Office Image Ltd

Origins

Having previously worked in the Office Interiors industry, Office Image’s Managing Director Neil Humphries had gained extensive industry experience and developed good contacts within the industry on both the supplier and client sides. In 2002, the commercial property market was very active which subsequently led to an increase in demand for the supply of related services including office interior products. Neil prepared a business plan and left the office interior company where he was then employed as Sales Director and established Office Image Ltd. One of the biggest challenges faced when setting up Office Image were locating a suitable building for the new company. It was imperative that there was adequate space for a showroom for clients to visit and both finding a suitable location and securing the finance for the property were significant challenges. Although Neil had good supplier relationships, the setting up of trade accounts did pose problems because Office Image was a new company without a trading history. He knew which companies he wanted to work with because of the quality of their products and had to negotiate individual contractual terms with these suppliers. When Office Image was originally established, the company had to sub-contract all of their fitting services. Developing a supplier list of professional and reliable tradesmen and companies caused its fair share of problems due to the inherent unreliability of some of these trades.

Success Factor

Office Image has a fantastic sales team that are backed up with talented designers, contract and project managers, office staff and skilled tradespeople. It has taken a lot of refining and it is an on-going process but Office Image places a lot of emphasis on recruiting the right people for each position and this has played a vital role in the rapid growth of the business. The company’s original offering was primarily the supply of office furniture. This provided steady revenue but the market was becoming more geared to a ‘one stop shop’ with regard to the full fit out package. Customers were asking Office Image to recommend companies for related services and rather than sub-contract these elsewhere, Office Image made the investment to provide them in-house. These new services helped to increase the number of income streams into the company whilst also providing customers with a complete solution for all their interior needs. Finally, Office Image has earned an excellent reputation for the quality of their products and services. This has contributed to the rapid growth of their business because word of mouth recommendation is one of the primary sources of new business for the company and on a number of occasions the quality of their work in a regional office for a national company has led to them winning multi-site contracts for that same company.

The Future

Office Image is now a market leader in Wales and the west of England. The company is challenging competitors in other parts of the UK and to accommodate their fast growth the company has invested in a new headquarters building in the north of Cardiff, which after a total refurbishment will provide the company with 15,000sqft. The current building will be completely refurbished and when completed will be one of the highest specification buildings of its type in south Wales. It will be the largest investment made by the company to date, and will include a large showroom, design studio, warehouse facilities, boardroom with full AV wall, and state-of-the-art technologies showcasing the future for 21st century commerce and industry. Office Image will have moved into their new headquarters in October 2008 with a 6 month turnaround for the refurbishment works ensuring completion for Spring of next year. The salesforce of the company has increased by 20% in the last financial year and by the end of 2008, they will be increasing it again by a further 20%. In anticipation of the additional volume of business this will create, the in-house design team has also increased in size with the recruitment of two industry experienced designers and investment in the most recent 3d visual software. The company has also gained all the necessary industry and professional policies and accreditations to begin tendering for public sector contracts. In the current economic climate, this area is now a priority for Office Image and again they have invested in securing the services of specialist consultants to ensure they fulfilled all of the required criteria. The company are also working with their clients to identify other products or services that will be of benefit to them. The technologies sector is of particular interest and the professional advice of specialist consultants and suppliers is currently being looked into.