21 July 2024, 11:34
By Furniture News Nov 16, 2022

Wolf Components – ahead of the pack

“We are very excited by the new business,” said Wolf Components’ co-founder Anthony Joyce in April 2017. “It’s going to be very special.” It certainly does take something special to go from being a greenfield manufacturing start-up to a Bed Industry Awards finalist in just five years (while navigating a global pandemic), but that’s exactly what the Rotherham-based pocket spring manufacturer has done …

Wolf Components was created in early 2017 by experienced bedding industry professionals Anthony Joyce and Stephen Baul, both former executives at Steinhoff and Leggett & Platt. They were joined by Rob Shuttleworth as technical sales director, who brought with him a further 20 years’ experience in the production of spring products.

The trio set out with a simple vision – to combine their extensive industry and management experience with the customer’s desire for a professional and truly independent local spring producer, focused solely on the bedding industry. With most competitors now being vertically integrated mattress manufacturers with spring production, or importers, they planned to supply a British-made product locally to British mattress manufacturers on a JIT service basis.

The project involved establishing a factory with all-new machinery, and a multi-million-pound investment in South Yorkshire backed from the outset by HSBC. New fully automated, high-speed pocket coiling and assembly machines from leading machine suppliers were installed, making Wolf the first company in the UK to use such high-speed automated equipment.

The recruitment of 12 skilled employees meant that by October 2017 machines were running, the first orders were being fulfilled, and Wolf Components was born.

Fast-forward to 2022, and the Wolf Components team has grown to over 60 employees, working across two sites in Rotherham – but the company ethos remains unchanged, focusing still on investment and exceptional levels of customer service.

The strong relationship established with HSBC enabled Wolf to continue its investment programme even through the pandemic, and most recently with new VSS mini-coil energy-efficient machinery, leading to the launch of two new fully recyclable products.

When it comes to customer service, Wolf was always keen to do something different. Working closely and in complete confidence with its customers right through the product development and testing process delivers a truly individual service in bringing products to market. Moving away from salesperson-exclusive contact, the whole team communicates across all customer departments, and Wolf’s customer service administrator always ensures a proactive response.

Extensive supply chain knowledge and a dedicated supply chain manager has also proved essential in ensuring Wolf is not confined to any one supplier or source, and can truly shop the global market for increased competitiveness and resilience of supply.

This collaborative working has also resulted in several industry partnerships to innovate in areas such as paper use, gluing technology and the redesign of existing products, all moving the company closer to its sustainability goals.

As an early adopter of the NBF Pledge for Our Planet, along with taking the SME Climate Hub pledge, Wolf is pushing boundaries within the mattress industry to offer its customers competitive and sustainable solutions. Through these collaborations with customers and highly optimised manufacturing processes, the manufacturer is already achieving a 96% material efficiently rate.

As a true independent family business, Wolf’s focus has been on building long-term careers in South Yorkshire manufacturing, and progression is encouraged through structured training plans. Over a third of employees have now been with the company for four or more years. The overall social welfare of employees is a continuous journey, and in the last year alone the business has introduced improved terms, increased salaries, a cash health plan and wellbeing support, in addition to a trained on-site mental health first aider. Regular team social activities, along with charity donations and the sponsorship of the local girls’ football team, really add to the family feel.

The Wolf team is rightly delighted at being named a finalist in the Component Supplier of the Year category at this year’s Bed Industry Awards, and is proud to have its significant achievements over the last five years recognised – especially after only joining the NBF in 2021.

As one employee says: “We truly are a family business, and I am proud to be a part of it. We have all worked so hard to get our business to be the success we are today, and I am excited to see what the future holds for us all!”

This article features in the November 2022 issue of Furniture News magazine.

© 2013 - 2024 Gearing Media Group Ltd. All Rights Reserved.