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Shades of Greyland
By Martin Wharmby, who paid a visit to Greyland Limited, to find out how the business has survived the last few years of turmoil, and what the future holds as the company approaches an important milestone.
In its factory on the edge of Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, cleaning chemical manufacturer Greyland Limited is enjoying the best run in the company’s history. While many businesses are still reeling from the COVID years, Greyland weathered the storm of lockdowns and restrictions only to find that the appetite for their wide range of cleaning chemical solutions continues to grow unabated.
Richard Dyson, Greyland’s CEO, said: “From April/May 2021 right up to today, a real tidal wave of turnover has hit Greyland. It’s never stopped, we’ve never been busier but we’re coping with the extra demand extremely well.”
Founded in 1999, Greyland prides itself on being one of Britain’s leading manufacturers of industrial and institutional cleaning chemicals. They provide a dedicated, extensive array of chemical solutions for many sectors including washrooms, catering, floorcare, housekeeping and more, along with a variety of specialist products.
The company’s Maximum Eco range has also been a roaring success for the company since it launched in 2018. Maximum Eco is designed to provide the maximum efficacy with a minimal impact on the environment. With a couple of new products set to join the line-up by Christmas 2022, the Maximum Eco range continues to drive Greyland’s success.
Richard added: “We have a package in Maximum Eco that lives up to its billing as ‘a modern range for a sustainable future’, and it’s really hit home with customers who are wanting it in bigger and bigger quantities. It’s a product range which is going to continue doing very well for us over the coming years.”
Customers can order products in whatever guise they want: in their own label as a distributor, or Greyland-branded. This level of flexibility is something that runs throughout the business, and it led to perhaps the most surprising parts of my visits to the factory: just how few products have been stockpiled on pallets, waiting around to be ordered.
Richard commented: “If you fill everything off into packaging straight away, it gets in your way and gathers dust before it leaves, so it can end up arriving covered in thick, black dust. Every order is fresh in packaging: as soon as it’s filled, it’s wrapped and taken away straight to the customer. It’s not going into a holding warehouse for weeks on end.
“The biggest thing for Greyland since the early days has been the turnaround we have, and our adaptability. We’re appreciative of what distributors want us to do, and we’ll always have that flexibility aspect to the factory.”
This ‘to order’ philosophy works well for Greyland, because all of its main production happens under one roof with only a small area put aside for finished pallets. However, the company’s continued success has led Richard and his team to invest in three new outbuildings in order to deal with the increased demand.
When asked about whether the company might have to think about moving to larger premises, Richard elaborated: “The outbuildings that we put up on the car park make all the difference for just holding pallets which are about to be taken away on finished jobs. I don’t see a need to move; we’ve signed another long-term lease where are here in Dukinfield, and with it being close to the motorway, it ticks all the boxes for us.”
It's a smart and efficient setup that has served Greyland well over the last 23 years, as the company has grown steadily to become the major industry player it is today. Currently employing 50 people, Richard tells me he aims for this to be 60 in the not-too-distant future. In 2024 the company will celebrate its 25th Anniversary, and it’s during this year that Richard has set a major target for the business: to have a turnover of £10m. It’s ambitious target, but one that Richard is more than confident of achieving.
Richard concluded: “We’re on firm ground. If you’ve got an experienced management team, and if you look after people and run your business for the long-term, you can get through the tough times. Greyland now has never been in a better place.”
This article first appeared in Tomorrow's Cleaning
8th September 2022