Mother and son Shashi and Sanjay Aggarwal run Liverpool spice products maker Spice Kitchen and aim to create new jobs and double sales to £2m in new technology investment. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool spice products manufacturer Spice Kitchen is looking to double annual revenues to £2m after investing in new technology.
Spice Kitchen, based in Speke, is a family-run spice company founded in 2012 by mother and son duo Shashi and Sanjay Aggarwal. It makes and sells spice tins, blends, and gifts.
Backed with a £20,000 grant from Made Smarter, the technology adoption programme, it has invested £40,000 in cloud-based software which will integrate and automate manual and disconnected systems to drive efficiency and productivity.
By doubling productivity, Spice Kitchen expects to double sales to £2m and create three new management jobs.
Spice Kitchen is one of 60 Liverpool-based SME manufacturers who have secured grants worth £1.2m towards technology projects which are worth £4.2m after contributions by the businesses themselves.
Collectively these investments are forecast to create 385 jobs, upskill more than 375 roles and boost the economy by £52m.
Sanjay Aggarwal, Co-founder of Spice Kitchen, which currently employs 15 people, said: “Made Smarter’s support has been extraordinary.
“They have helped us create a digital roadmap, analyse our existing skills, create a plan for workforce development, and accelerate our investment in a much-needed technology solution.
“This investment will have an immediate impact by improving the quality and consistency of our business operations, but crucially, it will embed a scalable operational, commercial and manufacturing platform for future business growth.”
From selling homemade tins of spice mix at artisan markets 10 years ago to an award-winning £1m business which has appeared on TV’s Hairy Bikers, Spice Kitchen has big plans to double turnover in the next two years.
This includes a focus on international wholesale sales into US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Gulf Region, as well as growing online sales via Amazon and the website.
After engaging with Made Smarter through a Digital Transformation Workshop, Spice Kitchen identified that technology investment focused data and systems integration were a priority.
Its new software will integrate its existing systems with a shipping management platform, to help the business connect and access real-time production, stock, shipping, and sales data.
This will allow it to increase scale and complexity and maintain quality. It needs to embed new systems in its factory in Liverpool, which currently supports manufacturing of almost 700 different products and sells across 10 platforms.
The new system will completely transform the workflow and improve efficiency exponentially. It will also enhance and improve quality and traceability, which is vital in the food sector.
Donna Edwards, director of Made Smarter’s North West adoption programme, said: “Spice Kitchen is a fantastic example of a manufacturer which recognises the benefit of using technology to scale the business.
“The outcomes of this technology project are far reaching, from creating growth and new high value jobs, but also laying the foundations for more technologies.”
Made Smarter is the UK national industrial digitalisation movement, backed by the Government, to drive productivity and growth of manufacturing industries. Click here for more information.