Purr-fect exporting makes SureFlap the cat’s whiskers
Pet products innovator SureFlap is conquering world export markets with an extended range of technology that has seen the Cambridge business expand its roots in the seven years since foundation.
SureFlap says it has doubled turnover and employed 21 new team members between 2013 and 2015 alone.
Its product range now includes a larger size microchip pet door for large cats and small dogs and a dual-scan cat flap for homes where some pets need to be kept indoors while others are allowed out. SureFlap also launched a microchip pet feeder for multiple pet homes.
It stops pets from stealing each other’s food – especially handy if one cat’s food is medicated. Following success in the UK, SureFlap initially expanded into Denmark and Germany. Now it operates worldwide with a supply chain that stretches as far as Australia and New Zealand.
The company has benefited from a long-term relationship with Fedex to ensure swift and safe delivery to the extended range of territories it sells into.
SureFlap was founded by Cambridge physicist, Dr Nick Hill – an avid cat lover who used to regularly experience neighbourhood moggies entering his home through the flap and frustrating his own pet, Flipper.
After three years of research and development, Dr Hill designed an innovative microchip-operated cat flap, allowing cats’ safe, secure, access into their homes, without the need of a collar. It scans a cat’s existing identification microchip before granting authorised animals safe entry.
“I wanted an answer to a problem that numerous cat owners face on a regular basis and something which used to cause Flipper a lot of distress,” says Dr Nick Hill.
“The product idea came to me when I realised Flipper had his own backdoor key – his microchip – which could let him in, while locking out any unwanted guests.”
The company has since regularly engineered innovations to help different types of user. Dr Hill explains: “For a customer with arthritis we have made adjustments so it’s easier to operate the manual lock.
“Likewise, for an ageing cat, we can use a weaker magnet allowing the cat to push open the door more easily once unlocked – we want to make life easier for pets and their owners alike.”
SureFlap pet doors have been installed in over 350,000 homes worldwide. In 2014, the company sold over 450,000 items across the globe and used FedEx for its everyday shipments.
Additionally, as a company that primarily sells through pet shops and websites, SureFlap has always sought opportunities to interact with its global customers on a local level.
With FedEx, the company is able to talk to a customer in Europe or the US one day and have product in their hands the next.
SureFlap has just appointed Cambridge-based KISS to handle its consumer communications to introduce the company to the media and position its pet-tech products within the growing market. The appointment further broadens KISS’ consumer-tech portfolio.