Skills Bank Interview – John Hamilton, Supply Chain Director, Elecomm

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Tell us about your journey so far

Elecomm is one of the UK’s leading multi-disciplined business service providers. We offer a range of electrical, mechanical, data, IT and audio-visual services and facilities management solutions to UK businesses across a broad range of industries, including construction and retail.

Since 2003, our skilled engineers have delivered electrical contracting for a wide range of specialist services, from new builds and installations to refurbishments and maintenance.

We’ve expanded rapidly over recent years, but the impact of COVID-19 for us was a reduction in projected income with retail and construction businesses operating under safe operating practices a large chunk of our business slowed. As a national business, we had to adapt rapidly to maintain our services. We incurred significant costs, had to furlough staff and did some restructuring and adapted to offer services that comply with new requirements, that coupled with the new norm of communicating via Teams and Zoom we had a lot to learn in a short space of time.

We’re passionate about training and development – some would call us ‘training mad’ – and this was a point in our journey where upskilling our employees was essential to help us grow and develop by retaining existing and securing new contracts.

What training have you done?

Our Business Development team have been trained in identifying online tender opportunities and completing tender submissions. This allowed them to increase income generating opportunities and secure longer term, higher value customer contracts which would facilitate our future growth. The training was delivered through a combination of generic tender training for all participants and individualised training for each division. We trained ten employees over a six-month period.

What difference have you seen?

This training along with our wider succession and colleague development plans has brought significant benefits for us. We’ve improved our competitive position, retained our existing and secured new contracts, resulting in increased turnover and longer-term stability. This has allowed us to return furloughed staff, recruit new key colleagues in a number of areas and utilise the apprenticeship scheme for a number of colleagues across the business.

One of our key supply chain partners is now opening a depot in Sheffield, which will bring more jobs to the area, driving the recovery and growth of our local economy.

We’re on track to meet our aim for our turnover to return to pre-covid levels (up to £25m) within three years and have a revised five-year target of £30m turnover.

Would you recommend Skills Bank to other business leaders?

Yes, we definitely would. Our people are our best asset and we are passionate about learning and development, so we have been delighted to be able to apply for funding to allow us to further train our valuable team. We’re now in a position where we can continue to offer great service to our extensive and ever-growing customer base. I would recommend Skills Bank as an option for every South Yorkshire business with growth aspirations.

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