The manufacturing sector is consistently one of the most represented industries when it comes to claiming R&D Tax Credits. However, there are still countless business owners who don’t necessarily appreciate that the work they do, on a daily basis, could form the backbone of a substantial R&D Tax Credits claim.
We’re fortunate to have gained extensive experience in helping companies who create bespoke furniture pieces, for both consumer and professional fit-outs, to access R&D Tax Credit. As a result of this experience, we know just how much time and effort is spent bringing designs to life; much of which is spent in trial and experimentation throughout the various stages of production, along with countless hours creating detailed CAD drawings and making prototypes.
Fiscale have had the pleasure of working with luxury bespoke kitchen manufacturer, Davonport Furniture, for a number of years now, having submitted claims spanning four financial years. During this time we have gained an in-depth understanding of many facets of joinery, along with the challenges that are faced on a regular basis, allowing us to brush the saw dust to one side and identify the revolutionary work that is being done.
Founded by Richard Davonport (having qualified with distinction in Furniture Design and Cabinet Making), the Davonport Furniture company has grown from humble beginnings to being one of the most distinguished names in luxury kitchen design. Operating from a purpose built 20,000 square foot workshop, that is perfectly situated on the Essex/Suffolk border to cater to both a national and international clientele.
Over the past twenty-five years, they have amassed a team of nearly forty members of staff and have crafted an enviable reputation for not only beautiful designs and functionality, but also for their renowned quality and workmanship. This level of quality and detail can only be achieved by employing an expert team of experienced designers, along with highly skilled craftspeople to bring these visions to life.
The team at Davonport Furniture are integral in evolving the KBB industry, however, it is only possible to do so by trailing and utilising different skills, equipment and techniques that are ‘non-standard’ within their industry. As a result of this evolution, Davonport are considered an industry leader.
Being at the forefront of any industry means that you will often encounter technological uncertainties, this is no different within the bespoke furniture sector. As a result of this, the Davonport team are constantly seeking new ways to incorporate new or different materials, ideas and concepts into their designs. However, this requires a great deal of research and development throughout their day-to-day activity. This R&D is achieved by using a combination of traditional techniques, combined with up to date CNC technology and testing.
To successfully claim Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits for kitchen manufacturers, we need us to demonstrate that our client were:
Producing new or improved products, processes or services
Design and development of those products involved technological and scientific uncertainty
It is common for the manufacturer of a new material or surface, to produce usage guidelines. However, these cannot always be fully relied upon, especially when being used in an industry that it was not originally intended. Under these circumstances, in-depth research will be needed to discover the practicality of each material. This can initially be piloted through specialist CAD software; however, the outcome can never truly be known until the product has been manufactured, resulting in a great deal of uncertainty.
As Davonport specialise in bespoke furniture, it is their aim to make their customers’ dream kitchens a reality. This often requires their team of designers and craftspeople to turn client briefs, which on the face of it could appear quite simple, into a fully functioning and structurally sound product. This can be very challenging at times!
Other technical uncertainties arise when there are no “off the shelf” components and fixings suitable for the task at hand. The team at Davonport have become quite adept at developing their own, or in modifying existing ones.
Fiscale’s CEO & Technical Director, Stephen Bunting, made an initial discovery phone call to Richard Davonport, Managing Director. The purpose of this is to simply establish whether they were eligible to access the R&D Tax Credits scheme. As a result of their conversation, the complexity of many of their bespoke projects became clear. This often resulted in technological uncertainties that the Davonport team were required to solve. During subsequent conversations and face-to-face meetings, our understanding of the activities taking place started to develop further.
We’re fortunate to have gained a great deal of experience in working with many companies within the manufacturing sector. As we often find with R&D Tax Credit claims, it is the hidden elements which maximise any potential claim value. It soon became clear that Davonport Furniture were facing many similar uncertainties to the manufacturing sector. However, due to the nature of their bespoke offerings, we also uncovered some quite unique problems to them, which only their expertise could solve and resolve, through research and development.
Following the meeting we immediately set about completing the initial draft report for HMRC, which was sent to Richard for his approval.
The turnaround, from our initial contact phone call to the successful submission of the claim, took approximately six months. A result that Richard was delighted with as he could immediately reinvest back into his business to develop their own CNC machine. This in-turn will reduce the amount of wasted material on future projects.
We’ve subsequently processed further claims for Davonport Furniture and are in preparation stages for their next.
Why not contact us today to discuss your business’ R&D tax relief? It only takes our team around 20 minutes to determine if you are eligible or not.