JVL Homeware Solutions

Halifax homeware importing business advances their cultural model using SGP business support

JVL Homeware Solutions was started in 1987 by John Veitch who built the business from his home conservatory importing homeware including doormats, rugs, and basket-ware. The business has grown from modest beginnings and is now looking to the future with exciting aspirations. Under the leadership of Mohamed Bouabida (Managing Director), who has been there from the start, the business has grown rapidly in recent years.

Operations Manager Michelle Bouabida stated, “We now supply and distribute a wider range of household products, but doormats still account for over half the business. We operate from a 70,000-square foot warehouse facility and supply a wide array of customers including a strong online presence on e-commerce platforms. Over the last few years, we have developed our ability to deliver and direct dispatch for online retailers. This has been a huge strength during the pandemic as more customers are moving towards online shopping.”

To help with their growth ambitions, Michelle reached out to the Strategic Growth Programme (SGP) of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership. SGP Growth Manager Nick Palmer, led the business through a business diagnostic review using the market leading GROWTHmapper® tool. The results of the analysis helped to design an action plan that would shape the businesses cultural model to stimulate behavioural change.

Gary Sifleet of EDUCE Learning worked with the business to carry out the action plan which focused on middle management and how they work as a team to influence change and develop a proactive rather than reactive mindset. Other parts of the action plan were to introduce KPI’s, employee engagement activities and a review of meetings to enable a better balance of time and effort.

Dean Jepson, Finance Director stated, “Although it has only been a short while since the action plan was conducted, the business has clear evidence of driving errors down to 0.5% and is experiencing improved communication between office and warehouse. A new e-commerce role has been created to support with the growing number of Internet customers with further plans to expand their telesales, customer service and marketing teams soon. They have also Invested in a new IT infrastructure to maintain security and resilience”.

Nick Palmer commented, “It’s reassuring to see employers continue to invest in their people development during these uncertain times. The work that Gary Sifleet does is a perfect example of how SGP can support employers. Investment to align culture, habits and purpose undoubtedly helps employers to emerge from unusual events like COVID in a strong position to grow forward”.

Future plans for the business include bringing new products to market and to develop their direct dispatch function with retailers to support their online presence. They also plan to develop scanning systems within the warehouse to improve efficiency and effectiveness which will provide greater transparency to customers in relation to their orders.

When asked what advice she’d give to a business considering using SGP, Michelle Bouabida responded, “This has been a valuable exercise in helping us better understand our organisation and where we need to improve and also providing the support.”

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