Power to the people

A proud British manufacturer, CMD Ltd creates solutions to meet the challenges of integrating technology and power with furniture for commercial office environments

Founded in 1984, CMD Ltd (CMD) has been based in the South Yorkshire town of Rotherham since its inception, yet the business that operates from Eastwood Trading Estate today is a much larger entity than that which began making its way in the world more than 35 years ago. Experts in office power and ergonomic solutions, CMD creates solutions to meet the challenges of integrating power and media access for people working in offices. It does so by offering a total product range of underfloor power track, floor boxes, desk power and data modules, monitor and CPU supports, cable management solutions, and wireless lighting controls.

“To this day, all of our products ultimately make their way into the commercial office fit out market, either at a very early stage in the project cycle via main electrical contractors and installers, or through the interior market via office furniture manufacturers and large dealers,” explains CMD’s General Manager, Jon Holding. “In our early days, we focused primarily on desk modules. More recently, we have evolved through several mergers and acquisitions which have increased our product offering. This has created a unique situation where we no longer have a single competitor in the market that competes with us across everything that we do. This allows our end user customers to take comfort in knowing that there is a single UK manufacturer out there that they can deal with that covers everything that you cannot see underneath the floor of an office space, all the way through to final fit out!”
CMD’s depth of experience means that it has built up an enviable track record of dealing with clients of all shapes and sizes, from those requiring small, single office fit outs to large corporate organisations such as banks and technology businesses that require the delivery of in excess of 5000 work stations per contract. “When I joined the business back in 2000, it was turning over around £3.5 million per year,” Jon continues. “Today, that figure is closer to £30 million, and that is down to the work of the people here at CMD, who underpin everything that we do. We very much retain a ‘one business’ philosophy, and it is that culture of collective responsibility and trust that continues to exist throughout CMD.”

Jon tell us that, when he receives visitors to the company’s Rotherham base, what tends to strike them is not only the positive working atmosphere, but also just how labour intensive its manufacturing activities are. “What you have to take into account is that more than 70 per cent of the products that we sell are manufactured from scratch right here in the UK,” he states. “We also have to work to the market expectations for product lead times in our industry, which for our core ranges is typically between two and three weeks. Equipment wise, our people have access to a range of different machines, including several Trumpf CNC automated punch machines, three Amada press brakes, four hard tool presses up to 120 tonnes, and a number of automated aluminium saws, amongst other items.”

In the last few years, an area in which CMD has gained considerable traction has been its export business. “We began our export journey by channelling our focus into markets where the UK-style electrical socket could be found, so in countries within the Middle East and Far East,” Jon details. “We enjoyed some success with these activities, and eventually – around seven years ago – we had built up a full worldwide complement of products to accommodate customers in all corners of the globe.”

Selling mainly into Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions at present, CMD now has ambitious plans to grow its products’ presence in the North American market, utilising the existing opportunities presented by its American parent company. “While we do already serve the region through our development of OEM products for furniture manufacturers, we see North America as being massively important for the company’s future growth,” Jon affirms. “Approximately three years ago, we were acquired by the US corporation, IDEAL Industries, Inc. which is made up of a number of different manufacturing and electrical businesses. What we intend to do going forward is work closely with one or more of these ‘sister’ companies to produce solutions locally, and ultimately gain similar momentum to that which we have achieved in Europe and beyond.”

Given the nature of its work, it goes without saying that CMD is a very technology driven business. As part of its drive to establish a comprehensive platform of products in order to meet the latest cross-market demands of its customers, 2020 will see the launch of several new solutions that Jon looks forward to unveiling in the near future. “What has been successful for CMD for some time now has been our breadth of product offering and our industry-leading expertise,” he adds. “With such traits, as well as the strength of our recent successes in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, we have every reason to expect another year of growth over the next 12 months, and beyond, as we set about building a coherent strategy around the North American market that we intend to have fully implemented by 2021.”

CMD Ltd
Products: Power modules, power distribution and ergonomic solutions