Based in Wirral, Organica makes environmentally friendly household cleaning products and an investment in digital technology is leading to new jobs and pushing revenues to £8m. Tony McDonough reports
A Wirral firm which manufactures environmentally friendly household cleaning products says investment in digital technology will send turnover soaring and create new jobs.
Organica is one of dozens of SME chemical manufacturers in then region that engaged with the Made Smarter programme. This is a collaboration between the Government and industry to encourage digital innovation.
Organica makes environmentally friendly household cleaning products such as washing-up liquid, laundry detergents, fabric conditioner, and cleaning sprays for leading supermarket brands.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the business has experienced a growing demand for its products and needed to increase production capacity, and improve how it manages resources.
Working with Made Smarter, it invested in two data-driven technology projects. The first employed sensors to capture the volumes of ingredients going into and coming out of its blending tanks. It also looked at the number of bottles being filled, capped and labelled on the filling lines, and the number of boxes on the packaging lines.
By introducing real-time monitoring and analytics Organica was able to make data-driven decisions which increased productivity by 20%, reduced energy consumption by 10% and reduced waste by 20%.
As a result of the investment it is predicting a rise in turnover from £5m to £8m and has created eight new jobs. Last year, as part of its expansion plans, Organica signed a lease on a 22,505 sq ft industrial unit in Wallasey.
Technical director Noel Doyle said: “We have always been proactive and positive about the challenges and opportunities in digitalising, but Made Smarter support has enabled us to really hone our vision.
“We have created a digital roadmap, brought in new skills, and fast-tracked our adoption of the right technologies we need to overcome our challenges and barriers to growth. We are now able to monitor and manage production on a scale that has so far not been possible.”
Through impartial expert technology advice and match funding on technology projects, workshops to help manufacturers take their first steps, a leadership programme, digital technology internships, and skills development, Made Smarter is helping businesses achieve significant growth.
To drive the adoption of digital technology among the North West’s chemical industry, which is valued at £10bn, Made Smarter has produced a free guide to help demystify digitalisation. Click here to download.
Donna Edwards, North West adoption programme director at Made Smarter, added: “The North West is made up of hundreds of chemical makers who create a variety of products which impact virtually every aspect of our lives, such as soap, paint and fuel.
“The sector is adopting digital technologies at a faster rate than other sectors in a race to stay competitive, adapt to strict quality standards, compliance and reporting responsibilities, and reduce its environmental impact through waste and emissions.”