A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by C P C'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 C P C 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


1CPC |
Managing Director ChrisHaworth
Over 100,000 products
With an annual turnover of £90 million, CPC are a
hugely successful wholesale distributor of electronics
and tools. With a diverse range of clients to match
their range of products, they distribute over 4,000 orders a
day. Beyond this commercial success, they are committed
to improving the coding and technology skills of the next
generation and are the sole manufacturer of the Micro:bit
board, used to inspire children to learn coding skills. Managing
Director Chris Haworth charts the company’s growth and how
they have adapted to the competitive online marketplace.
In 1967, a budding entrepreneur saw an opportunity to import and sell
replacement TV parts to repair shops and engineers. For seven years, success was
hard-fought. Then, a young college student with a passion for business joined
forces with the founder. Reinvigorated by fresh dedication and willpower, we
soon began to reach our potential. Such was the demand that we quickly began
to extend our offering. This led to our company gaining a reputation for stocking
electronic products you couldn’t find anywhere else. We’ve never looked back
Today, we hold a diverse range of over 100,000 electrical products and tools. Our
customers are equally diverse. We serve over 225,000 UK businesses, tradespeople
and technical enthusiasts each year. By helping our customers to find more than
they are looking for, we’ve grown every year for 40 years. Our annual turnover
is now over £90 million. Such is the success of our Preston-based company that
»Managing Director:
»Founded in 1967
»Based in Preston, Lancashire
»Services: Multi-channel
wholesale distribution of
electricals, electronics and tools
»No. of employees: 320
»We distribute over three million
lines per year and 4,000 orders
per day. Our management
team of 15 people has a
combined tenure of 180 years.
Highlighting best practice
2| CPC
in 2016 we were acquired as part of
the Premier Farnell Group by the $17
billion US technology giant AVNET.
Supporting businesses
We’re often the first and last port of
call for companies of all sizes. The
reason for this goes well beyond
the depth of our product range and
competitive pricing. It’s because we
understand and truly care about the
role we play in helping our customers
to serve their customers. Our success
rides on their success, so we genuinely
regard them as our partners. This
means that trust and reliability are, and
always have been, at the heart of our
business culture.
Our goal is to ensure that our
customers have ready access to
the products they need when
they need them. We achieve this
through a combination of our
global procurement power, product
compliance expertise and substantial
on-site stock holding. However, our
customers stay with us because we
never forsake the importance of a
genuine and personal connection. They
know we care because we provide a
great experience, regardless of how
they choose to buy from us.
We’re much more than a website:
we’re real people trying to help.
Without a doubt, this can be seen in
the eagerness of our contact centre
and technical teams to assist. Even
our most senior managers regularly
contact customers to help to overcome
challenges and issues. We’re incredibly
proud of our friendly northern manner
and the fact that we are based
It’s not just smaller businesses we help
either. Even the largest multinational
consumer electronics businesses rely on
us to provide the necessary tools and
equipment to outfit all their new stores
globally. We also supported LOCOG
with their logistics and procurement
challenges. During the 2012 London
Olympic Games, we acted as a reliable
single-source supplier to deliver a
diverse requirement of electrical
equipment and tools to site.
Passionate about technology
As a technology company, we’re
also passionate about improving
the coding and programming skills
of children in the UK. As part of
the Premier Farnell Group, this can
be seen through our partnership
with the Raspberry Pi Foundation,
for whom we manufacture the
The Raspberry Pi is a vital tool for
schools and educators, and we’ve
played a pivotal role in the distribution
of over 15 million units. We are also
the exclusive manufacturer of the
Micro:bit board. It’s a genuine delight
to see children and teachers get to
grips with coding basics. Over the
years, we have been gratified to help
Distributors of The
Raspberry Pi
By helping our
customers to
find more
than they are
looking for,
we’ve grown
every year for
40 years
3CPC |
and provide support to many schools
and colleges across Preston.
Online distribution challenges
Like many distributors, we’ve had to
face the competitive threats posed by
online competition head on. We’ve
invested in our website and digital
capabilities to service more business
customers than ever before. Our
active online approach and traditional
printed catalogues helped us to
achieve record levels of customer
growth in 2019.
Many of our business customers have
also seen rapid or significant growth
online. This is particularly the case for
our customers who engage with global
marketplace platforms. Unfortunately,
there are substantial challenges
for customers who rely exclusively
on these platforms. These include
competitive pressures enabled by the
tax avoidance of foreign sellers and a
deluge of non-compliantproducts.
To protect our customers, we’ve been
working closely with local MP Ben
Wallace. Our mission is to advocate
that these powerful ecommerce
marketplace platforms provide a fair
and sustainable trading environment.
We want to help to safeguard the
future success of vulnerable SMEs in
the UK.
Change introduces
In our experience, embracing change
has been the catalyst for our success.
Whether it was the introduction
of a disruptive new technology or
the advent of ecommerce, we’ve
been quick to adapt our strategy. In
addition to the entrepreneurial spirit
that flows through our business,
we can’t overstate how critical to
our success embracing change
is. Our ability to cross-sell a wide
range of products across a variety of
different industries is also a unique
There will always be uncertainty
in our industry and our economy,
especially as we transition out of the
EU. However, there will equally be
new business opportunities that arise.
We’re confident that our culture and
core principles will allow us to seize the
initiative. If we remain committed to
providing excellent quality and value,
we will continue to grow as we did
throughout the recession.
We’re proud of who we are, where
we have come from and what we have
achieved so far, but our journey is far
from finished. Ultimately, we want to
become a better version of ourselves;
part of this means widening our reach.
Ecommerce has made the world a
smaller place, and it’s easier than ever
before to reach customers the world
over. We know that many businesses
outside the UK would benefit from a
supplier who truly wants to help them
to succeed.
In our
change has
been the
catalyst for
Real people, here to help


This article was sponsored by C P C. 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