HMI design and manufacture a range of magnetic instruments, including coils.

Grow your business

Improve finance and sales

Sales increased 80 per cent at specialist scientific equipment and instrument manufacturer Hirst Magnetic Instruments (HMI) accessed the funds they need to grow with support from the University of Exeter.

A £100,000 Enterprise Guarantee Loan was secured after HMI’s board began working with intervention mentor Dr Mark Scibor-Rylski of the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI).

With the use of magnetic components and materials on the increase, HMI were in the right place at the right time to grow – but they needed capital to develop new products and increase staff numbers.

Dr Scibor-Rylski pointed out how HMI could overcome their challenges, saying: “HMI possessed some very rare design skills and excellent manufacturing capabilities.

 “But they needed to address the mainstream market and continue to position themselves as the number-one UK magnetic instruments company.”

Strategies were put in place to expand the businesses, including increasing HMI’s range of Gaussmeter instruments and appointing a new financial director, helping to secure the Enterprise Guarantee Loan, as well as financial help in creating new media websites to promote their products. 

Several new jobs were created across finance, sales and marketing, including a sales manager, new media sales specialist, computer-aided-design technician and financial assistant. The recruitment drive was assisted by Unlocking Cornish Potential, a body formed out of a partnership of local higher education institutes, and all but one of the new hires were from the local area. 

HMI’s Managing Director John Dudding felt that the support of the ESI was pivotal in expanding the company: “Having access to an experienced business development specialist associated with the University gives us in-house expertise as we work on growth mechanisms for the business and identify the skills (and funding sources) needed.”

A new international sales initiative is now underway and HMI look forward to finding high-calibre graduate recruits right on their doorstep.