Whilst I have a wealth of experience across many business sectors, coming from outside of the industry meant I had a lot to learn and to learn quickly.
Following an introduction to the business back in the summer of 2016, I attended the Beaulieu Show – and so began my introduction and journey into the holiday park industry.
This gave me a great chance to see first hand the sheer scale of the industry and some of the fantastic operators, manufacturers and businesses that operate in it. I also had the opportunity to meet with Ben Hart, Vinyl Solutions’ new Managing Director.
Having met with members of the Vinyl Solutions team it struck me straight away how much everyone cared about the business, the industry and, most importantly, their customers.
When I joined the team, it was agreed from the start that my role would be “fluid” and based on the needs of the business and our customers. I really had to hit the ground running!
My key aims in the first 6 months were to get to know and to settle as part of the Vinyl Solutions team. I wanted to spend time learning about and understanding the Vinyl Solutions business and to also learn about and understand the UK Decking market. I also spent time learning about and understanding our key customers and park operators and to start building successful relationships.
Nine months in I really feel like I’m getting to grips with the industry now and how it operates – it’s great to be a part of it.
The initial plan was for me to join as “Business Development Manager” and to pursue new opportunities for the business.
As the business has grown and things have developed I have also taken responsibility for some of our major holiday parks throughout West Sussex, Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight. This has enabled us to provide a more regular and thorough service to key customers across these regions.
In my opinion, Vinyl Solutions has grown to be a very successful professional business. I believe this is because everybody who works here has only the best interests of our customers, the business and each other at heart.
“Everyone not only want to excel and work together to exceed customers’ expectations on a daily basis, they want to exceed each other’s expectations too. It’s great to be part of such a great team that all share that ethos.”
Every SME has its frustrations; businesses often grow faster than they expect. Sometimes internal processes, and general infrastructure lag behind. At Vinyl Solutions, we’re is always striving to implement, monitor, review and improve areas that cause us concern. That, in turn, enables us to improve the products and service that we offer our customers.
If problems arise we don’t hide and we are transparent in the way that we work with people and conduct our business, learning by our mistakes along the way.
Through no fault of anyone in the business, we needed to service some of our parks better, and so I set out to do this. Quite simply I keep putting the work in and will never give up.
I could use all the clichés in the book, however, the truth is customers won’t trust you until you do what you say you’re going to do. You have to be professional, listen, understand their problems and do the best you can to help them find solutions.
That is something that I, and the rest of the team, are striving to do day-in day-out. It takes hard work and commitment, but it is paying off and our customers really appreciate that effort and the professional approach. It also helps that we provide the best biscuits in the industry and enjoy a cup of tea with customers! I’m enjoying spending valuable time with the holiday parks, getting to know them well, and their challenges.
Not everything is perfect, as a growing business we’re still learning, constantly trying to improve. We continue to listen to our customers, their challenges and make sure we correct any mistakes we do make. We want to provide the best possible service and products that we can – that will only come with hard work and a shared commitment to exceed our customers’ expectations.
As I move towards my second year in the business I’m filled with optimism about the future. Building on the successes of the existing business along with so many opportunities for growth. There is so much untapped potential out there.
“With the shared values, dedication and commitment of the team, I’m very excited for the years ahead.”
In my first week, I met with a key senior member of one of our major holiday park operator partners whom visited our stand at the Beaulieu Show. I shall never forget his comment when he knew I was from outside of the industry. He said: “you’ll either last 4 weeks or be involved for a lifetime”.
Some nine months after joining the very successful Vinyl Solutions operation I am more than delighted to say I am still here! I’m thoroughly enjoying the industry and god willing will be here for a very long time. I’m very much looking forward to re-acquainting with familiar faces at the Beaulieu Show in September where my industry journey began nearly a year ago.
By Ben Hart, Managing Director