In 2002 Industrial Trading Solutions Ltd began trading to support the UK with the distribution of Alfa Laval hygienic processing equipment into the food, beverage, dairy, and pharmaceutical industries. 20 years on, we now have over thirty global manufacturer brands in our portfolio, and not only supply processing products but provide technical consultancy, project management plus servicing and maintenance to our growing customer base around the UK.
As with many businesses around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic hit hard but ITS continued, with reduced resource and efficiency to supply our customers with equipment to keep their processing facilities running. We realised very quickly that the landscape in which we would trade in going forward would be very different, and ITS would need to stay one step ahead to change with the times.
Coming out the other end of the pandemic, we went through a period of changes that would set ITS up for the future. Along with creating a new in-house service centre and setting up an industry recipe mixing trial area, we completely renovated the offices and warehouse facilities, installing insulated walls, LED sensor lighting, making the office paperless and introducing a mandatory recycling scheme to help us towards our sustainability goals. We Also made a pledge to the Climate hub to become a carbon neutral business by 2040 and then set about rewriting the business plan.
This new plan initially highlighted the need for us to adapt the way we would promote the business. Therefore, a Strategic Marketing Manager was positioned, a marketing plan drawn up and proactively implemented. Performance and business analytics were introduced and are now published to company stakeholders, a rebrand took place and a series of activities are continuing, to showcase ITS in a more upfront way. This was also a catalyst for other major changes – In order to advertise our business and generate more enquiries and orders, we have to ensure our internal processes meet the high standards our customers expect. And so, a new organisation structure was established which called to attention new roles and responsibilities within the business, and our pursuit to fulfil business actualisation began.
ITS also opened up two external sales positions but wanted these to be as flexible as possible to allow for new hybrid working conditions and employee expectations. A new Business Development Manager has been appointed too so that the gap between external sales, internal sales, customer and suppliers is breached. This ensures continuity, working closely with customers to build on relationships and obtain better understanding of their needs.
ITS is a positive workplace with dedicated staff that is thriving on the challenges that new processes and work practices can bring. As an ISO accredited business, procedures are already in place to ensure correct records are kept and minimise mistakes, but now we are able to streamline those processes and make everything work more efficiently and effectively, meaning customer have the very best service from us.
Through various medias available, such as electronic forms, project management software and report functions being added to internal systems, this has all been made possible. A new CRM system has been installed, social media and professional platforms used to showcase the company, plus a new pricing strategy implemented to take pressure off sales so that they can focus on people and not prices. These changes helped us to secure our biggest order to-date back in September 2021 and this was a significant boost to the whole of ITS, signifying our successful change-around, team efforts and great achievements.
With the introduction of OKR’s (Objectives and Key Results) and through KPI dashboard communications, the team know what the goals are and work together to achieve them. Development appraisals have now been introduced and creative thinking, constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement are encouraged. Training and skills gaps are identified, and in-house training is delivered quarterly to ensure staff stay abreast of technologies on the market. Our technical staff have completed the Green Belt Six Sigma qualification and further training opportunities are under constant review.
On top of clear direction at work we also ensure that we organise social and charity events to help bond the team and have a mental wellbeing initiative in place to fully take care of our staff.
We pride ourselves on the diversity and wide-ranging skillset of our team. 38% of our workforce are women and the senior management team is made up of 40% female representation. 25% of our team have minority ethnic backgrounds and 31% of our staff are under the age of 30, with 56% being over the age of 45. 38% of our employees are degree educated.
We are keen to support our staff to become the very best of themselves through training and educational opportunities. While we are determined to focus on our company vision, we will not compromise on our values and know that our people are at the forefront of being able to achieve our goals. Through apprenticeship programmes, work training schemes, in-house and supplier skills courses and continuous improvement of our internal processes, we continue to invest in our staff and futureproof the business.
In our 20th year of business, staff retention is amazing and staff turnover exceptionally low. ITS know that retaining expertise and knowledge, benefits our customers and provides continuity for them, our business, and the industry as a whole.
As a small but growing business, we are keen to live and work by our core values of being reliable, working in collaboration with one another, having integrity in all we do, respecting each other, and above all making our culture a happy one.
This commitment has seen the business go from strength to strength, even in the toughest of times, during 2021/2022 we have increased our workforce by 50% and have plans to further develop our employment opportunities in the coming months and years. We have numerous projects in the pipeline for ourselves and our customers and an enthusiastic, motivated team brimming with new ideas.
The Future is bright – in-fact ITS full of delivering solutions and processing excellence!
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