Screen 4 LLP

Business Loans Case Study

Karl Hodson, Finance Yorkshire and Paul Theile, Director of Screen4

It serves the maritime sector as well as testing airline staff in airports including Sydney, Melbourne, Beijing and Singapore. Airports are required to randomly test 20 per cent of its workforce. The company also sees a future in domestic markets in the private sector.

Screen 4 began life in 2009 collecting samples of drug tests. The company went on to provide a holistic service to compete with a major American player who bought out all its competition. By providing kit, testers, results and independent reviews, Screen 4 now offers a choice for customers.

The Challenge

Screen 4 had a number of significant growth opportunities which required additional funding beyond their current facilities. In particular, it hoped to reach new markets as spending cuts force public bodies to review their suppliers.

The Barnsley based company wanted to target the UK healthcare market, drug rehabilitation and prison sectors. As much of the public sector central purchasing is being reduced and being put in the hands of local purchasers, Screen 4 wanted to employ two new sales executives to work across the country.

The Solution

Finance Yorkshire provided a £50,000 business loan to fund the expansion. This significant investment from Finance Yorkshire will enable Screen 4 to target the south with a sales executive based in London, as well as the midlands with a sales executive based there too.

Screen 4 described the investment process as being quick and straightforward. From meeting Finance Yorkshire after an introduction from Business Link Yorkshire, to completion of the deal, took just three weeks.

The Investment Rationale

Screen 4’s USP is its quality of service. All their collectors are trained in house and they use the same independent testers to double check positive results so they are all working to the same standard. It is also quicker than its competitors which is important because companies pay salaries to suspended employees for a shorter amount of time.

With only one other competitor in the market, Screen 4 has proved it is providing a valuable choice and can adapt its strategies accordingly.

Future Expectations

While the worldwide market for airline drugs tests will always be required, new markets are emerging. Directors of companies are coming under more pressure to test for drugs and that will develop over the next few years. In the drug rehabilitation market people have to be tested two or three times a week to check they are taking their medication and are not relapsing.

Once Screen 4 is established in these markets, the next growth area will be the maritime sector. While already skimming the surface, time needs to be invested to build relationships with decision makers.

Entering these markets as well as the maritime market further will only increase Screen 4’s success

Note: this case study is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire

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