Robert and Sharon Marshall

Background

TransK9 situated in St John’s Town of Dalry, Dumfries and Galloway, is a family run company set up in 2003 by Sharon and Robert Marshall who supply dog cages and transit boxes to be fitted in the rear of vehicles.

The TransK9 boxes are constructed from high grade aluminium, with heavy duty galvanised steel doors. Their customers range from domestic users to the UK’s top gundog trainers and handlers, police constabularies, security companies through to numerous veterinary practices. In addition, they export to the USA and Europe.

Challenge

Manufactured locally in Scotland in aluminium, with a durable powder coated finish, TransK9 transit boxes have been designed to give many years of satisfactory service and are available in a range of sizes to suit most estate cars, 4x4s, double cabs, suburban utility vehicles (SUVs) and vans.
It is very important to the company to provide quality, tested and proven materials and components in their cages and boxes to ensure the safety of their clients’ dogs. Therefore, they were keen to collaborate with a university partner to:

  • crash test the safety of the boxes by setting up mock car crash conditions
  • identify any damage to the boxes that would be harmful to the safety of the dog(s)
  • evaluate the durability and condition of the dog box at various driving speeds
  • ensure that after a crash, the doors of the boxes could still be opened, and the dog(s) can be released safely
  • measure impact on human passengers sitting in rear seats

Solution

After establishing relevant academic expertise, Interface was able to set up a collaboration with the University of the West Scotland’s (UWS) Engineering Department in Paisley to crash test TransK9’s latest dog cage.  

As a result, TransK9 was successfully matched with Dr Bob Bailey, Senior Lecturer at the School of Engineering and Computing at UWS who led this project.

The School of Engineering and Computing at UWS is home to a vibrant research community carrying out high quality applied research relevant to the research community and industry which underpins and extends the quality of the student experience. UWS is one of the leading players in computing and IT, offering professionally recognised engineering degrees and cutting-edge physics programmes with practical applications.

Business benefits
TransK9 Director, Robert Marshall said:

“The benefits were noticed immediately, in our first full year since undertaking the crash testing our UK sales rose by a staggering 39%; we are now into our second year and we are anticipating another increase in sales of at least 20% for this period.

We would without any hesitation collaborate again with the University of the West of Scotland, their expertise has greatly benefited our business, not only here in the UK but worldwide.”

Additional support

TransK9 Director, Robert Marshall added:

“We are fortunate to have Allan McNaught at the end of the Business Gateway phone line; Allan helped us recently with the part-funded acquisition of a new forklift, for what is becoming an ever increasingly busy loading bay in our warehouse.

We are most grateful to Business Gateway for all their assistance over the last few years, be it financial or just sound advice, particularly on exporting which has been another growth area for us.”

Follow on activity

The company are looking to expand their premises over the coming months to support their logistics, expand the product range and provide smoother operations.