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


1HIB |
Managing Director
Latest innovative
launches: Solas Mirror
and Ether Cabinet
Robert Ginsberg, managing director of HiB, says that, for
years, bathroom mirrors and cabinets were seen by many
as just add-on products, typically towards the end of the
homeowner’s design process, with very basic features. His
company saw a gap in the market in 1990 after identifying
a growing interest in bathroom interiors, and recognised the
impact that a stand-out mirror or cabinet could have in these
spaces. By capitalising on this clear gap, HiB has taken a low-
priority product area and developed it into a must-have –
drastically changing how the market views bathroom accessories.
How this came to be is a topic on which Robert expands.
Becoming a leader
At the inception of the company, our core business was the import of high-end
bathroom mirrors from Germany. While this allowed us to develop from a one-man
band into a fully fledged small business, we knew that in order to be a true market
leader, we’d need to begin designing and manufacturing our own products.
In 2005, production of the first HiB brand mirrors began. At this stage, we agreed
on a philosophy which would underpin our business from then onwards: we would
only bring products to market which answered a genuine need. While it may have
been easier for us to simply follow the crowd, ultimately we knew that a “me-too”
product would only take the business so far. In order to lead, we needed to innovate.
»Managing Director:
»Established in 1990
»Based in Tamworth,
»Services: Supplier of innovative
bathroom illuminated mirrors
and cabinets
»No. of employees: 100
»Responsible for introducing
the first steam-free mirrors
into the international
bathroom market
Highlighting best practice
2| HIB
Since then, we’ve been responsible for
a number of firsts in the UK bathroom
industry. From steam-free mirrors
and cabinets to in-built shaver and
USB charging sockets, and even the
integration of Bluetooth speakers,
many of the features we pioneered
have now become standard.
Ten years after the introduction of HiB
brand mirrors and cabinets, we carried
this philosophy through to the launch
of HiB Novum, our bathroom furniture
brand. Designed to meet demand for
affordable but design-led furniture,
Novum allowed us to once again take
ownership of a gap in the market.
Using strategic marketing and high-
end design, the launch of our furniture
brand was a success, ultimately adding
significant turnover to our figures
while expanding and strengthening
our customer base.
Again, while launching HiB Novum was
a risk, it was one we knew we had to
take in order to continue our journey
as a market leader. As a result, we’ve
experienced unprecedented growth for
our sector, becoming a market leader
not just in the UK and Ireland, but
globally, supplying to locations across
Europe and the Middle East alongside
4,000 UK showrooms.
The value of company culture
From the very outset, we wanted
our culture to be exceptional. As
true believers in the power of
people, we built our company values
around empowering our employees
and creating a dynamic workplace
Our four core pillars are:
»Innovate and achieve together
»Committed to getting the job done
»Enjoy and excel in all we do
»Care for our community
What these values mean in practice
is the creation of a culture which
genuinely nurtures its employees and
gives them a reason to go above and
beyond on a daily basis.
One example of this is our Talent
Group Initiative. Designed to identify
particularly ambitious and talented
staff, members of the initiative are
tasked with projects that contribute to
the development of the business and
are asked to present their research
and ideas to the board. Many of
these proposals are actioned, offering
Talent Group individuals the chance
to showcase their skills while adding
value to the business.
We firmly believe that brilliant ideas
can come from any employee. In
fact, when the business underwent a
rebrand in 2016, the strapline “Making
Bathrooms Beautiful” came from an
employee’s submission, and last year,
when the brand moved to its new
85,000-square-foot home, Inspire
House, it was staff members who
named both the building and the café.
IP44 pendant
lighting enhancing
the atmosphere of a
growth for our
becoming a
market leader
not just in the
UK and Ireland,
but globally
3HIB |
Our culture also values and rewards
homegrown talent. Every senior member
of the team has grown within the
business. To name just a few examples,
our marketing director was the first
area sales manager to join, 27 years
ago; the human resources manager
began as a personal assistant 12 years
ago; and, most recently, two brothers
who started work in the warehouse 20
years ago were made directors.
As a result, the brand’s staff retention
rate is exceptionally high, with 30 per
cent of all Tamworth headquarters
staff having been a part of the HiB
team for over a decade. This is one of
our greatest strengths and an element
of our business which we are extremely
proud of.
The future
In the last four years, we’ve experienced
an increase of 20 per cent each
year along with 71.44 per cent net
compound annual growth over the last
three years.
In order to sustain this success and
continue to drive growth, a long-term
strategy reaching through to 2030 is
constantly monitored and refined. The
2030 roadmap projects the needs of
the business, target areas for growth
and how our goals can be attained
across this period. This includes a
strong reinvestment strategy to further
strengthen and grow the business.
Export is another major part of the
plan. We already sell to the Middle East
and have recently begun exporting to
Belgium, but we are planning to enter
more international markets in the
coming years.
We’re also looking to develop the
specification side of the business. Due
to our strong stockholding and brand
position, we are well placed to supply
products in bulk to hotel and new-
build residential clients, and sales have
doubled in the last 12 months.
Our business has been built on
innovation. We lead the market by
constantly bringing fresh concepts
into the industry, whether those are
inspired by an employee suggestion,
analysis of adjacent sectors or the
insight of our product team. Whatever
the future holds, the HiB community
will see it through as a team. A
business is only as strong as its staff,
and we could not ask for a more
committed group of people.
The brand’s staff
retention rate is
high, with 30
per cent of all
staff having
been a part of
the HiB team for
over a decade
Staff canteen at Inspire
Customer showroom at
Inspire House


This article was sponsored by HiB. 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