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A glazed and insulated tile roofing manufacturer is on course to raise turnover by more than 10 per cent at its Blackburn headquarters after signing up to Boost’s Growth Mentoring programme.

As well as increasing annual sales from £9m to a forecasted £10m, Prefix Systems Blackburn site has created five new jobs, expanding its headcount from 65 to 70, thanks to the mentoring programme.

Established in 1996, Prefix Systems manufacturers roofing and glazing products for a trade customer-base across the whole of the UK from its four manufacturing sites. Boost Lancashire Business Growth Hub is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council, and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Prefix Systems learned about the scheme in an article in a Lancashire business magazine. After an initial meeting with a Boost business relationship manager, the company was referred to the Growth Mentoring programme.

Prefix Systems senior management team members Steve Hoyle (Office Manager) and Shane Parker (Production Manager) were then matched with experienced mentor John Fisher at Boost delivery partner Orvia, who provided 1-2-1 support via a series of group and individual sessions. Prefix HR manager Samantha Thompson said: “The process of applying for business mentoring support was easy and straightforward."

Our mentor, John Fisher, proved to be highly effective, with a natural ability to connect with our senior leaders to spark inspiration and change. The support assisted the development of our people and brought about lasting productivity improvements.

Samantha added: “Although working relationships within the senior management team had always been good, the expansion of the company meant it was becoming more difficult to maintain a cohesive approach between the production department and office administration to ensure both were working towards common goals to achieve maximum productivity. During the sessions, our senior team members discussed various strategies to maximise efficiency and productivity.” Prefix Systems team close up with keys choices web John commented: “The individuals I mentored had both worked for the organisation for many years and were extremely receptive and inspired by the sessions. The mentoring helped them to gain an outside perspective and take some time out to work ‘on’ the business, as well as focusing on new ideas and strategies, rather than constant firefighting and dealing with everyday issues. This gave them confidence in their strategic decision-making and their ability to work as individual departments, as well as collectively towards a common goal.”

John continued: “I really enjoyed mentoring the management team at Prefix Systems. My experience and background in change management was particularly beneficial and we used various tools including, scenario planning and problem-solving activities to drive the meetings forward, enabling the achievement of company objectives. 

By the end of the sessions, the management team were working effectively together with common goals and defined ownership, which meant the business could adapt to planned changes and move forward.”

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