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Business to Business Best All-Round Business or Brand with Annual Sales up to £5 million


Eastern Storage Equipment


(ESE), a manufacturer, supplier, and installer of industrial storage and materials-handling equipment, saw its sales grow 33 percent to £3 million in 2010.


P Issue 31 catalogue


What the judges said “A winning proposition that stood it in great stead during the economic downturn. Shows that there is plenty of scope for smaller entrepreneurial b-to-b companies to take on the goliaths.”


In their own words... “We’re really pleased and surprised. It’s nice to get some recognition.” Caroline Francis and Simon Francis


The success is largely thanks to a business review that started in 2009. ESE analysed all its processes to ensure it offered customers the very best products and services at competitive prices. As a result, ESE identified several areas for growth, including realising the potential of a print catalogue. Up until 2010, ESE had been using a white-label service to distribute a catalogue but this provided limited scope for setting product choice and prices. Creating its own mail order catalogue gave the direct side of the business an immediate boost. At the same time, ESE relaunched its website,


roving that businesses can still thrive during a recession, Norfolk- based Eastern Storage Equipment


www.esedirect.co.uk, to make it more user-friendly and introduce a digital catalogue function. ESE also made several back-office improvements, such as new software and systems to help cope with planned growth as well as refurbishing and extending its offices to improve staff facilities.


Another proud moment for ESE last year was achieving this growth without cutting back on staff. In fact, in 2010, ESE increased staffing levels by 46 percent, during a time when many other firms were shedding jobs. A key appointment of an operations director was made earlier this year to help manage the growing workforce and assist in ESE’s goal of reaching £5 million in sales within the next five years.


ESE’s pearl of wisdom for 2011 “Use your initiative, look for gaps in your market or industry, acknowledge and overcome your weaknesses, keep your sales delivery fresh, test new ideas and products and above all do not be afraid to fail.”


Pictured (l-r): Caroline Francis, Dermot Murnaghan, Simon Francis


ecmod DIRECT COMMERCE YEAR BOOK 2011 23


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