For the past 26 years St Cross Electronics has been manufacturing cable harness assemblies out of its facility in Southampton and during that time has become one of the most renowned suppliers across Europe.
The market today is very different from that of 1983, when the company was founded. Manufacturing is now one of the hardest hit sectors of the UK economy. The current threat of cheaper imports from China means that St Cross Electronics has to concentrate resources on the development of modern production techniques and invest heavily in staff training in order to compete successfully and to be able to offer a comprehensive range of products at the right standard, at the right price and, most importantly, on time.
Running a business at maximum efficiency has never been more important. Which is why having an accountancy practice that understands the market, the issues and operates as part of the business team is vital to managing director Dax Ward.
Dax Ward and his co-director Adrian Jukes, took over the running of the company following an amicable management buy out when the founding partners decided to retire. Rothmans had been working with St Cross Electronics since its conception – then a small start up operating out of a garage. A team from the Rothmans’ office in Chandlers Ford, led by Partner Andrew Bennett, negotiated an MBO structure that was acceptable and affordable to all parties, maximising both personal and corporate tax opportunities and minimising Capital Gains Tax for the outgoing shareholders.
Moving forward, Dax was more than happy to retain Rothmans to handle all aspects of the company’s accounts and considers the relationship very much as a partnership. “I’m usually on the phone to one of the Rothmans team at least once a month and we have quarterly strategy meetings to assess progress and the future development of the business. We’re always asking ourselves, ‘is there a better way of saving money?’ and I’m confident we are handling our financial affairs as efficiently as possible. In the current economic climate that has never been more important”
Being ‘part of the business’ is important to Andrew Bennett. “We handle all the usual statutory company requirements for the company but also advise on every aspect of personal and business tax planning. Really understanding our client’s business is fundamental to our philosophy. In most owner-managed businesses directors are working long hours and are very hands on. They are not usually financial experts – that’s what they want from us - someone who’s looking at every angle to help them save money and grow profitably. The company is very innovative in its sector and we need to support them in staying ahead of the field.”