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Greyland reaches latest milestone - 15 years!
Leading cleaning chemicals manufacturer Greyland has reached its latest milestone in 2014, celebrating 15 years in business.
There have been many changes in the world since February 14th 1999. Valentine's Day, and the industry has been in love with the company ever since!
The euro had only just been launched, President Clinton was in the White House, Shakespeare in Love won Best Picture at the Oscars, there wasn't really much in the way of internet development, still mostly dial-up, (MSN Messenger was released later that year) and the global financial crash and recession was still nearly a decade away.
You have only to look at some of the technology available at the end of the previous millennium to appreciate how much has changed since then. Apple iBooks and iMacs were curvy and colourful, rather than the sleek, titanium finish devices of today, and of course, there were no iPhones!
The Green revolution in the cleaning industry was yet to be fully adopted, and many of the old practices that we now frown upon, such as wet mopping using old-style mops and buckets, were commonplace. Since then, innovations such as microfibre cloths, and daytime cleaning have become the norm.
This then, was the environment that Greyland Ltd was launched in to, however, this new company had a vision quite unlike those that had gone before. To quote from an early article about the company:
'Manufacturing cleaning chemicals can never be about just knowing the best products that work. Quality, value for money, and customer service jostle with the chemical formulations themselves to take the uppermost level of thought in the mind of any chemical manufacturer who is serious about his business.
'Richard Dyson of Greyland is one of those few who are totally serious. Not by nature, far from it: jovial is an obvious trait, as is his enthusiasm, both of which show no signs of fatigue after building Greyland from the ground upwards into a force to be reckoned with.'
Mind you, he had some help from all the management team, who also caught that enthusiasm.
In this respect not that much has changed. All the original management team are still 'hands-on' and enthusiastic in a company that has grown three-fold to a more than £4 turnover since those words were written in 2004. And many of the original production staff are still with them too, transferring with the company when it moved to modern premises 5 miles away from the original factory in Stockport.
In December 2011 Greyland moved to its new home at Tameside Park Industrial Estate in Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, with the aim to more than double revenues and the size of its workforce within five years, as it set out to make the most of the growing space in its new premises.
Today, around 70 per cent of Greyland's output is produced under its clients' own brand labels, with the rest sold under the Greyland brand.
Customers include Caterbar Group, Premiere Products, The Supplies House, London, and anti slip specialist Bonasystems Europe.
Greyland today sells a range of more than 150 products, from five toilet cleaners to oven cleaner to graffiti remover, although 95 per cent of its sales are generated in the UK, the European market is growing steadily for the company, which has invested £500,000 in its new premises, including new production and handling equipment, greatly increased storage facilities and many new environmental and health and safety measures.
The current ambition is to more than double turnover within the next five years in order to reach £10m.
So how did they get to where they are now, and how will they achieve their aim?
Richard said he believed Greyland had been boosted by its long-term promise to deliver orders within a week, which had helped it steal a march on the competition.
"We will continue to grow market share as more and more distributors look to operate a 'Just in Time' supply policy to their customers which reduces their own stock inventory and overhead, knowing full well that we can deliver the goods faster than anyone else."
From a current workforce of around 30 Richard expects to reach about 60 in order to achieve that, along with the continuing reinvestment into the business.
Judging by the extraordinary loyalty already shown by distributors and staff alike, it looks like there will be nearly 30 good jobs coming up in Greater Manchester over the next five years!
Greyland Ltd, Tameside Park Industrial Estate, Dukinfield, Cheshire, SK16 4PP
20th February 2014