Following its re-financing exercise at the end of 2009, the Widdowson Group is reporting a remarkable turnaround for its logistics services business. Increased confidence in the company has resulted in new business wins worth over £3m and the renewal of existing contracts to the value of £5m.
John Hawksworth commercial director of the Widdowson Group comments, "We’ve had a tremendous start to the year and our success can be put down to a combination of a forward thinking strategy and good old fashioned hard work. Also, due to our customer base, we are going through a particularly high volume promotional period in connection with the forthcoming World Cup.
"Our 2010 strategy has given us an increased commercial presence in the marketplace, a more competitive cost model and enhanced awareness of our range of services.
"The newly formulated commercial team includes two new business development managers and two key account managers; this change of approach is already paying dividends as we begin to realise our growth plans.
"In the past uncompetitive pricing has cost us dear, by making significant cost savings, however, we’ve become 10% more competitive. We are already reaping the rewards by renewing valuable existing contracts in the food and packaging sectors as well as winning clients back."
He continues, "Appointing the services of a local marketing company, Leapfrog Marketing, is increasing the awareness of our organisation both locally and nationally.
"Our message is that the Widdowson Group is developing into an end to end supply chain provider. This has been a gradual process. We have always had a strong reputation for a high level of service and flexibility in the transport and warehousing sector. Over the past few years, however, we have made considerable investment into diversification, concentrating on added value services such as contract packing that complement our core business.
"The challenge has been to offer customers a totally integrated logistics solution that is reliable, flexible and cost effective. Our clients benefit as they only have to deal with one point of contact for their complete sequence of supply chain activities. We take direct delivery of products from the manufacturer, carry out the necessary product manipulation and store it until it is called off for delivery into a particular store.
"As a consequence we have found that more and more of our customers are relying on us to look after their entire logistics operation. This is enabling us to thrive in what is still a difficult economic climate and we are on course to grow the business to achieve our goal of a £30m turnover by 2013."