Growth planning for a business is crucial, and a Caerphilly print company has achieved this through prudent acquisitions.
With support and expertise provided by Business Wales AGP, CPS has become a successful and growing firm. And it all started because founder Simon Green needed to secure supply chains for his clients.
Here, Laura James of CPS, tells how Simon Green has nurtured and expanded his company. She also shares advice for other business leaders wanting to follow a path to growth.
Tell us about CPS
CPS all began when another business fell into problems. These problems proved to be an opportunity for Simon, who was a successful print broker at the time. Simon acquired the business to protect his supply chain for his clients and turned it around.
This led Simon to acquire a series of businesses, bolting on different print capabilities to his growing group of companies. We now employ 24 people at our base in Caerphilly.
We have focused heavily on targeted marketing campaigns for specific products, such as, for example, the mattress industry for printed sewn, woven and adhesive labels. We've found some real success doing this and have targeted other areas – including the furniture industry, winning business in both retail and manufacturing across the UK and Europe.
What are your proudest moments in business so far?
When Simon started the company, he wanted to be a full-service printer for all his client's needs. Reaching that goal, achieving that milestone as the company has grown and developed has made everyone here incredibly proud.
We've been awarded various industry certifications, like the ISO 9001, SEDEX and FSC certifications, which have also given us a great deal of satisfaction in the work we're doing here.
If you were starting again, what would you do differently?
Our growth strategy has very much been about acquisitive expansion, which provides its own challenges.
Could we have been more efficient if we'd implemented group-wide processes earlier? We think so.
And perhaps there was too much autonomy within the existing team.
But now we have put group processes and infrastructure in place, and there are efficiencies and consistency of service across all product lines. It's been a learning process, but I think being in business is a constant education.
How has support from Business Wales AGP helped your business?
We've been part of Business Wales AGP since September 2016.
In that time, we've worked with a variety of coaches to help with sales planning, marketing, ISO assessment, internal structure and training – all of which has enabled us to grow and develop.
The relationship between our commercial team and the Business Wales AGP relationship manager has been key to us being able to unlock support from various Welsh Government sources.
Since joining Business Wales AGP, our turnover has increased by 85%. The programme has been hugely valuable to us.
What advice and guidance would you give other businesses starting out?
● Be decisive and make those hard decisions – the worst decision is not making one.
● Build a team that you can trust.
● Be honest - if something does not feel right, it usually is not.
● Ask for support.