A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Badgemaster'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 Badgemaster 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

John Bancroft MBE, chairman
and founder
Processing around 1,200
orders and 15,000 employee
names every day
Nottinghamshire-based Badgemaster started 26 years
ago trading from the back room of a Portakabin with
just John Bancroft MBE, his wife Vicky and their vision.
The company now employs 110 people, is expanding into
other markets and introducing new technologies to the
badge production industry; their contribution to the recent
regeneration and employment rates of their local area has been
substantial, to say the very least. They have recruited a team of
extremely good people who have developed specialised skillsets.
They have also recently employed a fully qualified accountant,
whose manufacturing experience will now allow John, as
chairman and founder, to work on the business, rather than in
the business.
I often tell people that, when they go about their daily life, no matter what they do,
whether they travel by coach or train, go shopping, take a trip to the bank or visit
the hospital, they’ll almost always be served by someone wearing a name badge.
Nomatter the industry, that badge itself will be a unique product, and specific to the
corporate image of the employer in question. The badge itself is then also unique;
it has the wearer’s name on it, and sometimes even their title. Our challenge is to
make these badges and then to meet the challenge of ensuring our customers all
receive a fast, efficient, low-cost service with no minimum order quantity required.
An estimated 50 per cent of name badges in circulation for major employers – large
banks, retailers, supermarkets and hotel chains, for example – are produced by
»Chairman and founder: John
Bancroft MBE
»Established in 1992
»Based in Nottinghamshire
»Services: Name badge
»No. of employees: 110
»Awarded the royal warrant for
badge making in 2006
»ISO 9001 and 14001
»Turnover: £5.2 million
Highlighting best practice
Badgemaster. It is in these sectors that
we have the lion’s share of the badge
production market. We do, conversely,
also provide services for smaller
businesses: hairdressing salons and
independent traders for example. We
are also market leaders and the biggest
single supplier in this case, but our
presence is likely closer to 30 per cent
of name badges in circulation.
We can also handle badge design
in-house, and have an award-winning
design studio that employs four full-
time, qualified graphic designers.
This is a real point of pride for us, as
our designers have worked alongside
Europe’s top corporate clothing and
uniform suppliers and UK leading
brands such as Costa, Greene King,
Boots and Lloyds to produce, to exact
specifications, what the client requires.
Where people matter
Though in 1992, we incorporated
our first strapline, “create the right
impression”, that has since changed
to “where people matter”. This ethos
covers both customer and company;
clients want their employees to
advertise their individuality and identity
when they ask us to produce badges,
but we ourselves also regard our
employees as being the real lifeblood
of Badgemaster. We were historically
a family-based business, and that
mindset has since expanded to include
everyone who works here: over two-
thirds of our workforce have been with
the company for over ten years.
People are important to us, and having
to deal with anywhere between 1,200
and 1,500 individual orders a day
from a range of over 35,000 different
designs means our staff need to be
efficient. There has to be a culture
of constant excellence to ensure we
can quickly turn around products of
the high quality we’re renowned for
– our accreditations in both ISO 9001
and ISO 14001 are testament to this
necessary attitude.
It is thanks to this culture that we have
seen such tremendous growth over the
past 26 years. We have grown from six
employees in 1993 to 110 as of 2018,
and last financial year, our turnover
was £5.2 million. In the 2018/19
financial year, we are on track to
exceed £6 million – the trajectory we
are on shows a positive, upward trend.
One of an elite few
Our professional and historic
experience with large companies
cannot be understated, and our
capacity to deliver appropriately has
always been celebrated. In 2000, we
started working for the royal family,
and in 2006 were officially awarded
Her Majesty the Queen’s royal warrant
for the supply of bespoke name badges
to the staff of the royal households.
We have also been providing similar
products for the Duke and Duchess of
Cornwall and their charity work.
Our manufacturing pedigree and elite
presence are evident across the board;
digital technology at
Our designers
have worked
Europe’s top
clothing and
if you name any industry or sector,
I can personally guarantee we will
have a massive client there. When,
for example, Premier Inn changed
their branding several years ago and
relaunched a combined brand after a
successful merger, we helped to handle
the appropriate transition and worked
with them in designing a new, full-
colour badge. We fashioned it in the
shape of a headboard and soon saw
it distributed nationwide across 2,500
hotels in keeping with their new brand
image, alongside providing miniature
flags for each badge which correspond
to certain spoken languages.
Above all else, our business is about
providing the highest quality. I have
only ever known, over 26 years, three
accounts of any significance to leave
us, and all have returned. Retaining
customers is a matter of simply being
the best – we have never missed a
deadline. Most clients use Badgemaster
either thanks to referral or simply due
to our presence as a market leader.
Engaging with new challenges
Though we see no major obstacles as
of yet, we do relish the opportunity
to take on new challenges. With
Brexit on its way, we look at potential
avenues for further development.
We have invested around £160,000
in the development of a new, online
ordering portal, where a badge can be
designed, customised and purchased
with ease. This will hopefully help to
expand our market both domestically
and internationally.
With Brexit on the horizon, we can
safely say the effects have not yet been
detrimental for Badgemaster. Magnetic
badge fasteners are heavily monopolised
by Chinese distributors; when the
drop in the pound made these more
expensive, we looked locally and found
a cheaper British supplier. Without
Brexit as an incentive, we would never
have looked for better, local service
at a lower cost – it has thus far been
more beneficial than anything else.
We now have over 35,000 customers,
and estimate that well over six
million people across the world wear
Badgemaster products. We want to
start expanding by increasing our
offerings of allied products including
lanyards, security, conference, event
recognition and promotional badges
and look at new opportunities and
ventures. That said, however, there
are more and more name badges
worn every day, and there is an ever-
increasing desire to identify employees.
Not only are we growing and going
strong – our market is, as well. For
us, there seems to be a lucrative and
enjoyable future on the horizon.
We now have
over 35,000
and estimate
that well over
six million
people across
the world
Good morning – team
members on the early

This article was sponsored by Badgemaster. 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 Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy