In 2020 we believed that there would be significant future opportunity to grow the business. Although the first challenge was to navigate the pandemic, we knew we could capitalise on the market if we correctly positioned the company.
At board level, we made a firm decision that we would invest in all areas of the business and maximise the opportunity as the markets re-opened. We invested in stock, invested in developing our people, invested in new product, RD&I projects and finally invested in several strategic new roles.
Christian Dijkstra, our CFO, was promoted to Head of Strategy, which created a new CFO opportunity. We always try to recruit from within, and Robert Pickerill, our Financial Controller fought off tough competition from strong external candidates to successfully land the CFO role.
This created an opportunity for a new Financial Controller, and Sile Smith started with the business in March. Stephen Harpur, an external candidate, was successful in being appointed the Commercial Director’s role and will join the business in June. This is a new role for the company and Stephen will assist me with commercial direction and work on some key strategic projects.
Michael Moran, our Technical & QC Manager was promoted and is taking over Logistics and our Customised Conversion department. Michael’s new title is Head of Technical & Operations.
Emma Carter is taking over as the Manager of National Lighting Showrooms and moves into this role in the coming months. Emma has worked for the business for over 10 years, most recently as Area Sales Manager in Ireland. She brings a wealth of industry experience from her time working in the Irish market.
We have also employed three graduates to join the technical team and purchasing team. We have expanded our customer service team to improve our customers experience further when dealing with ROBUS.
One of the challenges last year for the board was getting time to work on the business’s long-term strategy. We wanted to make space to focus on this area and hence we created the new role, Head of Strategy, that Christian is moving into. We have a very clear vision of becoming our customers’ most trusted LED lighting brand but getting time to work on the project to help deliver this was becoming difficult.
Stephen Harpur offers fresh eyes to our business and brings a wealth of experience coming from his previous employer, Lidl. Stephen worked in several different departments, including commercial, financial planning, projects, sales and operations. Again, this is a brand-new role and allows the business the bandwidth to focus on a number of key objectives.
All senior management positions are now complete and from July 1, we will have a powerful management team to drive the business onto its next phase of growth. Naturally, this growth will create further opportunities for our people and therefore recruitment rarely stops. We are also recruiting for new Areas Sales Managers for both the Irish and Scottish divisions.
We are always looking at ways to improve the business and internally look at each department asking the question: What can we do better? What does best in class look like? How do we make incremental improvements each day?
This continual review helps us to deliver on our value proposition, which is Trust ROBUS to be easy to deal with, Trust ROBUS to supply high quality lighting products and Trust ROBUS for market-led innovation. If we continue to improve in these areas naturally, we will grow.