£10m growth ambition for Norfolk firm

Staff at ESE Direct in Norwich are celebrating record sales in January

Staff at ESE Direct in Norwich are celebrating record sales in January - Credit: Archant

The boss of Future 50 firm ESE Direct has spelled out ambitions for the company to become a £10m a year firm in the next three years.

Simon Francis, managing director of Norwich-based ESE Direct, said the business had adopted a 'back to basics' approach to beating the recession with extra investment in staff training and development as part of a greater emphasis on customer care.

ESE Direct is a supplier of 20,000 products for business through its mail order catalogue and online ordering website.

The company, which is based at Wensum Works on Northumberland Street, has seen successive year-on-year record sales and the last quarter saw an increase of 18pc and over 115pc up from 2010.

Turnover for 2012 was about £4.3m, and Mr Francis said that while high-street names continue to fall victim to the economic downturn, the firm has bucked the trend in the last three years, going from strength to strength.

In the last few months six new members of staff have been taken on including a new finance director, Mike Wyard, and buying manager, Alex Kemp, marketing manager Martin Gilmour, and two new sales executives, taking the team to 25 employees.

The firm is also investing in apprenticeships and training and following the expansion, the business is now extending and refurbishing its office space as well as taking on more warehouse space.

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Simon said: 'Any company weathering the storm of recession knows that ensuring clients do not knock on the competitors' door is critical.

'We have found that a full 'back to basics' review helped us place more importance on communication and the customer experience. We have also invested heavily in staff, technology and marketing, as well as increased the range of products we offer.'

He added: 'We are very proud of our achievements, the team we have in place and their spirit and work ethic.

'The organisations best equipped to cope with a recession are those that resist the urge to cut back on staff and training and instead continue to recruit and invest in their employees' skills.

'Young people are the business managers and owners of the future. Instilling a healthy work ethic, loyalty and team work when things are tough means the business will be in the best position for even greater growth as the economic difficulties ease.'

'We are continuing to grow and thrive. The future looks very exciting.'