Andrew Onions, director at MacLellan Rubber, gives his very own 'state of the union' address following completion of the year-end accounts for the financial year 2016/17.
2016/2017. What a year it was for #TeamMacLellan, bouncing back with gusto from the previous financial year against a backdrop of financial, political and domestic upheaval. So, how did we do?
We increased sales.
Our top line sales increased by a very "Len Goodman-esque" figure of seven per cent.
We improved our bottom line.
And turned it into a health black number.
We upped sticks.
We evacuated Neachells Lane, the place that MacLellan had called home for the past 12 years and some of us had been incarcerated for more years than we care to remember. We had a massive spring-clean - gone were the rolls where the dust had dust, and the files we kept just in case Freddie McNulty from 1947 decided to place another order for his "Rubber Thingymajig" one more time before he went to the great workshop in the sky.
The local rubbish collection companies, sorry Recycling Environmental Consultants, were starting to wonder where they were going to put the 100,000 tonnes of rubbish we, and our dearly departed sister companies, had accumulated over the previous Century! Four hundred and thirty five trips later, and after installing shiny brand new racking, uninstalling it and installing it again (long story which I won't bore anyone with further), we were happily ensconced in our shiny new (to us) warehouse in Planetary Road, with our newly painted floor (that we drove over too quickly so most of the paint is now long gone!), ready to do battle once more in our mission to support the Gasket Cutting & Sealing Industries.
Despite our very own Simon "Dimbleby" Winfield's best efforts in becoming a Z-List celebrity (he's still waiting the call from Big Brother), appearing on TV, Radio and in the Fleet Street press to campaign for the Remain Vote, the country voted "Get out of there" an subsequently Sterling became almost as valuable as a North Face quilted jacket in the Sahara Dessert.
MacLellan's had to adapt, and adapt we did! The move made MacLellan's cost base lower and the company leaner. This enabled MacLellan to "ride" an increase in its material costs, and we were able to mostly maintain our costs to our valuable customer base.
We strived for World Domination.
Well, not really. In January 2017, MacLellan had the opportunity to purchase the trading element of Thames Valley Supplies, who had been a valued customer for many years. They had been very unfortunate in losing their founder and driving force in the previous 12 months. This acquisition allowed us to grow the trading side of our business, further spreading our fixed cost base and assisting in keeping our prices low to our customers.
This move prompted unfounded rumours in the market of our invasion into Gasket Cutting. However, despite our investment in some new Stanley Blades and a Black & Decker workbench, we can confirm that we neither possess the technical or the equipment to do so. We will continue to reiterate to those who will listen that we do not cut gaskets, however from time to time, we source gaskets from a variety of our customers as reciprocal business.
We stocked up.
Despite a small hiccup in 2017 where demand and new customers caught us by the proverbial "short and curlies", we have steadily improved both the stock profile and overall volume of those "Bread & Milk" (apologies to any readers with food intolerances) items you need every day. We now have 50 per cent more Commercial Stock than previously held and are also strengthening our range with the introduction of new products and additional products from our European partners.
We continue to work damn hard.
We don't always get it right, but we continue to work tirelessly in our pursuit of excellent Customer Service. We measure and review our performance daily, and we take customer feedback seriously. We strive to improve every day of every week. We take very seriously our role in supporting the Gasket & Sealing Industry.
A note of thanks.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, our customer, for your support during our last financial year and we very much look forward to working with our customers, both old and new, during the year ahead.