investment in equipment either. For the past three years the company has taken on apprentices and plans to appoint yet more staff in the coming year.
Steve Hearn, DKM managing director said: “If you say DKM to many buyers and former employees they will just think of Unit 9 where we started out. Well, now we have units 1 to 9,”
“We have grown from 3,000 square feet and six staff to our current site of 30,000 square feet and 45 employees. We run 24-hour shifts now and our turnover is around £5 million. We are a very different company.”
Hearn has led DKM’s swift transformation since he was part of the buy-out of the company from its previous owners in 2004. He also concedes that DKM is nothing without its people, adding: “We are very proud of our strong and successful engineering team. We pride ourselves on encouraging fresh new ideas and talent, as well as nurturing time served craftsmanship.”
Its forward-thinking investment-based strategy has helped turn the company from a loss-making business to a multi-million-pound organisation with clients ranging from Vodafone to national utility companies across the UK and mainland Europe.
He concluded: “Right from the start, the emphasis was always on reinvestment. We have always aimed towards the latest automation and technology. We also place a strong emphasis on apprentices. A lot of people perceive fabrication companies to be dark black steel and dirty, we couldn’t be further away from that. We pride ourselves in the cleanliness of our workspaces and have invested in high-end extraction units and machinery to process waste material effectively and legally. We wanted employees to see the difference.”
In terms of DKM succession the company is in good hands, Mr Hearn’s family are part of a larger, younger team which is creating a framework for the future, embracing new ideas and new manufacturing methods. His son Sam joined the company three years ago after completing university studies to help run the business working alongside his father and has been solely responsible for a new website and rebranding of the company.