Sanjay and Shashi Aggarwal of Spice Kitchen, a manufacturer backed by Made Smarter

A manufacturer of spice products is forecast to double productivity and sales to £2m and create new jobs after investing in data and systems technologies, with the support of Made Smarter.

Spice Kitchen, based in Speke, Liverpool, is a family-run spice company founded in 2012 by mother and son duo Shashi and Sanjay Aggarwal, selling spice tins, blends, and gifts.

Backed by a £20,000 grant from Made Smarter, the technology adoption programme, it has invested £40,000 in a cloud-based software solution 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.

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Spice Kitchen is one of hundreds of businesses in the North West to have secured grants for technology projects. Collectively, these are forecast to create 1,550 jobs, upskill 2,772 existing roles, and increase North West GVA by £242m.

Sanjay Aggarwal, Co-founder of Spice Kitchen, 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 focussed data and systems integration were a priority.

The cloud-based solution will integrate its existing systems to Cin7 inventory management software, and Shiptheory, a shipping management platform, to help the business connect and access real-time production, stock, shipping, and sales data.

This will allow the company 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.

Crucially, the digital solution will empower the 15-strong workforce to be self-sufficient and make data-driven, real-time decisions.

Commenting on the impact of Made Smarter’s support, 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.

“Spice Kitchen is among hundreds of manufacturers in the region grasping the opportunities offered by Made Smarter which include expert, impartial technology advice, digital transformation workshops to help take that first step to transform a business, and support with technology investment. I would encourage other SME manufacturers to do the same.”

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