Roperhurst Limited, a specialist plastics and environmental engineering company featured on BBC News 24 recently, has taken the opportunities offered by the recession to increase its staff numbers and take on new premises.
Despite terrible market conditions which have caused many major UK industries to substantially reign in spending, Roperhurst has not only managed to maintain its profitability but has also added two members of staff since the start of 2010. The business also relocated its fibreglass factory, taking advantage of the surplus of leasehold property caused by the recession.
Roperhurst Chief Executive Phillipe de Wilde said “There has been huge financial turmoil in virtually every market over the past 18 months, from steel through automotive to local authorities. Recognising that these are difficult times, we have relied on our reputation for quality, flexibility and the diversity of our solutions to ensure that we continue to meet our customers’ needs and strengthen the company whilst competitors are struggling.”
The strength of Roperhurst’s balance sheet has been a key factor in winning new work. “Customers want to know that they are dealing with a company that will still be around in 12 or 24 months’ time. There might always be a cheaper alternative, but companies that low ball just to keep themselves busy in the short term very often fail to survive.”
Over the last 12 months Roperhurst has been active in education, steel, chemicals, food and architecture/construction, working on both small and large scale projects. De Wilde quotes innovation as another key to success: “Roperhurst has been setting the standard for some 34 years, and every time we innovate we see our smaller competitors try to play catch up. We undertook a full review of the business in 2009 which led to us rebranding ourselves and launching a new website. The feedback from that project has been fantastic, opening our business to new customers and markets.”
But aren’t Roperhurst’s directors afraid that others will copy this latest lead? “Every time you market yourself you give away information for competitors to copy. I’m sure that others will follow our lead, so we always have to remind ourselves that imitation is the highest form of flattery!”