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And breathe …… we made it

“As a small business owner, one of your main concerns is that your operation won’t run smoothly when you are not there to keep an eye on it. That’s why we always try to ensure that no more than two of our four senior managers are away at any given time. However, being a family business, this is sometimes easier said than done.“

This September, owners of Marla Custom Blinds, Martin and Angela, were looking forward to a relaxing twelve-day break in Spain when their son and Marla Sales Manager, Danny announced that he wanted to join them.

Agreeing would mean leaving day to day operations squarely on the shoulders of Drew Mitchell, their technical and product support manager. Something that was not ideal, but it was decided that apart from site visits, all the other work could be done form Spain.

Was this a good idea?

On the 11th of September, just two days into their holiday they got a message to say that office refurbishment and shopfitting specialists Kiwi Design had been in touch with a major project that had to be completed by the end of the month. They wanted Marla Custom Blinds to supply and fit 73 roller blinds for the new offices of construction materials specialist Saint Gobain.

Martin said, “Okay, so if we had known that a job of this nature, with such a tight deadline, was coming in, we probably wouldn’t have all gone away at the same time, but the die had been cast.” Our only options were either turn down the project or manage it remotely. We chose the latter.”

Danny was able to provide Kiwi Design with an estimate, by email, within two days of their initial enquiry, and it was accepted the next day. The day after, Drew visited the client’s premises to carry out an initial site survey, enabling Kiwi Design to give their client a firm quotation. This too was accepted by return, and the clock started ticking.

When Danny returned to the UK on 21st of September, within 12 hours of landing, he and Drew completed a final survey, before giving Marla Custom Blinds’ Fareham factory the green light to start production. Over the next two days, the manufacturing team worked overtime to build and assemble all the blinds to their exacting quality standards. Finally, on 28th September, four of their in-house installers fitted and tested all 73 roller blinds, three days ahead of schedule.

But was the client happy?

Here’s what Neil Blackmore, Director at Kiwi Design had to say.

Well done guys, you have worked really hard to meet our deadline. Against the clock your team pulled it out of the bag. Looks fabulous, I’m impressed.”

Marla Custom Blinds MD, Martin Froud, commented, “I am proud of how everyone in our team stepped up to play their part. We delivered a first class product, on time and on budget, and the result was another delighted Marla Custom Blinds customer.”

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