As a manufacturing business a critical element of our MI is our stock, too much stock and we have cash tied up unnecessarily, too little and we run the risk of disappointing customers. After a number of strategic business acquisitions and attempting to integrate different types of stock into our system we realised that there was a danger that our stock recording system could be producing inaccurate results.
As a result we asked the team at Armstrong Watson to review the stock system. Their review highlighted the areas of weakness and also the areas that were performing to expectations. With their assistance we addressed the areas of concern and amended procedures and practices accordingly. Their pragmatic common sense approach backed by their experience and knowledge enabled us to achieve the right result in a reasonable timescale.
We now have full confidence that our MI is accurate and reliable.
Stephen Widdows MD DJH Group Limited
As a family owned and managed manufacturing business we have the skills and experience to know what to do, when to do it and how to do it.
We have the day to day running and management of the business in hand. That said, what we have never challenged ourselves on is the bigger picture, we all know our roles and responsibilities.
What the team at Armstrong Watson have done is to challenge how we work not in the business, but on the business. Their input and knowledge has allowed us to stand back from the day to day operations and work on the business, looking at the bigger, more strategic plan, rather than the day to day operational issues.
We have found, and are still finding, their input challenging, insightful and of great value. They have a wealth of knowledge and whilst we believe the issues in our family owned and managed business are unique to us, it becomes more apparent that the issues are common throughout many similar businesses.
Jon Ward Joint MD Kay Dee Engineering Limited
Running a 'family business' carries with it a set of unique challenges and opportunities specific to the balance between 'family' and 'business'. As easy as it may to think that keeping the two distinct from each other is straightforward, the lines can become very blurred and often difficult to manage. As my experience in both business and family life grows the more I come to believe that you cannot "do it on your own" - in either area. The listening ear of other people, the experience of other people and the perspectives of other people are essential to making real and lasting progress.
We have recently embarked on a programme of development with David Richmond and the team at Armstrong Watson under their 'Blue' banner. We have stepped away from our day to day labours leaving many perceived problems at the office and stepped into an independent and trusted environment where we have been able to speak freely (both jointly as a management team and individually in one to one sessions). The first session was both a relief and a revelation. The relief in taking a positive step to help ourselves - the revelation in how easy it was to open up and talk about issues we had probably thought too sensitive to get out in the open. Then comes the real value - a realistic plan. Having listened, questioned, and challenged we all worked together to agree definite objectives and plans to achieve them - both together and individually. This forward looking, objective based approach is stimulating and allows the principles established at the Blue session to be taken back into the maelstrom of day to day business - where, because of their clarity, they have a chance to take root.
We have wanted to develop ourselves and our business with a fresh approach - going in with an open mind, we have quickly gained a different perspective and we have started to change. There is a fascinating blend of gradual, slow, 'wait and see' adjustment and some decisive, quick, 'take the plunge' change...its exciting to be moving to a new way of thinking, building on all the good things we have and leaving some of the not so good things behind.
Mark Sugden, Managing Director, John W. Laycock Ltd
Not being from a financial background myself, Armstrong Watson deliver the information I need on a level I can understand. I trust them highly and the service I’ve had from them has been fantastic.
Croxdale Fast Fit, Kevin Parkinson
When the company of long standing, manufacturing furniture, with a strong balance sheet, was sold to a private equity firm Armstrong Watson was instrumental in assisting the future purchase in formulating the financial models, cash flow analysis and pro forma profit and loss. The representatives of Armstrong Watson involved, produced such levels of high quality results and provided invaluable contribution such that the new owners have commissioned further assistance in the post transaction.
This has been an effective transaction made so by having people with the skills in understanding the business and the requirements of the customer. These skills have been evident from the beginning of the process and mention should be given to David Richmond, a partner in the business and Andrew Padgett, a member of the corporate team, who reports to David. Andrew has a good understanding of the requirements to produce financial models with integrity. His knowledge of financials is invaluable but coupled with his knowledge of manufacturing accounting produces quality results enabling more effective management decisions at a high level.
David Richmond has an excellent understanding of business finance reporting and this experience helps to direct others, enabling results within a short time. His knowledge and the ability to understand various situations provide a valuable contribution to any strategic direction particularly in the area of finance.
They are exceptional and a credit to Armstrong Watson a very professional outfit and without doubt their contribution has made the transaction exceedingly cost effective.
John Williams, Managing Director, Ness Furniture
As our auditors and business advisors, David and the team have acted for us for over ten years. They have a common sense approach, speak our language and are only ever a phone call away.
Stephen Widdows, Director, DJH Engineering