A Kent life sciences business is planning for 40% growth in 2018 after Enterprise Europe Network in the South East helped the firm to enter new global markets and source key suppliers.
AbBaltis, which is actively recruiting, has also benefited from organisational skills training and other EEN support to develop an effective innovation management strategy.
The Sittingbourne-based company supplies biological materials, mainly human serum and plasma, to in vitro diagnostic test kit manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and clinical laboratories. They ship products to customers around the world in 24-48 hours.
AbBaltis wanted to expand its capabilities around infectious diseases so the EEN network located two new suppliers of biological materials, which helped to grow the product portfolio in that area by 15%. The firm is seeking a new sales person and another lab technician.
Business strategy training
“We help scientists to produce improved tests for faster and more accurate medical diagnosis,” said managing director Giedre Brandao, who set up the company in 2010 with an initial investment of just £600.
Giedre added: “It’s really exciting times for our business. We are projected to turn over more than £600,000 in the current year.”
EEN adviser Valerie Pondaven and her team also guided Giedre through the Innovate 2 Succeed programme and provided extensive support through other EEN coaching services. They included business strategy training for the management team and better understanding of innovation and investment readiness for Giedre herself.
The company is currently reviewing contracts with clients, suppliers and employees and writing a comprehensive business plan to prepare for future investments and grant applications.
AbBaltis wanted to maximise the value of their intellectual property so EEN organised a comprehensive IP audit which will help them understand what they need to do and also to ensure they do not infringe others’ IP.
Improved staff training
An EEN workshop on Leadership, Motivation and Communication is expected improve staff retention and team motivation while Giedre delegates more tasks, allowing her to concentrate on business growth and innovation.
A further workshop on Creative Thinking has led to improved staff training on new products, more efficient handling of growing order numbers and more innovative ways of managing stock control. Giedre will be holding regular sessions using the same tools, to develop the innovation culture and a clear business strategy.
Valerie also provided the company with in-depth information on Horizon 2020 projects that offer dedicated support to biotechnology and SMEs striving to closing the gap from laboratory to marketplace.
“Enterprise Europe Network provides superb support, mentoring and encouragement. They helped us to understand what makes our business unique and to prioritise those areas that we should invest in.”
Giedre Brandao, founder and managing director.