“Bright brains and quick thinking”
Chatting with Maurice Prout
It was the early 1980s and Maurice Prout, car part salesman, was filling an order for luggage elastics when the price of shock cord made the finished product less viable. Prout decided to make the shock cord himself.
“I bought a machine and we started production. At one stage we were making so much we ran the machines 24 hours a day and I’d come down through the night to check on them.”
Over time, Prout made the machine more sophisticated, following the Japanese principal of kaizen or constant improvement. He added more machines and grew his product range until bulk shock cord, electric fence cord, TradeRacks and tow ropes supplanted the original car parts catalogue.
“We had some big orders. We made all the shock cord for a brand of electric blanket. That was 400,000 metres a year. We worked very closely with an electric fence maker on improving their electric shock cord. We did a lot of research and development to make it the best product on the market. Our approach was to spot a rough idea and improve it, then make it even better by tweaking and refining.”
“We were competing with Asia, so we had to make things better to prove our worth. Our products have to last and they have to be top quality. The trick to it is bright brains, quick thinking and great relationships. Clients can talk to us and we can act immediately to get the job done.”
Prout built the company on hard work, ingenuity and a commitment to finding solutions for the curliest challenges. Now the company is owned by Alistair Cuming and the values remain as solid as ever.