Happy New Year.
It doesn’t seem two minutes ago when we were preparing for the ‘millennium bug’ and the chaos it was about the reveal with systems crashing, infrastructure failing and aircraft dropping from the skies. That was twenty years ago. Twenty. I can’t believe it.
This decade has seen the start up of our Yorkshire business and the consolidation of the north east venture. In the past year we’ve been working hard on ideas and ways to improve what we do and provide for our amazing clients. In 2019 a lot of planning has already been done ready for the hard work to start in 2020 as we develop and trial many different systems before the roll out, hopefully before May. We’re very excited with what’s to come and it’ll push us on and make our offering something that will interest potential customers and improve what we do already. We’ve already spoken to a number of clients in different sectors and asked them for their views and ideas and the feedback has been incredible. This will take us onto the next level and we couldn’t be more excited.
The last decade has been excellent for growth across the two businesses but with the service industry under continued pressure from competitors, Brexit and the uncertainty involved, margins have been reduced and therefore investment hasn’t been as much as we’d like. We’ll see this change in 2020 with new vehicles ordered, a search for a bigger office continuing as space is limited where we currently are and we want to increase our management structure to again improve what we do. Since the re-brand in 2013, we’ve become a lot more visible and lot of people I speak with have mentioned seeing our vans and cleaning teams (in their purple tops) all over the north east and Yorkshire. That’s just what we wanted as it makes life easier to get more business and builds credibility.
We’ve learned many lessons as we’ve grown and in one or two cases, it has cost us clients and in one case a long term customer as we found that really hard to take as we do try to ensure what we provide is the best value for money in the industry. Our values haven’t changed at all in that we’re a family business and have to do things ethically and provide a very personal service. Constantly looking to improve continues to be the goal as we aim to be the number one go-to commercial cleaning business in the office, medical, factory and educational sectors. Only be going that extra mile and exceeding expectation will we continue to grow and provide opportunities.
People development will be important in 2020 and we’ve already started to encourage managers to complete their IOSH qualifications and have recently had eleven of the team on a First Aid at Work course as this gives confidence and may even save a life or two in the future if required. An excellent life skill for those who attended. We’ll continue to look at ways to develop staff and training will become more important as time goes by.
Looking after the environment has always been very important to us (our milk round way of ensuring plastic never goes to landfill has been very successful) and we’ll continue to look at ways to become even ‘greener’ right across the business. We do produce a lot of paper and this is something we’re looking to reduce in this decade by utilising software and systems to become as paperless as we can be. Electric vehicles are now beginning to provide options and one of our company vehicles is a hybrid and will arrive in March 2020. It’s a start but we know that we’ll need to invest heavily in electric vehicles as they become more accessible and battery know-how, charging technology and battery life time improves. We’re hoping to collaborate with a number of waste providers in early 2020 to help manage clients waste better. This is something we’ve wanted to do for a while but finding a like-minded supplier with the same values has been difficult. Hopefully now we’re about to work with a new partner to help improve and increase the service offering on waste management. More to follow very soon on this.
As a new decade begins, we’re very positive and excited about the future. I’m sure there will be challenges but we hope the opportunities are far more in number and we’ll continue to grow and provide more jobs and positive openings for our excellent staff right across the business.
Happy New Year and we wish you all success in 2020 and beyond.