Advanced Ventilation Systems

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Advanced Ventilation Systems's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Advanced Ventilation Systems is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

advancedventilationsystems.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | ADVANCED VENTILATION SYSTEMS
Managing Director PaulWojcik
AVS34 surface mounted louvres at
the Bobby Moore Academy, Stratford
Advanced Ventilation Systems are manufacturers and
suppliers of made-to-measure ventilation louvres
specifically to the window and construction industry.
From their production facility in Ford, West Sussex, they supply
businesses all over the UK and export to the Republic of Ireland.
They have undertaken projects ranging from the interview set
for the BBC’s Waking the Dead series to the Bobby Moore
Academy on the former Olympic site. Managing Director Paul
Wojcik discusses the formation of the company and how they
interact with a truly global supply chain.
Having worked broadly within the ventilation industry for what is virtually my
entire career, I started AVS Ltd in 2007. Immediately before that, I had worked
for a business in the commercial end of window installation, which subsequently
went into administration. It was a difficult time, but I look back and I am grateful
for the experience. One of the key parts of the experience, and one that drove me
forward, was the need to be in control of my own destiny. When a business fails,
it’s usually the result of a variety of complex issues; when the process starts, you are
quickly powerless to affect the outcome.
Prior to that, I had worked for two companies that we are now directly competing
against. It meant that I had a good understanding of the market sector, I knew the
customer base and I had a belief that I could be successful.
We started by buying a system, essentially a kit of parts, from Europe and
outsourced our manufacturing to a company in Whitstable. This meant that for two
FACTS ABOUT
ADVANCED VENTILATION
SYSTEMS
»Managing Director:
PaulWojcik
»Established in 2007
»Based in Ford, West Sussex
»Services: Louvre manufacture
for the window and
construction industries
»No. of employees: 5
Advanced Ventilation
Systems
29ADVANCED VENTILATION SYSTEMS |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
or three days a week, I was travelling
five hours a day, something that
very quickly became unsustainable.
There was a need to be closer to the
coalface, so one year in, we set up
manufacturing in Littlehampton and
recruited our first employee. Thus,
we had started a manufacturing
business in what was the deepest
recession since the Second World
War, where manufacturing output in
the UK declined by 7 per cent by the
end of 2008 and new phrases such
as “subprime mortgage” and “credit
crunch” entered ourvocabularies.
Outperforming the wider
economy
If your starting base and overheads
are low, the product is right and your
price is market led, it is possible to
outperform the wider economy, which
is exactly what we did. We turned over
a modest £120,000 in 2008; in 2009,
we increased that to £233,000. Roll
the clock forward to 2017/18 and we
are now turning over £750,000 and
are on target to increase that again in
the current financial year, albeit now
with five full-time employees and some
external administrative support.
Outsourcing enabled us to gain
market entry, but the supply chain felt
vulnerable from the continent, so we
made a decision to develop our own
product and set up UK raw material
supply. Despite a couple of forays into
overseas supply, primarily from China,
our supply chain remains fully UK
based. We initially developed our small-
format AVS34 system and then, with
some assistance from the government
through the Manufacturing Advisory
Service, which funded 50 per cent of
our development costs, launched our
AVS50 medium-format system. While
we could continue to develop further
products into different and larger-
format louvres, those products do not
tend to be used in our core markets,
so we have adopted an alternative
approach: having the widest possible
market offering within our focused
range of products. AVS34 glazed-in louvres
at Chilcomb Centre,
Winchester
If your starting
base is low,
the product is
right and your
price is market
led, it is
possible to
outperform
the wider
economy
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | ADVANCED VENTILATION SYSTEMS
Managing Director PaulWojcik
AVS34 surface mounted louvres at
the Bobby Moore Academy, Stratford
Advanced Ventilation Systems are manufacturers and
suppliers of made-to-measure ventilation louvres
specifically to the window and construction industry.
From their production facility in Ford, West Sussex, they supply
businesses all over the UK and export to the Republic of Ireland.
They have undertaken projects ranging from the interview set
for the BBC’s Waking the Dead series to the Bobby Moore
Academy on the former Olympic site. Managing Director Paul
Wojcik discusses the formation of the company and how they
interact with a truly global supply chain.
Having worked broadly within the ventilation industry for what is virtually my
entire career, I started AVS Ltd in 2007. Immediately before that, I had worked
for a business in the commercial end of window installation, which subsequently
went into administration. It was a difficult time, but I look back and I am grateful
for the experience. One of the key parts of the experience, and one that drove me
forward, was the need to be in control of my own destiny. When a business fails,
it’s usually the result of a variety of complex issues; when the process starts, you are
quickly powerless to affect the outcome.
Prior to that, I had worked for two companies that we are now directly competing
against. It meant that I had a good understanding of the market sector, I knew the
customer base and I had a belief that I could be successful.
We started by buying a system, essentially a kit of parts, from Europe and
outsourced our manufacturing to a company in Whitstable. This meant that for two
FACTS ABOUT
ADVANCED VENTILATION
SYSTEMS
»Managing Director:
PaulWojcik
»Established in 2007
»Based in Ford, West Sussex
»Services: Louvre manufacture
for the window and
construction industries
»No. of employees: 5
Advanced Ventilation
Systems
29ADVANCED VENTILATION SYSTEMS |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
or three days a week, I was travelling
five hours a day, something that
very quickly became unsustainable.
There was a need to be closer to the
coalface, so one year in, we set up
manufacturing in Littlehampton and
recruited our first employee. Thus,
we had started a manufacturing
business in what was the deepest
recession since the Second World
War, where manufacturing output in
the UK declined by 7 per cent by the
end of 2008 and new phrases such
as “subprime mortgage” and “credit
crunch” entered ourvocabularies.
Outperforming the wider
economy
If your starting base and overheads
are low, the product is right and your
price is market led, it is possible to
outperform the wider economy, which
is exactly what we did. We turned over
a modest £120,000 in 2008; in 2009,
we increased that to £233,000. Roll
the clock forward to 2017/18 and we
are now turning over £750,000 and
are on target to increase that again in
the current financial year, albeit now
with five full-time employees and some
external administrative support.
Outsourcing enabled us to gain
market entry, but the supply chain felt
vulnerable from the continent, so we
made a decision to develop our own
product and set up UK raw material
supply. Despite a couple of forays into
overseas supply, primarily from China,
our supply chain remains fully UK
based. We initially developed our small-
format AVS34 system and then, with
some assistance from the government
through the Manufacturing Advisory
Service, which funded 50 per cent of
our development costs, launched our
AVS50 medium-format system. While
we could continue to develop further
products into different and larger-
format louvres, those products do not
tend to be used in our core markets,
so we have adopted an alternative
approach: having the widest possible
market offering within our focused
range of products. AVS34 glazed-in louvres
at Chilcomb Centre,
Winchester
If your starting
base is low,
the product is
right and your
price is market
led, it is
possible to
outperform
the wider
economy
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | ADVANCED VENTILATION SYSTEMS
Continuing to push forward
Despite 12 years having elapsed since
AVS started, I have never believed
we have “arrived” as a business.
There is still always more to do, and
complacency is something that we
simply never allow. I believe the
success we have enjoyed can be
attributed to a wide range of factors.
We have always sought to provide a
high-quality solution-based product
while delivering the right combination
of price, performance, service and
technical support.
Customer retention has been key,
and this is linked to our market
orientation, customer focus, and,
crucially, relationships with our
customers and suppliers. We take
pride in paying all of our suppliers on
time and in full. We want the best
prices but we also recognise that
our suppliers need to make a profit,
allowing them to be supplying us
not just now but ten years down the
line as well. With all of this comes
a big slice of luck. Gary Player, the
South African golfer, holed out from
a bunker shot and was asked if he
was lucky, to which he replied: “The
harder I practise, the luckier I get.” Its
a phrase I live by and totally believe in.
The bottom line is: you always get out
what you put in.
A global business
environment
The reality is, as a business, we
already operate in a global world.
Our primary component is aluminium
extruded in the UK, our design is
completed by a Norwegian-owned
company and our raw materials are
sourced from across central Europe
and beyond. These materials are
traded on the Chinese-owned London
Metal Exchange and the trading
currency is US dollars: a truly global
supply chain.
When the US imposes sanctions
on Russian aluminium producers,
our prices go up. When the pound
slips against the dollar, our prices
go up. This challenge isn’t new to
us but it is further compounded by
uncertainty. We look to mitigate this
by locking ourselves into annual supply
agreements with our key suppliers,
giving us, at least, price certainty for a
12-month period.
Our business is also linked to elements
of government spending, as our
product is widely used in schools,
hospitals and other public buildings.
This means we have a vested interest
in the UK having a strong economy,
allowing necessary spending to be
maintained on both existing and new
builds in these sectors.
Of course, we also have the local
challenges of looking to grow our
business against the backdrop of
uncertainty that currently exists. We
find ourselves at a time when we
could look to invest in space and
people, allowing us to manage our
business better and to maintain and
improve our current lead times while
expanding our market share. This,
however, would be so much easier
to realise if we knew the direction of
travel and the outcome of Brexit and
its futureimpacts.
Gary Player,
the South
African golfer
was asked if
he was lucky,
to which he
replied:
‘Theharder I
practise, the
luckier I get’
AVS34 louvres at
Chichester Enterprise
Centre
31COMPOSITE PROFILES |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Helen Clayton receiving the
Champion of the Year Award
from Managing Director Mark
Norton
Specialist deck installation at
Maidstone Audi dealership
Composite Profiles are a specialist metal decking contractor,
established in 1992. Whereas many in their industry focus
solely on price to remain competitive, they champion the
quality of their service, ensuring that all client needs are met.
Having weathered the financial crash in 2008, they have seen
significant growth and have since quadrupled their turnover to in
excess of £5 million. Managing Director Mark Norton discusses
their focus on people, delivering quality safely and their work
with the BBC’s
DIY SOS
to support the Grenfell community.
Being a specialist metal decking contractor with just 20 permanent employees
doesn’t automatically convey our status as an award-winning, people-centred
business. We face the same challenges as larger organisations do, but we approach
them differently. In a price-dominated market, we focus on our culture, values and
service, influencing the industry’s
status quo
At the beginning of 2018, we set ourselves the challenge to reach our ambitious
“Ten-in-Ten” growth strategy – to double our turnover to £10 million in ten years.
Our company was started by my father, Roy Norton, in 1992. Splitting from his
former business partner, Roy hit the road following his instinctive principle to
focus on customer service and loyalty. This founding philosophy remains central to
our decisions and manifests through our values and pillars of excellence: building
the future, building trust, building knowledge, building team spirit and building
relationships – the building blocks of our “building excellence” brand identity.
Late last year, we unpicked the meaning of those two special words, “building
excellence”, and commenced our journey towards them. We recently created a set of
“excellent” behaviours, which form the basis of our new team welcome pack.
FACTS ABOUT
COMPOSITE PROFILES
»Managing Director:
MarkNorton
»Established in 1992
»Based in Poole, Nottingham,
Newcastle-upon-Tyne and
Derby
»Services: Composite floor
decking and structural roof
decking, plus related services
»No. of employees: 20
permanent with up to 40
subcontractors
»Awards include Investors in
People Gold accreditation
2019, Business Excellence
Forum Best Company Culture
2018 and numerous best
contractor awards
»www.compositeuk.com
Composite Profiles

advancedventilationsystems.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Advanced Ventilation Systems. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster