2019 is a significant year for me personally, in the coming months I will be celebrating my 3 year anniversary at Vinyl Solutions, two of my children will be starting a new school in September and I’m celebrating a milestone birthday in the next week!
For Vinyl Solutions 2019 has been at full throttle! Our team is continuing to grow, we’ve also seen some significant business wins, development in new regions and major new partnerships; it is a very exciting time for us as a business.
It has not been without its challenges though, the current economic instability (partly due to Brexit) has affected the whole industry.
Despite this, we are continuing to stay true to our values in order to provide the most professional, premium quality decking service and products available in the holiday park industry.
The fantastic news is that our partners and customers are recognising this. As a result, we’re continuing to forge stronger relationships and growing as a business.
Over the past 6 months our team has continued to grow. We’ve recruited Tracy Kemp as a Regional Account Manager for West Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. This is a key region for us and this has also enabled Matt Andrews, our Business Development Manager, to support me closer on major developments and other business opportunities.
We’ve also recruited Darron Wilson, who has become our first Regional Account Manager based in the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region. Our holiday park operator partners have a number of major holiday parks in that area so this is a key geographical area for them and for us. We’re looking to grow further in this region over the coming months.
Also, Sandra Marsden joined us last month to bolster our Sales Support Team. This is another key role for our business, as we approach another busy Summer season, it is very important that our Sales Support Team provide an efficient and professional service to our customers.
It doesn’t stop there, we’re also soon to be recruiting a Finance Manager to head up our finance team – news on this will be announced shortly.
In recent weeks, we’ve be delighted to announce a number of key new partnerships.
Last month we were pleased to be selected as one of the preferred suppliers for Park Leisure Holiday Homes. Park Leisure own and operate 12 holiday parks across the UK, and we will be supplying decking across these parks – enabling them to offer the best choice of products to their customers. This is on top of being selected as one of the preferred suppliers for Bourne Leisure – one of the largest park operators in the UK. This is clearly a very significant partnership for us.
It’s not just our park operator customers that we’ve been partnering with. We’ve also worked with Pathfinder Homes at the NEC and in Sussex to showcase our products alongside Pathfinder’s latest lodges. We’re really pleased with this collaboration, and our latest composite decking products looked fantastic on their new lodges (even if I do say so myself!).
One other very special partnership I’d like to mention is our recent announcement of our Charity of the Year for 2019 – Julia’s House. After two fantastic years of supporting the British Heart Foundation, we thought it would be nice to show our support for a local charity and the great work of Julia’s House. It truly is a fantastic charity and I have been humbled to hear about the amazing work they do. We’re planning a range of fundraising activities throughout 2019 – including taking part in Dorset’s Great Plane Pull in August – all to help raise funds for Julia’s House. If you are able to support this great cause I would be very grateful!
In recent industry research by the UK Caravan & Camping Alliance, they found that the UK holiday park and caravan industry is worth £9.3 billion per annum to the UK economy. It is a huge industry, which we’re proud to be part of. There are so many opportunities out there, and despite the current economic challenges I mentioned earlier, we’re still winning some great business with our park operator partners.
We’ve been working very hard on a major development and clubhouse deck for The Lakes Rookley (ARIA Resorts) on the Isle of Wight, a significant development on Claudia’s Field (Bunn Leisure) in West Sussex and a fantastic new composite deck at Weymouth Bay Holiday Park (Haven) in Dorset to name a few!
We’ve also recently announced that we were selected as the exclusive decking supplier for a major £10 million development at Away Resort’s Sandy Balls Holiday Village. We’ve been very busy working on this over recent weeks and the first phase of the new development is scheduled to open at Easter.
Clearly all of these projects have been keeping us busy, but we know there are many more opportunities for us to work closer with our holiday park partners.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, we are continuing to stay true to our values as we aspire to be recognised as the most professional decking service provider in the industry.
The most encouraging thing from our recent successes is that I’m hearing more and more regularly from our partners, suppliers and customers that they are impressed with our professionalism and excellent service.
Every time I hear positive feedback like this, it makes me immensely proud of my team.
I also realise that we can’t stop there, we need to continue improving as a team and as a business to provide a superior product and service to our holiday park operator partners, and their customers. As we continue on this journey I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my team for their amazing work so far in 2019. There is clearly a great team spirit in the business, and this has been key to our recent successes.
As we move towards the Easter holidays, and what is the busiest season for our industry, I’d like to thank you all – partners, suppliers and customers – for your continued support for Vinyl Solutions and me.
By Ben Hart, Managing Director