The challenge

Exeter College sought a supplier to manage the supply of a large range of engineering machinery into their multi-million pound extension. They also required full delivery and workshop installation with as little disruption as possible. Of course cost is always a consideration, but in fact their main priority when choosing a supplier is to find someone with industry insight including knowledge of the curriculum. This helps to find the best machinery to fit the needs of the college and its students.

Customer profile

Rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted in 2014, Exeter College is thriving. The learning and success of their students is the main priority, which was proven again when they were voted best college in the country by FE Week in 2017.

The college boasts excellent exam results year on year. The effort put in by staff and students plays a big part, but more than that the college has some of the best facilities in the country. These facilities promote both academic and practical learning, giving the students an unquestionable advantage when it comes to future employment.

Most recent investment includes the Technology Centre, which has undergone a multi-million pound extension. The state-of-the-art Centre for Advanced Industrial Automation covers 780 square metres and houses the very latest in high-tech equipment.

As a result of the installation, Exeter College is now one of the best facilities in the country for engineering disciplines.

The solution

High performance engineering machinery

Axminster have over 45 years of experience selling engineering machinery. The range constantly evolves, encompassing the very latest in modern technology. Recent additions include super precision CNC machinery. As with much of Axminster's engineering range, these machines have been designed specifically with education in mind.
Years of experience also means that Axminster has great relationships with a number of reputable suppliers. In turn this means access to engineering machinery to suit a range of needs.
Exeter College Students

Engineering machinery installation at Exeter College

Ten Jet Elite Lathes and nine Jet Elite Mills - A total package of engineering precision, durability and safety that far exceeds industry standards.

Four Axminster Engineer Series Pillar Drills- Guaranteed precision and quality manufacturing that is built to last.

Four Axminster CNC Technology Mills- Super precision, simple software and unrivalled support

Industry insight

Axminster Technical Consultants work with a vast array of organisations across many industries. With invaluable business insight, the team have helped many organisations to achieve their goals.

Andy Wells, Head of Faculty for Engineering, Aerospace and Automotive at Exeter College said,

A good knowledge of brands and links to industrial businesses we can talk to is vital in helping us make our decisions.

Dedicated contact

Axminster have dedicated business and education teams, based both out on the road and in the office. This means you always have access to an expert who knows your project and/or organisation. When talking about his Technical Consultant Antony Jempson, Andy said,

Having Antony as a single point of contact was vital to our project running smoothly and, more importantly, on schedule.

Delivery & workshop installation

To a busy college such as Exeter, a smooth delivery and workshop installation with little disruption to the faculty is important. Even more important is for the supplier to install to the dates expected to ensure no disruption to students.

Axminster aim to give delivery and installation dates well in advance. The experienced logistics team carry out the delivery and the installation is performed by highly trained engineers. The Exeter College workshop installation took place over two weeks and the machines were tested and ready to use on the first day of term.

After care

When choosing a supplier, after sales service is another important factor to a thriving college like Exeter. As with any industry, having machinery out of commission can have a negative effect and as a result severely affect the progress of the students.

So sure of quality, Axminster offer a three year guarantee on all own branded machinery. In the unlikely event that something goes wrong Axminster work with the customer and manufacturer to resolve potential issues quickly.

The benefits

Exeter College sought a knowledgeable and reliable supplier to manage the supply of a large range of engineering machinery, to include full workshop installation. First of all Axminster have over 45 years of experience in developing and supplying engineering machinery. This experience also means a number of valuable links within the industry. A supplier with knowledge of the project as well as the opportunity to talk to industrial businesses was vital in helping Exeter College to make informed buying decisions.

Once the college made a decision on the equipment, Axminster were able to offer a disruption free delivery and workshop installation to the dates agreed. It was vital that the college knew the machines would be ready to use from day one, so the students could start learning on the first day of term.

Finally, Axminster provided the college with a dedicated Technical Consultant who was able to ensure the project ran smoothly and on schedule. The same Technical Consultant is available to Exeter College to ensure the machinery continues to run smoothly in the future.

When asked how Exeter College choose their suppliers Andy said,

People might perceive that the most important aspect of purchasing from our point of view is cost. In fact the after sale backup and service is a major factor when choosing a supplier.

Get in touch

To arrange a visit with your regional Technical Consultant phone 0800 371822, email or complete this form. Find out more about our Business Services team at