The last couple of years have been some of the most challenging in Mila’s recent history – almost entirely because of the economic impacts of the Brexit vote of course. The 20% fall in the value of the pound has massively driven up our costs, while the wavering in consumer confidence has had a dampening effect on customer demand.
Obviously, we’ve all had to dig deep here to make sure that Mila has maintained its market leading position and has remained both strong and profitable. Things are going well for us currently, as demonstrated by our G17 Component Supplier of the Year award, but we all know the hard work is far from over.
What has impressed me throughout is how the whole Mila team has responded to the challenges – they’ve not just pulled together but have continued to deliver meaningful improvements right across the business – from supply chain efficiencies and innovative new products, to big new business wins and award winning marketing.
The performance of the senior management team has been superb and, in recognition of that and of the contribution they all make to the ongoing success of the business, we have promoted four members of the team to become directors of Mila with immediate effect.
I’m delighted that Strafford Cooke has been appointed as Technical Director, Sarah Gyde is now Marketing Director, Vicki Sanders is Sales Director and Paul Pearson has become Product Design and Quality Director.
All four have given many years’ service to Mila and all are familiar and well respected figures in the industry. I’m sure readers of the blog will agree that these promotions are thoroughly well deserved and will join me in congratulating them on their new roles.
Like most of us I’m sure, I rarely buy anything online anymore without reading the reviews. We’ve all got used to checking products before we buy and, thanks to the transparency of social media, it’s easy to gauge the general level of customer satisfaction with any business fairly instantly.
As a supplier, online reviews obviously serve as a constant reminder of just how important every single customer is to the success and reputation of your business. It used to be said that a satisfied customer would tell two or three people about his experience while a dissatisfied customer would tell 20, but the internet has magnified that many times over.
Mila’s products are sold online through a variety of third party websites – including Travis Perkins and Screwfix. Our digital marketing team regularly monitors these to track our performance and it’s reassuring to know that the vast majority of the many hundreds of reviews we receive every year are very positive.
A quick scan through the Screwfix website, for instance, shows that, with the exception of one product which has been wrongly labelled online, our products listed on there are have all got 4 or 5 star ratings.
Some customers have even taken the trouble to leave comments which is actually proving really useful to us because it comes direct from the field. Interestingly, one new review on our TS007 two star ProSecure door handle shows just how much public awareness of the TS007 ratings is growing. The reviewer wanted to know why we only put the Secured by Design logo on the exterior of the handle as a deterrent to would be burglars rather than the two stars and our accompanying Kitemark as well. When we designed the product, we took the view that the SBD logo was more recognisable in terms of security, but it’s reassuring to know that customers really do value TS007 and the Kite as well.
That customer did rate the handle 5 stars though, saying that they have a great quality feel to them and are great for the money so I think our reputation is safe with him!
We’ve just had our supply chain performance independently audited by Grant Thornton, and I’m delighted to say we scored a very impressive 2.7 out of 4 and were rated ‘an exceeding organisation’.
If I tell you that only the likes of Dell and Amazon score anything close to 4, you’ll see that we are punching way above our weight when it comes to managing our inventory, planning our operations and continually improving things like our warehouse and transport performance. Continue reading…
It’s that time of year again when the trade magazines ask representatives from across the industry for their predictions of the year ahead.
My thoughts are actually really positive. Winning the Component Supplier of the Year award at the G-17s has given everyone here at Mila a tremendous boost, largely because it feels like a real endorsement of how hard we work to deliver a great service to all our customers. Continue reading…
I’d like to congratulate my twin brother Robert Gyde who has just completed 35 years with the business, and put on record here my thanks for his commitment and dedication to Mila.
Most people reading this blog probably won’t know Robert – he’s very much behind the scenes here working as a supply chain analyst, carrying out market analysis and liaising with our suppliers in the Far East. But his is a key role in a company like ours where the success of the supply chain is so vital to ours and our customers’ success. Continue reading…