As mentioned in my previous blog, 2017 was a recording breaking year for Vinyl Solutions in terms of orders fulfilled. This was all down to everyone’s extreme hard work and our team spirit. With such a successful year, the expectations for this year are high but we must not be complacent. It is important that we continue to invest in key areas so we can continue to grow, whilst maintaining an excellent product and customer service – this is what we pride ourselves on. I’m pleased to report that this is what has happened.
We’ve recruited 7 new members in to the team since January across a number of areas including Sales Support, Operations and Procurement. All of these individuals have been carefully selected, not only for their wealth of experience but also for having the right attitude and values that we consider key to our business.
Growing a small team at such a rapid rate obviously has its risks. Will the new members fit in? Can they jell together as a team? Will they help the teams deliver their objectives? I’m proud to say the existing team have been excellent in welcoming all of the new team members with open arms, and showing them the ropes quickly. If anything, it appears to have brought the teams even closer together – that team spirit is still as strong as it ever was – and that is going to be needed as we head in to our busiest time of the year!
Not only have we grown the team, we also are keen to continue developing our people. In March, we promoted Lucy Waine internally from providing support to order processing to Regional Account Manager for the Hampshire and Dorset region. This is our busiest region, and is a key role within the business with a large number of parks to service. I am delighted to report that Lucy has stepped up to this new role very well. She is already working hard to develop the relationships with our partners across the region.
Promoting existing team members gives me great pleasure. I am keen for others in the team to continue developing their skills and progress their careers within our business.
As a business, we continue to focus on building better relationships with our partners – the park operators. Understanding their challenges is important to us; if we can help them – it will ultimately benefit their end customers – so this is key to us, and them.
In May we were delighted to welcome Andrew Evans, National Sales Director from Parkdean Resorts, to our offices in Poole. This gave a chance for our sales team to hear first-hand from one of our biggest partners about their business and the challenges they face. This was a really insightful session and just one part of helping us to understand our partners and helping provide a better service to them.
In the same month, we were also really pleased to partner with Parkdean Resorts for their exhibition stand and competition held at This Morning Live! in Birmingham. It also got National TV coverage on ITV as Phil and Holly from This Morning! danced around on our deck. It was exciting to see our decking on the National stage! Earlier this month we also partnered with Littlesea Holiday Park, a Haven park in Weymouth, at the Poole Harbour Boat Show. It was great to work closely with their team, on what turned out to be a very successful weekend – with a number of leads and visits lined up with customers.
Both of these events showed me that great partnerships work wonders for both our partners and us! Having a common goal and shared vision of providing a great service with our partners is powerful and I hope we can do more activities like this over the coming months and years.
We are also continually looking for new opportunities and potential partners. Last month we were pleased to become exclusive decking suppliers for The Waterside Group. They have three parks in and around the Weymouth area. We are delighted to be working across all of their parks, helping them deliver an excellent product and service to their customers.
With a growing list of partners and holiday parks to service, we need to make sure we can provide excellent service.
In April, we recruited our first full time fitting team working from Poole. Although we work with some fantastic fitting partners across the UK as sub-contractors, this was an ideal time to recruit a team directly within the business. This has provided us with an invaluable resource. It is enabling us to offer greater flexibility, and some faster turnarounds for our customers.
It is not just about speed though, Jason and Luke take great pride in delivering a premium quality finish with real attention to detail. This is what our customers have come to expect. Jason and Luke are delivering on that and it is great to have them as part of the team.
The year hasn’t been without its challenges, with a late winter and challenging snowy weather in March and April. This has had a knock-on impact across the industry. Less holiday homes and lodges were sold in these months across a number of parks which has meant a slower start to the ‘crazy season’. Thankfully, now the sun is out again there are signs that this is returning to normal.
I want to congratulate all the Vinyl Solutions team for pulling together during the rough weather to ensure we continued to deliver a great service despite Mother Nature’s best efforts!
2018 has been another excellent year so far for Vinyl Solutions. Despite the backdrop of the challenging weather and market conditions, our team has continued to grow and develop and build on our relationships with our partners. As we move in to the second half of the year, I’m keen for this to continue.
Over the coming months, I’m personally going to spend much more time with our partners. I will be travelling out with our team of Regional Account Managers to meet more customers and partners across the country.
It is important to me to experience first-hand the challenges that our partners have at a park level, so Vinyl Solutions can be best placed to support them. We all share a common goal and vision and that is to provide the best possible service we can to our customers.
By Ben Hart, Managing Director