I originally wrote a form of this blog in December after seeing the new Star Wars film but held off publishing it as I didn’t want to give away any plot points to those who hadn’t seen it yet. However, I’m hoping that by now – in February – everyone who wants to see the film now has and if they haven’t, they surely can’t be too concerned about spoilers otherwise they would have seen it earlier.
A new member of the FB Group of materials handling chain companies has opened for business. From now on FB Chaînes will supply conveyor chain, roller chain, leaf chain and associated parts, as well as application advice, installation and servicing, to customers throughout France.
Over its 145-year history the FB Group has grown from a small factory near Stockholm, Sweden to an influential player in the materials handling chain industry with subsidiaries in six countries – Sweden, Norway, Finland, UK, Austria and Germany – and distributors in several more.
As the winter holidays approach, it’s time to reflect on the challenges and achievements of the past year and look forward to the next. 2015 has been an unusual year for us at FB Chain. The first few months saw an explosion of large orders as two of our biggest customers went into overdrive. This pushed our people and processes to their limits – and at points beyond. While I can’t say that everything went as smoothly as I would perhaps have liked, it showed that the can-do attitude of the FB Chain team can successfully navigate us – together with our customers – around almost any issue. Great people always win out in the end and I am pleased to say that we have lots of great people at FB Chain.
In October I was very lucky to spend a week at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in the USA along with 20 other UK business people, sponsored by UKTI and the Ellis Goodman Foundation. Kellogg has historically been ranked as one of the top business schools in the USA and during our week there were received a massive amount of information about American business practices and culture.
Following five years of continued growth FB Chain has recently engaged Darran Green as its first sales manager.
In this newly created role Darran is excited to be a part of the ever increasing business FB is generating, reporting directly to the managing director, Peter Church. In particular, Darran aims to promote the high quality of service for customers across all FB Chain’s business areas while business continues to increase.
This summer my wife and I took the kids on a mega road trip along the East Coast of the USA. Throughout the course of the holiday we must have eaten in more than 60 cafés and restaurants and – believe it or not – didn’t have a single bad meal! During one drive we started making a list of the top five places we had eaten – a difficult task, which soon turned into several top five lists for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was interesting how, even for our kids, the quality of the service played such an important part in our ranking.
A few weeks ago contractors moved in to prepare the ground for our new building in Letchworth Industrial Area. The new building – a mere 70 meters from our existing facilities – will enable us to significantly improve our efficiency and cross-functional collaboration by housing all our UK operations under one roof. But before construction can begin, the site needs to be thoroughly decontaminated.
If a man turned up in your office today telling you that a telex network would revolutionise your office communication, you would think he was stuck in a time warp. Why on earth would you want to invest in old and outdated technology? And yet the best part of roller chain sold in the world today is still based on an 1880 design.
Throughout its 30-year history, FB Chain has gone above and beyond to become the material handling industry’s most trusted partner for forklift truck chain, anchor bolts and pulleys – leading the way in safety, quality and customer service.
The company offers a variety of standard, corrosion-resistant, and high-endurance leaf chains and associated parts, all with consistent quality and traceability guaranteed, as well as at least 20% higher tensile strength than the minimum set by ISO4347. These vital forklift mast components are supplied on short lead times – where possible on the same or following day – and often tailored to customer’s individual requirements.
Twenty-three years ago, I pestered my then-boss to give me a car and let me visit some customers. I had wanted to be a salesman for some time. To many this may sound strange but I knew right from my first job on a market stall, at age 13, that “sales” was for me. I found lots of stuff difficult at school but I knew I was a good talker and I had the detentions to show for it. My part-time job in a sports shop gave me my first exposure to sales reps – they drove around in cars that someone else had paid for, showing people stuff and collecting orders. It did not even seem like a real job.