A WREXHAM IT firm is helping an animal bedding company expand into the Irish dairy market following a £1 million investment.

Wrexham Industrial Estate-based Rawson IT Services has won the contract to provide a managed IT service for Platts Animal Bedding, based in Llay, which manufactures and supplies specialist animal bedding, primarily for cattle in the dairy farm industry but also for equine and poultry.

The move is part of a drive by the Llay Industrial Estate based business, which has its own HGV approved commercial garage and full manufacturing factory, to strengthen its core business partnerships as it prepares to push forward with plans to increase its market share of the Irish dairy farm market.

The firm currently supplies thousands of farms, big and small, throughout the UK with a small number in Ireland which has a larger dairy farm industry and is where Platts sees the opportunity to grow further.

Caroline Thedens, Platts Animal Bedding Managing Director and daughter of the original founders, Robert and Christine Platt, who set up the business more than 45 years ago from their pig farm in Marford, said: “We have invested heavily over the last few years and as much as £1.2m in the last 12 months on strengthening our production capabilities by installing state-of-the art baling technology and moving to a 24-hour, seven day shift pattern. We have also increased our vehicle fleet and taken on more people at head office as we prepare to move forward with plans to expand in the Irish dairy farm market.

“We have also looked at bringing on board new partners who will be able to support us in this move and that’s part of the reason we have signed up with Rawson IT Services.

“We have worked with both managing director Craig Davies and his colleague Dominic Buckley before, when they worked for other companies, and I think they have a skill set which we are looking for.

“It’s not just about managing our IT systems but being there for us when we have a problem and I know I can trust them to do this for us.

“They understand the business and what we need. They have the same drive and focus which is crucial to us as we continue to develop the business.

“Data is key to what we do and is integral to the success of the business and I really feel Rawson IT Services is best placed to help us manage it effectively and securely.”

Rawson IT Services Managing Director, Craig Davies, said: “We want our clients to feel like we are simply their IT support guys, almost like we have an office in the building where we are on hand to support them.

“That goes for any problems they might have but also, as we will be for Platts, working in the background to ensure systems are updated and that everything is working well as it should, hopefully avoiding many problems before we arrive at them.

“We are thrilled to be back working with Caroline and her team and excited to be on the journey with them as they continue to grow the business.

“It has come so far from such humble beginnings and we are delighted to be working with them as they embark on the next phase of their development.”

Rawson IT Services provides a full IT support, consultancy, security and cloud service to new and existing customers and since it was set up, less than six months ago, it has already won 13 contracts.

It is a new division of Rawson Digital, which supplies and maintains photocopiers and printers to companies across North Wales, the North West and beyond.

Its founder and managing director is Vaughn Rawson who also has a history with Platts.

The firm has come a long way since it was founded in 1973 by Caroline’s parents when they spotted an opportunity to supply other farms in the area with the same surplus wood shavings they were using at their own pig farm.

Vaughn said: “Ironically, I once worked for Caroline’s dad Robert in the very early days of Platts bedding, probably more than 40 years ago now. He had a converted bread truck which we would drive round the local joiners, bagging up the sawdust and shavings, to take back for the animal bedding.

“It’s phenomenal to see where the firm is now, manufacturing this really high quality product for thousands of farmers, and a real delight for me that our new IT firm is coming on board as one of their trusted partners as they continue to go forward and develop the business.”