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I boasted in an earlier post of having completed three deals in three weeks - and no this is not a representative running rate!  Here are some more details on one of them.

Scott Timber Group acquired Crofton Pallets in Huntingdon, boosting its turnover from £57 million to over £75 million and increasing staff numbers from 600 to nearly 700.Croftondeal

Crofton has manufacturing sites at Huntingdon, Grimsby and Wisbech.  The sites ‘complete the map’ for Scott Timber which has built its manufacturing bases around its customers.  It will also be able to enhance its timber import operation in Riga, Latvia, which will be complemented by a similar operation conducted by Crofton out of Wisbech. This paves the way for the shipment of over 25,000 cubic metres of timber every month.

As one of the UK’s largest pallet manufacturers, Crofton is renowned for its new pallet supply and quality of service. Scott Timber will look to build on this with the support of the Crofton management team, which will remain in place.

More on our website.   The picture shows - from left to right - my colleague Tony Stairs,  Paul Davidson and Paul Watkins, Directors of Crofton, and myself.

Continue reading "Timber" »

Delivering great service

I recently had a dialogue with a senior manager in a UK quoted company about what he saw as good service from his professional advisers.   It was a good reminder, and I'm happy to have us judged by this. 

I have shamelessly paraphrased his presentation below.  Happily I think we're doing ok by these criteria.



  • Want clear advice and no fence sitting from advisers
  • Hate self serving caveats, disclaimers and lack of clarity
  • Want to be advised of risks and opportunities - for them not for their advisers
  • Want advisers to be readily accessible, and beyond 5pm
  • Want an easy life - put all your contact details on your email footer including direct lines
  • If you use voicemail it should say more than just who you are leaving a message for

Value for Money 

Clients like:-

  • Transparency - to understand what they're being billed for and why.  NO surprises.  They have to manage cost expectations internally too.

Clients hate:-

  • Abuse of the fee process = loss of trust
  • Being held to ransom over changes to the project scope

But the relationship needs to be commercial and win win - the adviser has  a business to run too.

The Relationship

  • Clients like to feel important to the adviser
  • They appreciate advisers investing time in their business
  • They value regular contact with partners and working with personable staff
  • Clients want to know that the relationship partner will try their utmost to resolve any problems in the relationship

The one thing I know we're not doing yet is voicemail.  We have recently acquired the technology, but I am aware of the need to record specific daily messages - once I have had a chance to read the instruction manual I will implement this!