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Mayfield – how product innovation is improving the caravan experience for holidaymakers


Designing and manufacturing sustainable products for caravaners

Established over 30 years ago, the Mayfield Group designs and supplies decking to the UK static caravan industry from its base in Poole.

Over the years, the business has developed their products alongside the industry. Their initial product, launched in 1989, was a small step for accessing caravans but during the 1990s owners started using their caravan holiday homes more and the need for external space became an important factor. To respond to this trend, Mayfield developed their product range introducing Sundecks for outdoor living. This has grown into what the business is today.

As the products have developed, so have the materials with the recent introduction of recycled aluminium used for the construction of the substructures replacing timber. Development is also under way to replace plastics with recycled aluminium, greatly reducing their impact on the environment.

The journey so far

Talking to Mayfield’s managing director Mike Jarmey, he comes across as someone who challenges things – he is constantly looking for ways to improve their product range and if there isn’t something on the market that will do it, he’ll make it. This has been integral to the company’s evolution, often developing their own solutions to fill a gap in the market.

With a background in engineering, he really is the perfect person for the job and spends a lot of time developing new products and processes. “That’s the side of the business that I really enjoy and thrive on. It’s my skill set and what I know,” he says.

Mike continues: “An advantage we have is that because we create and design the products – and we always have done – we’re really flexible. What we’ve got is really good knowledge of materials and how to develop them to make them work for us.

“Our products are so different compared to our competitors. To the naked eye, our plastic may look just like any other plastic, but it’s far from it. An analogy would be comparing softwood timber to hardwood timber. There really is that much difference.”

A passion for sustainability

As part of the development process, a key consideration is sustainability, a topic Mike is very passionate about, not only in the materials and processes used but also how he runs the business. In fact, Mike is determined to make the business carbon neutral. He has already taken measures by installing solar panels that produce enough electricity to power the entire factory, offices and charge their electric vehicles, including a forklift and cars; “During daylight hours, we are carbon zero”.

Over the last couple of years, with Covid restricting international travel, the demand for caravan holidays has sky-rocketed, mirrored in the demand for Mayfield’s products.

Mike explains: “It just escalated and every month we go into is another record-breaking month. That’s not down to me; that’s down to people taking staycations instead of going abroad.”

Overcoming challenges

Alongside this growth, Mike and his team have faced other challenges, such as product shortages and supply chain issues. There are lots of day-to-day achievements when running the business but a longer-term goal, now almost accomplished, is becoming a timber- and plastic-free business.

How PKF Francis Clark has helped

Partner James Robinson and his team at PKF Francis Clark’s Poole office work closely with Mike and his wife Debbie to achieve their business goals.

On his experience of working with PKF Francis Clark, Mike says: “They have been a breath of fresh air to us. What we’ve not had before is a proactive accountant. In the past they’d just do the figures, which is what I assumed accountants did. When I first met James, it was like meeting up with an old friend and straight away he knew what to ask. I wasn’t really prepared for it.

“James asked, ‘What do you want from us? We can play a much more active part in the business.’ He also asked about our research and development and how we claimed for it. I didn’t realise we could claim R&D tax credits, and having advice like that is the difference. That was a bit of an eye-opener really.”

James added: “It’s great to work with Mike, Debbie and the team at Mayfield. They have such a passion for their business, which is infectious on their team, and their drive to provide not just excellent product solutions but also customer service. They are constantly looking at new ways to develop their products and really are market leaders in their industry. It’s been great to work closely with the management team and understand their ambitions for the growth of the business.”

James Robinson (left) from PKF Francis Clark and Mike Jarmey (right) from Mayfield
Mike Jarmey from Mayfield (left) and James Robinson from PKF Francis Clark (right)

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FEATURING: James Robinson
From day one of his training in October 1988, James has been involved with engineering and manufacturing clients which he is as passionate about now as ever… read more
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