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Employee ownership key to robot success

Category: Scotland Success Stories — Paul Morgan on February 26, 2012

An East-Kilbride firm is set to continue its ambitious plans for growth, having reported a huge increase in its turnover since employees took control of the running of the company.

Clansman Dynamics, a robotic handling equipment manufacturer, become fully employee-owned two years ago. In that time, the company has seen its annual turnover jump by 60%, from a little over £4 million to £11 million.

It is also a good news story for the UK export market, with over 90% of its products heading out of the country. Of this, 30% heads to the booming manufacturing and waste processing hubs throughout China, and it is this area that is the most likely candidate for growth.

Since the change of ownership, the 38 full-time employees at the firm have taken all the important decisions, far exceeding plans which were in place previously.

The move was possible thanks to a bold strategy designed with the help of the Baxi Partnership and investment from Co-operative Development Scotland. It is not the first of its kind in the country though, with many businesses looking at new ways to do things.

This is particularly the case with securing investment, where traditional lending is being superseded by facilities such as invoice factoring.

The decision which Clansman took to become employee-owned is something that is quite rare in the world of business.

However, a very successful model with distinct parallels can be seen with the John Lewis Partnership, where each employee is a shareholder in the company. It is a model so successful that it has been held up by government as the way to do things in the future.

'Disclaimer: The information contained in these articles is of a general nature and no assurance of accuracy can be given. It is not a substitute for specific professional advice in your own circumstances. No action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a consequence of the material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.

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