Food Solutions Ltd offers a coffee supplies and support business from its location in Dundalk. Distributing the illy brand of coffee in Ireland along with equipment from Astoria, the company also distributes and supports the Monin range of syrups for use in catering businesses.
Patrick Sands owns and manages Food Solutions Ltd having bought the business from the original founder some ten years ago. Employing 17 staff, the business is experiencing substantial growth. Patrick is originally a physics graduate who worked in a variety of businesses, large and small, prior to acquiring Food Solutions. He had no formal business education prior to attending the ManagementWorks programme.
Why participate in the programme
Patrick uses the analogy of visiting the gym to the stay fit to explain his participation on the programme. Starting work in a gym without the support of a personal trainer is possible but unlikely to be particularly effective.
Patrick felt that the approach offered by the ManagementWorks programme with the services of a mentor as an integral element would help him to achieve his ambitions.
Experience of the programme to date
Patrick found the programme to be extremely beneficial for him and for the business. He found the courage to speak openly about his business issues and found the confidentiality respected by his course colleagues. The learning between members of the group was extraordinary and the sense of mutual support and encouragement was very important.
Impact on their business
Patrick has become much more focused on certain aspects of his business. Client profitability is now considered carefully. While all clients are valued, the manner in which a client with very low demand can be supported is different to those with larger requirements. This focus allows the team to focus on the potential for growth more clearly. A recent team meeting allowed Patrick to articulate his vision for the business more clearly than ever before and the implications of that for each employees role and the expectations which he had for each was discussed. Participation on the programme made Patrick realise that this information had not really been shared with staff directly before. The business has considerable potential to grow with the product range being carefully expanded at the same time as identifying new sales opportunities for the existing range in a variety of niche areas.