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A Northumberland manufacturer has launched a new product and expanded its online presence after receiving support from Business Northumberland.

AGMA, which is based in Haltwhistle, manufactures a range of chemical products including anti-corrosion materials for oil rigs and cleaning products for use in healthcare, selling to customers in 32 countries.

The company holds a royal warrant and competes against larger European and American companies, but finance director John Taylor claims that its focus on manufacturing quality products at its Northumberland base has been the key to its success so far.

“A lot of it is down to the quality of the product that AGMA makes,” John explained. “The products are manufactured here, on-site at Haltwhistle, we don’t really use sub-contractors. We have purpose-built clean rooms in the company’s facilities here, which means we can compete with much larger organisations around the world.”

Despite already selling its chemical and cleaning products as far afield as India, Australia and South America, John says that the company is ready to diversify and branch out into a new line of products. He said: “Traditionally we’ve always been selling B2B, but we’re now developing a range of B2C equine based cleaning products to be used in professional stables and by horse owners.

“That’s a new area for us and one of the reasons we’ve worked with Business Northumberland. They’ve provided us with 12 hours of one to one business coaching from an industry expert to assist with our multimedia, our website and marketing campaign so we can understand how to sell to individuals, because that’s totally different from what AGMA does, up to now.”

AGMA started working with Business Northumberland when members of the team met with Business Growth Adviser, Chris Dawson, at an event in Haltwhistle.

John said: “There are Business Northumberland events that take place across the County and about eight to nine months ago, we were talking about these new products coming on board and how they were so different to anything we’ve done in the past and Chris informed us about the high growth coaching available through the programme. For us, it has been really, really effective.”

AGMA has since expanded its digital presence and launched a whole new website for its B2C equine product. John continued: “We were a million miles away from where we are now and that’s down to Business Northumberland and the coach who has worked with us. If it had not been for the Business Northumberland programme and Chris’ advice we wouldn’t have moved on.”

John says that the support the business received from Business Northumberland has already paid off. “We developed a totally new website specifically for this product,” he said. “We have our own website, but that’s for the industrial B2B and we’ve now got a totally new website for B2C. We’re developing new means of selling and marketing and that’s down to the coach coming in with his experience and his knowledge and going through what we’ve done to date, setting ourselves targets and giving us homework to do for the next time he comes in.”

“The benefit is clear to see, by the level of interest and volume of people that are taking up the product, the increase in engagement on our social media platforms has been significant too.”

Case Study developed in partnership with BQ.
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