Its Medworx brand was born two months ago when Dorset-based parent Mauveworx, a print and retail technology services company, made a meteoric pivot and redeployed resources into producing medically-approved visors. The company, which employs 130 staff “had the operational technology, the teams and the production space – all the capability to get to market and scale. We worked flat out – development and approval took a couple of weeks,” says creative services director Toby Martin.
Offering reliable protection, the shield’s single piece construction prevents slipping and features an anti-fog PVC lens, making communication easier. Name plates avoid cross-contamination and an adjustable strap makes it more comfortable to wear.
Unlike the spongey, cheaper foam seal found on some other visors, Medworx chose UK-sourced closed cell foam deliberately for the formidable defence it provides against infection.
“It does not absorb sweat and can be wiped down and sanitised effectively. We have total quality control,” explains Martin whose teams developed the product with local hospitals.
The business’s bank Aldermore helped with working capital funding for the new brand and the company expanded its factory with a new 50,000 square foot unit.
Now up to 40,000 shields are being produced every day for more than 20 NHS trusts, with a target figure of 200,000 a week.
A majority-owned, 50-year-old second generation family firm Mauveworx’s long-standing blue chip clients include Specsavers and the NHS was far from its thoughts until Covid shrunk its sales to zero.
But neither is it a stranger to big changes which has helped now.
Two years ago it rebranded, moving its focus from print to becoming an end-to-end solutions provider offering consultancy through to fulfilment, underpinned by its retail technology platform.
“This allows brands to target and precisely order point of sale and products directly to stores,” says Martin.
“We manage the full process through an automated simplified service which saves retailers a fortune. You have to evolve to remain relevant.
“Having the means to be able to take something from concept to the right store in the right place helped us have the confidence and power to set up Medworx.
“Creating PPE has given us immense satisfaction and made us realise we want to migrate to a brand and product business. We are now exploring consumer sales as there will be an appetite after lockdown – travelling on public transport for example.”
Turnover is currently £12m with growth up to 15 percent a year. “With Medworx and the new products realistically our target could be double that over the next couple years,” Martin adds. “We will be looking to recruit.”