Having reported 'record' sales figures for the last quarter of 2016, Blake’s Managing Director, Michael Barter, comments on the challenges and successes of 2016 and his optimism for 2017.
“Whilst 2016 saw the business delivering its greatest sales figures to date in the last quarter, the first six months were somewhat more challenging with performance tracking below plan. We had to take strategic action and made a number of key decisions.
“Initially we appointed Graham Carlin as General Manager, this recruitment allowed myself and the other directors to have more time to focus on our key skill sets. Having Graham on board meant I could get out on the road again, I love selling and I firmly believe that customers appreciate seeing a managing director engaging at this level.
“Graham has had a definite and positive effect on the culture of our company. One of his first projects were focused on making several improvements to operations, resulting in our warehouse pick rate rising to 99.8 per cent.
“We have also concentrated on diversification into postal packaging and bespoke packaging and set up our first hub of excellence in Edinburgh, giving us a base in Scotland. All this positive activity saw sales grow astronomically in the last quarter of the year, with November’s figures 65 per cent up on July.
“As we begin 2017 I look forward to an exciting year with many projects that started in their infancy in 2016 coming to life; the new i17 will be launched with over 70 new products as we continue our diversification into postal packaging, including cash and security bags and bespoke printed presentation packaging. We are also planning another three hubs of excellence in London, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham (further press releases to be disclosed shortly) so we can extend our expertise across the UK.
“None of this would be possible without the amazing team we have at Blake, a group of people who are experts in their field and bring a passion and enthusiasm I could only have dreamt of when I started the business 16 years ago.”