Like all businesses you have to evolve and at Firewatch it is no different, we are close to completing a restructuring of the group; earlier in the year we completed the sale of our shares in Total Event Hire Ltd to existing shareholders Robin Hammond and Rob Freeman, Total Event Hire was under the Firewatch umbrella for over 5 years and despite the erratic economic times of the last few years continued to grow its client base and excellent reputation ,but it didn’t fit in with where my fellow Directors and I saw as the future of the Group.
Our foray into UK Manufacturing through Vander Clothing, ended disappointedly, having to succumb to the difficult economic climate, with no support from banks and so called government initiatives - whilst it ended up costly for us personally, nobody else was out of pocket. Established clothing manufacturer Cedar Clothing based in the Midlands hope to resurrect the brand in the future with new designs planned.
By the end of the year we will have consolidated all our operations to under one roof into our Head office of 9,000 sq.ft on the Brunel Industrial Estate in Newton Abbot. This includes a complete refurbishment of our offices and transferring our fire equipment stores, with a new Asign showroom and enlarged sign making production room.
Firewatch continue to grow other aspects of the business, primarily Asigns our bespoke sign making division which is having it best ever period of trading, our fire door maintenance division Brunel Maintenance has a nigh on full order book until the end of October. Another innovation we have pursued is working closely with partner firms such as Sherwood’s, like us an independent family owned and run business offering a range of planned maintenance services, the perfect solution for clients seeking a ‘one stop shop’ service.
In summary the announcement of the new accreditation SP205-1 and the group restructuring demonstrates the desire of Firewatch to serve its clients, invest in its employees and continue to grow the business, ensuring the sustainability of Firewatch for the future.
Conscious of the current trend of making contact through emails and social media, Firewatch continue to send out monthly informative newsletters, but is also going back to putting a ‘face’ in front of existing customers and potential new ones, to achieve this we have promoted Mark Harris to business development executive, an experienced fire safety professional Mark will visit clients new and old to explain the many services that Firewatch can provide, other new faces this year include Jo Coombe who joined Firewatch earlier in the year to bolster the fire alarm division administration department.
Business Development Executive
Area Manager Simon Molloy has relocated to Somerset from Plymouth, this will enable him to visit our clients in the Somerset and Bristol area more regularly as well as more regular visits to our Midland contracts .
Peter Baxter has joined the company as a fire extinguisher technician, Peter is new to the industry, he has completed his training under the watchful eye of Mark Harris and will be completing his BAFE examination in the autumn. The fire alarm division has recruited Alfie Binyon an experienced fire alarm engineer with many skills including advanced commissioning. The last ‘new’ employee is Geoff Baker, who retired in July only to come back part time to help with the increased workload following the company winning new contracts.