South Yorkshire furniture company upgrades software skills

Sheffield-based furniture manufacturer Freebird Interiors has benefited from Skills Bank support to upskill their staff in bespoke industry-led software training.

Freebird Interiors, which specialises in the design and manufacture of cupboards, display units, alcoves and games tables, applied for funding for two staff to undertake training in the latest Polyboard Software for designing wooden products.

The digital skills training offered through Skills Bank means the company has been able to better automate its manufacturing processes for doors and cabinets, increasing the efficiency of its production of trade orders with less margin for error and have a positive impact on the resilience of the business and skills of the staff. The Skills Bank training means the staff involved have become more confident in the use of the latest software and are more motivated after gaining new skills.

Alastair Johnson, Managing Director of Freebird Interiors, said: “The Skills Bank training has made a big difference to our business. We have been able to further automate our internal systems in line with lean manufacturing principles.  This means we can move our own bespoke designed jobs through the design and production process more quickly and efficiently, for the ultimate benefit of our customers.  It has also enabled us to branch out into the supply of components to others in our trade.  Being able to use this latest software effectively means we can remain competitive.”

Freebird Interiors, based in Neepsend, is a family business, established in 2016. The company provides a bespoke design and manufacturing service for trade and domestic customers in the South Yorkshire area and beyond.

Julie Mather, Skills Bank Advisor, explains: “This is a great success story of a manufacturer that has been able to take advantage of Skills Bank training in the latest software to automate their processes. Many businesses are seeking Skills Bank support for training, like this, which increases their productivity and efficiency and contributes to business growth.”

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