Tim Ward, managing director, Bid Research and Development, David Hardingham, operations director, EMI, Mark Almond, director of business development, EMI and Jessica Williams, managing director, Just Williams.

A focus on the North of England and an innovative sales model is driving growth

Tyneside-based Elite Maintenance & Installation Services Limited, (EMI Services) which has shed half its workforce since 2017, has entered the year in confident mood following a refocussing of the business and two major public sector contract wins.

EMI, which was formed in 2003 and is based on the Team Valley, Gateshead, closed its satellite operations in Leeds and Peterborough following the loss, within a six month period, of two major national retail customers, both of whom had decided to introduce new business models that made EMI’s role unnecessary.

In February 2018, EMI, which is jointly owned by operations director, David Hardingham and commercial director, Paul Goodfellow, had a headcount of 78 full-time employees and a turnover of £7.2 million. Currently, the headcount is 34 full-time employees with a turnover of £3.9 million.

Since the loss of these two national contracts, the company, which operates in the commercial sector and is a specialist in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and electrical services, has concentrated its efforts in the North of England and implemented a highly targeted sales campaign through its director of business development, Mark Almond. The company offers a full turnkey solution, from concept and detail design to installation, maintenance and decommissioning, providing emergency 24/7 support with mobile service and maintenance engineers.

Mark Almond, said: “EMI is very much a North East success story. It was set up by ambitious individuals who had clear vision and passion for the service they provided. The company grew very quickly and the fact that one of these major national retail contracts, which sets exceptionally high standards for all its suppliers and contractors, chose to work directly with EMI Services on its sites across the UK for over 12 years, confirms just how well run it is.

“However, it took the decision to review aspects of its business model in 2017 - 2018 and EMI was stood down. The decision was taken very quickly and it had a huge impact on EMI, which had opened bases in Leeds and Peterborough, as part of a huge logistical operation to service the business across the UK.

“EMI is now far more streamline and our focus is purely on the North of England. Our aim is to build a hard core of local and regionally based customers and to develop our presence across the full spectrum of SMEs, including commercial, industrial and office based sectors. We are also targeting the public sector and, in particular, local authorities and nursing care homes.”

Development of its SME portfolio is being coordinated alongside Stockton-based outsourced sales specialist, Just Williams. Advice and support for public sector tendering is provided by Darlington-based, Bid and Research Development. Indeed, the first public sector tender opportunity entered for by EMI has just been won – two contracts with North Tyneside Council, which includes over 80 schools.

“As we rebuild the business and concentrate on the future, it is very reassuring that we can call upon the external support of highly skilled North East businesses to assist our growth. In Just Williams and Bid Research and Development I have two companies with specialist skills that can make an instant impact and bring great value to our business.

“We have worked tirelessly in the last two years to focus EMI on renewed growth and we feel that the winning of these public sector tenders puts a clear marker in the ground. It has given us a huge boost and is confirmation that the experience and expertise we have built up since 2003 can give us clear advantage in the market. Our loyal and dedicated workforce has been with us through the good and bad times and without them we would not have been in the position that we are to bounce back and look with confidence to the future.”

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