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Kudos | MANUFACTURER PROFILE


1. Kudos


headquarters in Holme, Cumbria


2. Ultimate Black Edition shower panel


3. Pinnacle 8 corner unit with sliding door


2.


3.


second half of the year – and third is operations. I’d put them in that order. “This is more about change management. We’re in a very competitive market, we’ve got really ambitious growth targets and Bruce wanted to see the business go in a different direction. We’re doing a lot of work around new products, new developments, new promotions, etc. “We’ve changed a lot of things around in terms of processes and made big investments in people and equipment. You’ve got to do that before you can take the next step. We’re not fi xing things, just putting Kudos in a position to grow. This is going to be an exciting year for us.” Hill insists Kudos has had a very successful 20 years: “But


when you come to a £10m to £12m company and you want to grow it to £25m to £35m, it becomes a different beast.” “I wouldn’t say there’s been a clear-out,” Graville agrees. “There’s just been some changes.”


Optimism But there’s no denying all this optimism comes amid challenging times for the wider market. Brexit is still far from resolved, but Hill seems unconcerned: “We don’t export into Europe, or import, so from a supply chain operations perspective Brexit shouldn’t have any effect on us. The only thing will be consumer confi dence.


“Like any other business, we’re looking for some certainty on what’s happening. We need to take whatever deal it is and react accordingly. We don’t really talk about Brexit, because we don’t know what’s going to happen.”


But what’s his gut feeling on how things might pan out? “It’s all about the Irish border,” he says. “If they sort that out and get the DUP on board, they might just get it through. If


June 2019 · kbbreview


they don’t budge on that, they won’t.” Graville agrees: “There’s a lot of scaremongering and fear to try to get it over the line,” he says. “Keep calm and carry on, because the market will still be there. It won’t stop dead. Life will go on. We’re not getting any signals from our suppliers that prices will rise. We had a couple last year but nothing major. We buy in advance, so it’s not a concern.” New product development for Kudos this year has already seen launches in March to refresh its Original collection and Pinnacle 8. And on the shower tray side, the company has expanded its Connect Two range. The product features two waste outlets and was the highlight of kbbreview’s last visit to the factory two years ago. “It’s really innovative and developers love it,” Graville tells me. “It’s great for the new-build but also for the retail side.”


He goes on to admit that customers didn’t see many new


products from Kudos in 2018: “We had the black in Ultimate in October, which is great and is in stock, and volume-wise it’s six or seven times what it was. But that was all they saw. But what they’re seeing from 2019 onwards is investment in the front-facing part of the business. “We’re loud, we’re proud, we’re Kudos. Those retailers that


sell the product do it because they like it and the support that we give them. We want to reward that and we haven’t perhaps done as much as others over the past couple of years, but that’s what we’ll see changing.”


Respect


Hill adds that the pair have spent a lot of time visiting their retailers and merchants for their views. “We see a lot of respect there,” he says. “The feedback is that yes, these are the right products to launch and they’re very excited about it. We’re


„ 41


We’ve changed a lot of things around in terms of processes and made big investments in people and equipment. You’ve got to do that before you can take the next step


Mark Hill, managing director, Kudos


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