We spoke to Mandy Simpson, one of the founders of Simpson & Partners, to learn more about their Electronic Vehicle (EV) charger production company, along with their exciting future developments following its opening in Wiltshire.
Tell us about your company and your role
“At Simpson & Partners, we are a family run business that produce high quality EV [electronic vehicle] chargers at affordable prices.
“As one of the 3 founders of the company, my role is to oversee the development, sales and marketing aspects of the business.
“We make intelligent and affordable EV chargers, so if you have a fully electric vehicle, or a plug-in hybrid vehicle, and would like a charging point that looks nice in your home, we came to the market to offer something a bit different.”
‘We like things that work well, look great and we are technically experienced in this sector.’
“We are an SME, with less than 15 employees at present, along with 25 freelancers. We currently have 35 suppliers, mainly based in the UK and some in Germany. We have a dynamic close-knit team here at Simpson & Partners.
Where are you based in the region, how did you find that space, what support did you receive to find the space and use that space? If you plan to expand, how will you find that new space?
“We are based near Malmesbury in Wiltshire. We found the space organically and worked with the landlord to refurbish the space.
“To support us, the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) provided a capital loan through its Growing Places Infrastructure Fund as our company plans fit the criteria of their local industrial strategy to support job creation. The loan enabled us to secure the premises in June 2021, along with a full refurbishment of the space.
What workforce skills do you require and how did the region supply that labour to you; how local is your workforce? How do you keep training your employees and is that training locally sourced?
“We have our own team that we have organically grown, taken with us and nurtured, including electrical, software and mechanical engineers and renewable energy specialists. With our refurbishment, we used local tradespeople including lighting engineers, decorators, those fitting security systems. We are also looking to recruit for our assembly line, which would look to source locally and expand our sales and marketing teams.
“With regards to the EV charger installation, we are building our own network of approved installers across the UK and Ireland.”
Do you have any kind of relationship with local universities / schools? Do you have any internship / apprenticeship programmes?
“We are in talks to gain a machine learning home energy management system grant, and this will enable some scope for students and academics, in particular within electrical engineering. Two of the three founders of Simpson & Partners have come from non-academic backgrounds, so we understand the importance of apprenticeship programmes. We would happily support and invite students to shadow and learn at our company.”
Are there any new developments for your business?
“When sales continue to grow, we will need to secure a bigger space. This would be on site as we are keen to stay in the region.
“We are also looking at expanding our proposition, where it be other products that sit alongside our current offering, for example an EV charger fixed to a post or intelligent energy management systems that automatically enable you to use cheaper energy tariffs. It’s all about working out who pays for what energy they use, and with rising energy prices everyone wants to use energy as efficiently as possible.
What support have you been offered or provided with through the Swindon & Wiltshire Growth Hub?
“The team at Swindon and Wiltshire helped facilitate a grant through the Innovation 4 Growth programme, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. They have also provided support and put us in contact with the Knowledge Transfer Partnership. This would link in with potentially some students coming to work with us here.
“Access to this pool of support from the Swindon and Wiltshire LEP, it’s something you don’t often find. It’s been great for a company like us.”