From Scunthorpe to Spain: Caravan manufacturer's launch plan
Mark and Dave Webster owners and directors of Qualiluminar
By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 18 Apr 2017
FROM the Lincolnshire Coast to the Costa Blanca and beyond, a father and son team are looking to make a name in the modular homes market.
Manufacturing facilities are being established in Scunthorpe by Qualiluminar Ltd, with the men behind the brand steeped in the sector, from static caravans to expansive park lodges.
Together they are bringing more than a decade of experience in the industry, having provided hire, sales and operational management in Skegness.
The proposals have already impressed business leaders enough to earn a shortlisting at next month’s Northern Lincolnshire Business Awards – with the full run-down in the centre-pages.
A 12,000 sq ft factory is being brought forward, with plans to increase the team from the current five to 25 as the order book is filled.
“There is business to be won, it is now about how we go about driving it and winning it,” director Mark Webster said.
It is less than 10 weeks since the Skippingdale facilities were taken on by the business, registered in late 2014.
“Initially we were looking to get into hot tubs and high end products, Mr Webster said. “I love it when you can sell something, that one thing, that has a good margin, you get a happy customer and provide the service with it.”
EYE ON DETAIL: The intricate and expansive nature of the manufacturing process at Qualiluminar.
The name unites the English word for quality and the Spanish for ‘to light up’, and the company is already making inroads on the Costa Bravo, setting up a distribution for a concentrated area between Benidorm and Mazarron.
Sales were at the forefront of the original plan, but having been unhappy with the service provided from third party manufacturers, the Websters have gone it alone.
“We know demand is there and now we have sole control of what we are building for customers,” he said.
“Our main priority is to build quality mobile homes. They can ease the housing crisis, help the elderly to downsize and then there is the holiday element, domestic and export, which could be a huge part of the business, and that’s where the bigger opportunities are being missed.
“As an industry we are not exporting as much as we should, we are looking to, it is about seizing the moment, and giving customer choice.”
The range goes from a 28ft by 10ft model for about £17,000 to 50ft by 28ft giants that could cost £200,000, depending on the specification.
And the latter explains the need for a 12,000 sq ft site on Snowdonia Avenue.
“About four or five mobile homes per week, that’s the level we want to get up to,” Mr Webster said, discussing production aims. “We are working on a few good deals we are looking to secure in the next few weeks.”
Of the location, he said: “We hadn’t been to Scunthorpe specifically until we started looking for a facility in November/December time. The size of the facility, the value for money in terms of rent and the height of the doors were all important. We are also very close to where the major suppliers are, the networks and having the ports and logistics on our doorstep is fantastic, it really good for us when we ship them out.”
Plans are to establish one such home in the factory as a show room turned office, as it then looks to build a solid order book.
“We will use technology to show what we can offer, with walk-through planning and visualisation techniques for materials, from the shell to the carpets,” he said.
“It is all about having that continuity with sales, be it contracts with parks or councils. There are a few brand new developments we are trying to get involved with.
“We have lived in Skegness for 15 years and we have always worked in the industry. We have managed, owned, marketed, cleaned – everything to do with caravans and mobile homes, and now we are manufacturing, building what we have worked in since we moved here.
“We intend to change people’s lives for the better. For the majority of clients it is a home, and every home we build will be to the British residential standard.”