Drive DeVilbiss underlines ongoing commitment to UK manufacturing

Posted in Sidhil News

With the ink barely dry on the acquisition papers, Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare has wasted no time in underlining the Group’s total commitment to UK manufacturing following the recent purchase of Sidhil.

Subsequent to the acquisition announcement, Drive DeVilbiss has released information on future strategic plans for the new, expanded group, now one of the UK’s leading names serving the acute, community, nursing and residential homes market as well as primary care and the private sector.

“Over the last five years, we have moved from a position where 100% of our products were imported to a healthy situation where more than 40% of all sales come from goods manufactured in the UK,” stated Managing Director Richard McGleenan. “UK manufacture will remain one of the strategic factors when targeting future acquisitions to achieve our growth objectives.”

Formed in 2000 in the US, Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare has ambitious plans to grow both organically and through acquisition into the near future. The Group’s ‘3 in 5’ commitment underlines the objective to increase global turnover to $3 billion dollars within five years, effectively tripling the size of the business. Acquisition of Sidhil plays a vital role in these plans, already taking the Group’s total annual UK turnover above £100M, supporting the objective to achieve double digit annual growth across the board.

Bringing the Sidhil manufacturing facility in Yorkshire into the fold means Drive DeVilbiss now has four complementary UK-based production sites. The Group now plans an intensive process of evaluation and integration prior to assessing the potential for bringing to the UK product lines previously manufactured elsewhere in the world.

A proud history of infrastructure investment

Drive DeVilbiss has a proven history of intensive investment in its UK acquisitions. Welland Medical, purchased in 2011, has now doubled its footprint and tripled in size thanks to investment in premises, manufacturing equipment and capacity. Drive DeVilbiss has invested massively in warehousing serving its Yorkshire headquarters, with new VNA (Very Narrow Aisle) racking and ‘man up’ forklift technology to increase efficiency and throughput, as well as enhanced IT infrastructure.

Specialised Orthotic Services, which focuses on specialist seating and mobility products for children and young adults, has also seen significant investment in additional robotic manufacturing capacity and specialist scanning equipment to enhance its services, where every seating system is bespoke.

Major investment in the Sidhil manufacturing facility is expected in the foreseeable future, with Drive DeVilbiss already approving funds to further enhance efficiency and quality on the production line. Just a few weeks into the integration process, the Group is already investigating the potential for moving the manufacture of identified products to the UK, which could lead to increasing the footprint of the Sidhil facility.

Optimising synergies and expertise

“We recognise that Sidhil is a premium brand, with a range of high value, market leading products complementary to our existing portfolio,” stated Jeremy Taylor, Sales Director. “There is a real synergy between the two companies, which Drive DeVilbiss can enhance with our established clinical nursing team, dedicated audit team and extended network of service centres, bringing all of our customers faster, easier access to our services, namely product decontamination, rental and maintenance.”

“It’s not just about figures and objectives, but also about what healthcare services mean to people,” added Richard McGleenan. “Drive DeVilbiss has an overall philosophy that our key goal is to enhance the quality of life of the people who need and use our products and services. This is a genuinely important objective woven into the fabric of our business, from commodes through to advanced beds and support surfaces. Additional resources such as R&D expertise coming into the Group with the integration of Sidhil will help us to further this objective, developing new and relevant products for all our markets designed to enhance quality of life for individuals and to assist with dignified and safe  caring procedures.”