Sharing For The Future - Training And Delegation For Business Growth
By Melissa Crowther
Where next? It can often be a big question for a small business – especially one that’s grown up as fast as Midlands manufacturer Thermasolutions. The company has been producing specialist energy-saving “night blinds” for supermarket chiller cabinets and has seen demand soar over the past five years.
Now, as the company embarks on further expansion, lead director Ken Patel recognises the need to step back and re-evaluate. “We’re good at what we do,” he says, “but we need some guidance for progressing the company.” To help him with this, business strategy coach Alec McPhedran of Skills Channel TV visited...
...his Northampton factory for an afternoon of advice, with a particular focus on people management and organisational structure.
Thermasolutions makes manually operated and motorised fabric blinds, often in bespoke designs. Its client list includes Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Iceland and Asda, who can save up to 20 per cent on their refrigeration bills. Since the company started in 2006, the number of blinds it produces has soared from 250 to 6,500 per week, and its turnover from £500,000 to a projected £3.2 million for the past financial year.
According to Ken, this growth has come about largely through having a quality product, spotting marketing opportunities and listening to clients’ individual needs. It’s also a case of being in the right place at the right time, as companies come under pressure to save money and to comply with energy regulations. “There are times when you ask yourself, ‘Is everything going too fast? Can we cope with it?’” he says. “But then you do cope, and you get hungry for the next challenge.”
Thermasolutions has already taken on a distributor in Turkey and last year fulfilled its biggest-ever order, worth £1.5 million, for Australia. Ken and director Bob Spencer, who attended... continued on page two >