2023 Retrospective

After the focus on meeting our commitments to customers in the run up to a well-earned shutdown over the Christmas period, now is an excellent time to take stock and reflect on the successes and achievements of 2023, before focusing on our goals and objectives for 2024. To do this we have taken insight from each member of our leadership team, to get their individual perspectives on their highlights of the year just gone, and what has made it a successful year across the business.

In this review we hear from Helen Culloden (Managing Director), Matt Orme (Operations Manager) and Matthew Barton (Director). Each brings a different perspective, based on their experience, responsibilities and the challenges that they need to address as Bensons pushes to provide outstanding solutions, service and careers in engineering and manufacturing.

Helen Culloden – Managing Director

Bensons has a vision to be recognised as one of the UK’s leading control panel manufacturers, by customers, suppliers and employees. This requires us to have a continued commitment to providing the highest level of service to our customers, whilst at the same time providing an excellent environment to allow our people to flourish and progress their careers.

2023 has seen us continue to progress towards this vision, the successful delivery of technically challenging projects with new customers in multiple sectors has confirmed this capability. In addition, the successful completion of two ISO 9001 audits, with no issues has shown that whilst we are at heart a skills-based business, we have the underlying systems and processes to ensure we operate consistently and repeatedly.

None of this is possible without our team, and it is rewarding to see our continued journey towards being recognised as an employer of choice in the region and within our industry. This has been evidenced by an increased score in our annual employee engagement survey, as well as picking up awards at the Leeds Manufacturing Festival.

Matt Orme – Operations Manager

2023 has been a major year for me at Bensons, being presented with the opportunity to transition into the Operations Manager position in April. This has brought both new responsibilities and also new opportunities associated with the integration of our procurement, manufacturing and test teams at the same time as allowing me to progress my career within a forward thinking organization.

Highlights from 2023 include further embedding our Continuous Improvement activities, such that they are now accepted as the norm. Through the increased level of collaboration (internal and external) this has engendered, we have been able to successfully on-board and deliver technically challenging projects with new customers across multiple sectors.

In addition, it has been rewarding to see the results of our on-going commitment to apprenticeships, with Dan joining the team in April, at the start of his apprentice journey, and Ben successfully completing his apprenticeship in November. With plans to recruit at least three more apprentices in 2024, this is an exciting time for all involved.

Matthew Barton – Director

Looking back on 2023, we can see the benefits of the investment of time, energy and commitment across the team over recent years. As a business we have continued to move forward, whilst at the same time continuing to plan for a successful future.

We have successfully entered vibrant new sectors, which present the opportunity for growth and expansion, in particular EV Charging where we are working with major industry players and have gone from building two prototype control panels in January to delivering seventy productionised versions in the final quarter of the year. Similarly, distribution boards for charging pillars have been built and deployed around Yorkshire.

Alongside this, we have secured and are delivering projects in the commercial Solar PV sector, and have grown our customer base in areas of historical strength such as Building Management Systems, the swimming pool and distributed energy sectors.

Continuing the sustainability theme, we have installed our own PV system and reaped the benefits over the summer, at a time when energy costs for business were still a major concern. In addition, funding from the LEP has been secured to support us on our low carbon journey in the form of CO2 footprint mapping and developing a plan for the reduction of our carbon emissions in the first half of 2023.

Looking internally, in the first quarter of the year we carried out a root and branch review of our design systems and processes. This lead to a successful pilot project in the final quarter which demonstrated opportunities for productivity improvement of 30 to 50%, thereby allowing us to improve the quality of service that we can provide to our customers.

Looking ahead to 2024

Our focus now is firmly on the future, the achievements of the year just gone have provided us with firm foundations for 2024. With a strong order book and opportunities for growth, both commercially and professionally for our team, Bensons finds itself at an exciting time to successfully progress onwards.

Celebrating Success

In the hotly contested Employer of the Year category, we are again proud to announce that Bensons was recognised as being 'Highly Commended', reflecting the continued commitment to the team to Providing outstanding solutions, service and careers in engineering and manufacturing.

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Refurbishment Complete

Our customers and team now have access to a high-quality and effective space for collaboration, team building and downtime

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Making the Vision come to Life - A Perspective from our new Head of Operations – Tony Weston

Since joining Bensons at the end of April, a lot of my time has been

focused on learning the systems and the basics of what we do.

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Working Environment Upgrade

Every business is a work in progress, there are always ways to make it better, be that from a perspective of people, process or the facilities and infrastructure.

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