In 1985 Midland Filtration Limited started – as with so many SMEs – on a kitchen table with lots of energy, no staff and very little money!
The basic concept was to supply the heating, ventilating and air conditioning sector with air filters for their service work. As the market was supplied pretty much by the manufacturers, the idea of a stock holding distributor was fairly radical. However, with a £4million turnover, and operations in Nottingham and Scotland, we’ve proven that the concept works.
Our clients range from cafes to contractors and councils, from schools to retail to blue chip industries.
With a highly trained and highly motivated workforce, we were short of only one thing – space. We had been discussing a move for some years having long outgrown our premises at West Avenue, Nottingham.
Whilst staff and clients loved our old premises, it was nonetheless tightly confined within an early 20th Century housing estate, and in fact had, allegedly, been an original builders yard for Jesse Gray.
Over the years, Midland Filtration had taken up the whole of the site, which stretches back some 100 yards from the road, and our options were decreasing. Lack of extra storage and no room whatsoever for expansion gave only one obvious choice.
2008 came and went, and with the business looking up again coming out of the recession, the idea of a move hardened into reality during 2016.
Natwest, our bankers for the whole of our 32 years in business, were approached for funding. Nick Piggott and his team at Cumberland Place proved extremely helpful – even down to supplying the details of our new premises to be.
Yvonne at Clayton & Brewill saw us seamlessly through the minefield of accountancy strictures, and Julie Pope at Fraser Brown worked her magic on the legal front. All we were left to do was pack it all up and move it 8 miles down the road to Bingham!
We were told by the doom mongers that the move would cost at least 100K; that months after we would still be in chaos; and that it would take us 18 months to recoup the lost business that the whole process would result in.
In the event, it took us 4 weeks of working 3 hours per night with between 4 and 12 staff to clean the place, have it painted and carpeted, move racking around in the store, move furniture in the office, and gradually move stocks across to their new home.
Two days before we moved, we closed production down and had it up and operational again, in the new premises, within 24 hours.
Our office staff worked until lunchtime, on the Friday, at West Avenue. They then picked up their personal effects and drove over to Bingham to set up their new desks.
All phones were transferred to our East Kilbride operation for three hours on Friday afternoon, and – other than coming in over the Saturday morning to turn the offices into functional spaces – we were up and running again at 8.30am on the Monday morning! I may have been found asleep in my chair by 11.00am that first day, but no other casualties were reported!
Our new premises are spacious with plenty of offices, which, as yet, are uninhabited. They are fully heated and air conditioned throughout with canteens and staff facilities and a fully equipped Boardroom.
The stores are vast and although we have plans to install a mezzanine and virtually double our storage, there is no great hurry to do so.
Externally the unit is imposing and stands well in its own fenced and gated compound in Bingham’s prime industrial area.
The road links are phenomenal with the A1 minutes away with easy access to Newark, Grantham, Nottingham and Leicester.
Both staff and clients love the place which is a real plus, and instead of annoying neighbours by asking them to move their cars to let our vans in and out of our yard, we are welcomed every day with smiles by the other businesses around us.
The move has been the breath of fresh air we all needed. It has given us our own premises for virtually the same price we were paying rentals for previously, and has provided us with both the scope and the enthusiasm to go out and double our market share over the coming decade. I only wish we had done it years ago!