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New appointment to drive manufacturer’s digital transformation

Posted on 26 Aug 2021 and read 1376 times
New appointment to drive manufacturer’s digital transformationCraig Schmidt (left) with Greg Kane at Conservatory Outlet Group’s manufacturing facility

Wakefield-based Conservatory Outlet Group, a leading manufacturer of high-quality windows, doors, home extensions and conservatory products has kick-started a major digital transformation project with the appointment of a new Group head of IT.

The company, which employs over 400 people at it 60,000ft2 factory in Wakefield and at its retail businesses Clearview and Pennine Home Improvements, has recruited Craig Schmidt to help strengthen manufacturing productivity and enhance customer support.

With extensive experience in implementing business transformation changes across multiple industries, he joins the team during an ambitious growth period that has seen Conservatory Outlet Group expand from £8 million of sales in 2011 to £48 million this year.

Mr Schmidt will help develop product and service innovations by implementing IT and digital systems, to streamline operations and support its 27-strong network of home improvement retailers around the UK. He said: “These are exciting times for the group as we look to target £50 million of sales within the next 18 months.

“Digital transformation is happening across every sector and one of my roles will be to identify how we can bring in new technologies to initially support the manufacturing operation and then all areas of our business. This isn’t just investment for investment’s sake, but about how we can use IT to improve the way we manufacture products and how we manage our supply chain.”

Conservatory Outlet is one of Yorkshire’s fastest growing manufacturers. Led by Greg Kane and Mick Giscombe, the company has expanded significantly through a combination of strong organic growth, the launch of a new ‘trade only’ business and the acquisition of two retail businesses in Clearview and Pennine Home Improvements.