CoolKit’s robust growth strategy sees staffing increase by 25% 

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COOLKIT, a specialist in temperature-controlled vans, has carried out a robust business growth strategy in the first part of 2024 increasing its staffing levels by 25%. 

And it’s not only on the shopfloor where recruitment has taken place.

As part of the management restructure, which began 12 months ago, a further experienced and highly skilled layer of managers has been appointed to help oversee the business’s rapid increase in prosperity.

Last year, founder Rupert Gatty became Chief Executive; Finance Director Daniel Miller was appointed Managing Director; Mike Scappaticci Sales Director; and Joe Gleave Operations Director. Long-serving Gill Hayes remained HR and Finance Manager.

Now, to further solidify the management organisation and accommodate the demands of the enlarged business, Georgina Grice, has been recruited as Head of People; Mark Billows, Health Safety Environmental and Facilities Manager; Stephen Bond, Operations Manager; and Susan Kenyon, Quality Manager.

Georgina said: “The thought of joining an ongoing success story at CoolKit was very appealing. It’s my intention to help further bring organisation, communication and a positive culture to promote wellbeing, equality and transparency within the business.”

And Mark added: “I saw joining CoolKit at this exciting stage in its development as a great opportunity to make a difference while having a willingness to learn new skills to help the business move forward.”

The widescale recruitment has come at the same time as  CoolKit continues to experience significant growth in its order bank.

A major boost has seen a major high street supermarket chain agree a deal for 200 van conversions while another major Contract Hire and Leasing company is looking for up to 100 electric temperature-controlled vehicles.

Last July, when CoolKit suffered a disastrous fire at its main manufacturing unit in Burnley it employed around 100. But 10 months later after implementing a master recovery plan – including sourcing and moving to much larger premises in Blackburn while still retaining some production at a second unit in Burnley – 125 employees are on now on the books plus 10 agency workers.

Managing Director Daniel Miller explained his vision for the future: “Our new premises give us so much more potential for growing the business. We are not a small business anymore and we need specialist people in specialist positions who are focused entirely on their aspect of the operation.

“I want us to be more visible to customers and I want us somehow to be generating inquiries as the outcome of that visibility. We are the UK’s leading temperature-controlled van converters and I want us to increasingly build on that.”

Over the last 10 months the CoolKit Recovery Plan has proved to be a blueprint for manufacturing businesses hit by a sudden unforeseen calamity. The business has not simply limped back into existence it has bounced back bigger and better in an amazingly short period.

Daniel said: “We have showcased CoolKit’s capacity to adapt and grow and how we have achieved it has prompted a significant increase in operational efficiency which has, in turn, been mirrored in increased sales and production.

“We have been the architects of our own growth and while our targets may have sounded ambitious with the strategy and the expertise of the people we had in place at all levels we had no doubt that they were highly achievable and that has proved the case.”