Based in Thurston outside Bury St Edmunds, SMART Garden Rooms, Offices & Studios is one of the UK’s leading companies in its sector. After a successful management buyout last year involving managing director Matt Moss, Sue Phillips, sales & marketing director and operations director Paul Sheppard, the firm has delivered a successful program of investment in new products, an improved customer experience and enhanced staff skills.
The company has comprehensively bounced back from the March lockdown, when all but one of its employees were placed on furlough.
By mid-summer, the company was operating at full capacity again, with new external and internal showrooms having been installed during the intervening time at its Thurston operation.
“After that, our leads and order books have been growing rapidly as working from home became the new and long-term normal for many workers, whether employed or self-employed” explained Matt Moss.
“As a result of this upsurge in interest and purchases, SMART took the decision to both restructure and expand our workforce to effectively meet this demand.”
Including the recruitment of a new person to fill an existing role, SMART has added nine new members to the team in recent weeks and continues to seek more for their expansion plans.
The company has, therefore, increased its headcount from 37 before lockdown to 45 today with new staff taken on across the full range of roles: business development, installation, production, project management, quality control and sales & marketing.
Paul Sheppard explained: “This means that we are fully tooled up to meet the expanded demand and customer expectations of this growing market. The new recruits will all be about delivering quality and their appointments will allow other team members to step up to more senior roles in the company.”
Reflecting on the shift to working from home being more than just a short-term reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sue Phillips added: “Working from home has well and truly arrived. According to one survey, whilst 16% of people worked from home, that figure is currently 43%. Research by the Universities of Cardiff and Southampton, reported by the BBC this week, suggests that nine out of every ten workers would like to retain some element of homeworking in the future.”
Photo supplied by SMART Garden Rooms, Offices & Studios.