Garry Johnson, co-director of brokerage firm UK Waste Solutions Ltd (UKWSL) reflects on the last 12 months and discusses the company’s growth plans in what continues to be a challenging economic climate.
Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company once said:
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it”.
Garry Johnson, co-director, UKWSL
It’s been a summer of surprises, knocked out of the Euros by Iceland and Brexit. As a result of our decision to leave the EU businesses are being understandably cautious, which makes sense given the years of negotiations with EU countries that lie ahead and a general feeling of limbo.
We, however, regard this pivotal time as an opportunity to step up and stand out from a sea of caution. Many of the best companies show their strength in times of weakness.
2015/16 was a very successful year for UKWSL. We were successful in winning a number of major national contracts and this was reflected in our financial performance with our turnover increasing from £15.6M to £24.5M exceeding our predictions. We have also had the pleasure of significantly growing the UKWSL team, so much so that by the end of 2016 we will be moving into offices three times larger than our current premises. And much to our staff’s delight it has a much larger car park too!
So how have we done it, and more importantly what are we going to do next? Well last summer we held our first annual staff conference complete with new branding across the whole UKWSL platform. A year on and back in our finest attire we recently held our second annual staff conference. This started with presentations outlining the five-year strategy for our company and the direction we will be taking to become the waste management company of the future. Of course this was then followed by a beautiful buffet and a small glass of wine.
During the conference we announced the restructure of senior management. Chris and I started UKWSL in 2003 and from this two-man band we have expanded to a company with over 60 employees. As the business expands, we as directors have had to adapt the way we work and delegate responsibilities to our trusted members of staff. We believe the best way to predict the future is to invent it and in order to put that in motion we are in the process of building an experienced and highly skilled senior management team with different backgrounds and specialties.
From April 2017 we will implement a Board structure with Max Kanda promoted to the position of Managing Director. This will also provide the opportunity for progression to directorship for a number of our department heads and members of the senior management team. Currently, key members of staff are undergoing training and participating in ‘Future Leaders’ courses ensuring they are equipped with the all the tools and knowledge they need to be strong leaders and direct UKWSL in to the future.
Part of the development of UKWSL is to position our company further into the Facilities Management (FM) sector opposed to being purely a waste company. Branching out and supplying a range of soft FM services such as energy, deep cleaning and security. This is where are our sister companies shine, Innovate FM and UK Bee.
This year has been filled with challenges and successes. As a company we are constantly developing and adapting to be able to provide what we see as the best service in terms of quality, value and environmental justice. We very much look forward to what the future holds and what we can make of it.