Having established Sylmar Technology as one of the leading suppliers of high quality solid surface products to both domestic and commercial markets in the UK over 25 years, the board might have been forgiven for believing that the business was performing near to its full potential.
From its 26,000 sq ft. factory at Alfreton, Derbyshire, Sylmar Technology was successfully fabricating worktop collections for kitchen and bathroom applications up and down the country. The firm was capturing a sizeable share of the market, but with ambitions to grow even further, a contact at a partner organisation recommended the services of renowned business coach Stuart Ross.
Here, Peter J R Holt, managing director at Sylmar Technology, explains how Stuart Ross, founder of High Growth, reviewed the manufacturer’s practices before recommending a business development strategy that has secured a 25% increase in year on year sales.
Back in 2013, the management team and staff possessed a lack of understanding regarding the strategic direction of the business, a resistance to change and a feeling that we were not able to step up to the challenge presented by growth.
I wanted our business to be the largest supplier of solid work surfaces to all relevant sectors in UK markets – complete with an empowered management team that is fully aware of how the business functions. The problem was, I had this ambition but was not sure how to achieve it.
Stuart Ross helped us develop a clear strategic focus from the outset, working closely with our board to establish a vision, set out achievable goals and measurable outcomes.
After meticulously studying our business, Stuart recommended a few quick fixes and long-term strategies for growth. As a result, we have rewritten all job descriptions to include a traffic light system that empowers decision making by giving authority through red, orange and green sign-off levels, developing staff trust and confidence.
We have identified skills shortages and started addressing them by delivering training to staff and recruiting new employees to fill any gaps.
Implementing change is never easy, and there have been staff changes at director level but the upheaval has been necessary to bring about sustainable improvements to our business.
Our primary objective now is to continue to grow our sales every year. Since we’ve been working with Stuart we have increased our turnover from £6 million to £8 million. We are striving to maintain the increase in turnover, with a goal to £9.2 million in 2015, £10.5 million in 2016 and £11.5 million in 2017. We want to now build on recent account wins, and to manage profit expectations and cash flow, while ensuring that all members of the management team continue to pull in the right direction.
Stuart has helped bring about a huge, positive cultural shift within our organisation that we are committed to maintaining. By continuing to communicate effectively with staff they are better able to understand and share our common goals for further growth.