Five Years On

April 2023 marks five years since the Barton siblings (Helen, Matthew and Greg) took Bensons back into full family ownership. With a long-standing reputation for solving customer problems with high levels of customer service and high-quality solutions, the question we asked ourselves was how do you approach the challenge of improving a successful business?

First off, we took the age old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” - we didn’t want to come in and change things for the sake of it and we knew in the short-term we needed to continue the focus on providing the same excellent solutions as before. In the background, however, we focused hard on what improvements we could implement to make it easier for our team to do a great job and hence provide an even better service to our customers.

Good service depends on great people using the right tools and following good processes

Bensons relies on its highly skilled team to deliver our solutions. Since 2018 we have invested in our team at all levels. An early, quick win was providing a better environment to work in. The factory was painted, LED lighting installed and the heating turned up. That was the easy bit. Alongside improving the environment, Bensons has transitioned to a more collaborative, problem-solving approach underpinned by listening to our staff. We have now completed three annual employee engagement surveys, which has allowed us to target improvements driven by the needs of not only our customers but also our team.

Career Development

To facilitate career development, training has been provided on an individual and team basis to enhance business capabilities. This has been in the form of apprenticeships, NVQs and Continuous Improvement training across the entire business, as well as investment in the development of our leadership team to enable them to drive the business forwards.

Apprentices have been recruited to ensure a steady flow of talent into the business, providing future resilience.

Design Package Upgrade

Our electrical design package was up-graded to AutoCAD Electrical early on, giving dramatically improved standards of design, optimised for manufacture. An ERP system developed by E-Max was implanted to give us visibility and control of our inventory and manufacturing costs.

Employee Engagement

Our most recent Employee Engagement survey shows a 10% improvement in engagement, with the benefits of an engaged workforce being seen in a high-level of staff retention in a turbulent job market, and the high-level of repeat business we continue to see from our customers. Our customer service is demonstrated by On Time Delivery for the first quarter of 2023 being 96%, despite the global supply chain challenges.

Customers are the lifeblood of any business, look after them!

Bensons has continued to provide our customers with the solutions they need, when they need them. By investing in our people, processes and tools over the last 5 years, we have been able to continue to deliver projects small and large to existing and new customers. Examples if how we’ve achieved this can be seen in our growing library of Case Studies.

In addition to investing in our people, we have also invested further in our marketing. Existing customers have been retained, and new customers added on the back of this increasingly effective marketing. In FY2122, £250k of revenue from new business was earnt, rising to £450k in FY2223.

Ensure that what you do is good for the planet.

As a society, everyone has an obligation to leave the world in a better place than we found it. All businesses, small and large, have a part to play. For Bensons this has manifested itself in a commitment to operating sustainably. Low energy lighting was installed in 2018, along with EV charge points to facilitate a transition to hybrid and now full-electric vehicles. In 2023 a 41kWp solar PV array was installed to continue the journey to Net Zero.

In parallel with the work done on the strategic development of the business, Bensons (in common with every other manufacturer) has had to navigate the tactical puzzle of Brexit, Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine. That we have done so successfully is due in no small part to the support and collaboration of our customers, team and suppliers. This strength gives great optimism for the continued success of the business over the next five years.

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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