AgriEnable was approached by Cawood Scientific, the UK’s leading scientific group and the largest independent provider of analytical laboratory testing and sampling services for the land-based industries.
We were required to undertake a business review of the recently acquired environmental monitoring business, Enitial, following a prolonged period of decline in business performance.
The first step was to present a restructuring proposal to the Cawood Board. This comprised dismantling five independent business units and replacing them with a ‘one-team’ functional structure, underpinned by a firm commercial approach.
Assuming day-to-day leadership of this division, consisting of 125 staff, AgriEnable’s principal consultant David Farley was able to gain a full understanding of the business before commencing the restructuring process in spring 2020, against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Starting with the creation of a new SMT, aided by effective leadership and engagement, we successfully transitioned all staff into new roles. Individuals can now contribute much more efficiently, thanks to improved focus and clarity of expectation. Despite the nuances of the ‘old’ business process and the challenging impact of Covid-19, business continuity was maintained throughout this process.
After 12 months, AgriEnable handed Enitial back to Cawood in much better shape, with a visible improvement in engagement and morale across the field teams. This is crucial for Cawood: despite its technically advanced and sophisticated laboratory services, it is their people who keep customers satisfied.
Not only does the new structure provide a more secure platform from which to fulfil their ambitions for growth, the change brought immediate benefits in the form of a significant improvement in business performance during the final two months of AgriEnable’s contract.
Situated in ‘typical’ UK farming country, this modern, progressive family farming business embraces several enterprises.
The business wants to develop an innovative and sustainable controlled environment agriculture (CEA, or vertical farming) enterprise, but using a market-led approach rather than being ‘technology- pushed’.
As a 50% stakeholder in the project, AgriEnable’s agri-food expertise saw it perfectly positioned to take the lead on formulating a business plan and applying to Innovate UK’s Farming Innovation Pathway funding competition. In partnership with the farming business, AgriEnable has attracted a team of collaborators drawn from industry and academia alike.
The project has evolved rapidly. It now includes a joint venture with an established provider of aeroponic growing systems. Plans are afoot to secure the funding required to establish a significant ‘on-farm’ commercial crop production facility featuring an ambitious plan featuring renewable energy to lower the production costs of CEA, ‘zero-carbon’ produce to a level that is scalable. (subject to NDA).
Renowned as leaders in collaborative Agri-Tech project delivery, Agri-EPI is enjoying unprecedented levels of demand for its services. Its new CTO has previously worked with David; she recommended engaging with AgriEnable to undertake some of its workload on a collaborative basis.
To date, completed assignments include a collaborative six-figure grant application for an innovative on-farm data-harvesting solution, and a full commercial market review on behalf of a client looking to enter the ‘smart fertiliser’ sector.