Wooden Letters goes electronic with Invest NI help

Wooden Letters, the Coleraine-based business formed by husband and wife team Paul and Alison Laverty, is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to boost sales through the latest e-business technology.

The small company is now selling its product range of decorated wooden letters, numbers and alphabet wall charts worldwide from a website developed with technical advice and expert assistance from Invest NI e-business support. The products have been developed specifically by the couple to help young children with reading and writing.

Orders are now being shipped to customers in Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and other parts of Europe.

Des Gartland, Invest NI’s North West Regional Office Manager, announcing e-business support for the company, said: “This assistance will enable the company to develop an e-commerce website, introduce management information systems and essential manufacturing software that will facilitate the growth of a business that has now established a significant market opportunity for its range of products.

“It makes sound business sense for this small company to seek to extend the market for its products by means of e-commerce technology. The website will enable it to reach a much wider audience than would be otherwise possible using more traditional sales and marketing techniques.

“Our e-business support offers companies in both services and manufacturing access to the knowledge and experience of our e-business team and also financial support that helps them acquire appropriate technology that will increase their efficiency and overall competitiveness in markets outside Northern Ireland,” he added.

Mr Laverty described Invest NI’s support as being “immensely important to the company’s growth.

“Invest NI has helped us get the business up and running and is now encouraging us to exploit opportunities that we have pinpointed from initial contacts in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

“We feel that we’ve got a great partner in Invest NI, and that they are committed to the development of our business, and that they really want to see the company grow profitably. The website is a particularly important investment for us. Invest NI’s advice and experience was extremely beneficial.

“Other technology which we’ve been assisted to apply by Invest NI, will enable us to ensure the business is operating efficiently and that we have essential and accurate performance information about sales and cashflow on a real time basis. Tight control of cash is particularly important in today’s challenging economic conditions,” he added.

Wooden Letters is manufacturing and supplying decorated wooden letters and numbers around 20cms in height in a wide range of font types and styles. The website enables customers to order the products in a wide range of patterns and colours.

The website will help the company achieve its objective of achieving external sales of around 70 per cent of turnover over the next two years.