Lawsons

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

www.lawsons.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
52 | LAWSONS
Managing Director Paul Sexton
One of the Lawsons
branches
Operating throughout London and southeast England,
Lawsons prides itself on its reputation for being a
professional, responsive and knowledgeable timber,
building and fencing merchant. Founded in 1921, the company’s
regard for people is a guiding principle, because it is people who
are the driving force behind every good business. Managing
Director Paul Sexton tells
The Parliamentary Review
more.
John Lawson, our third-generation owner, has placed the ethos of “putting
people first” at the centre of the business, as does our current Chairman Simon
Lawson, his son. Our strapline is “Family Values – Professional Service”, and this
encapsulates what we are about. We are a customer-focused, family business with
a professional attitude, and this is underpinned by our trading charter and the
Lawsons Family Values document. The charter promotes the values we hold dear
in everything we do, including adopting a personal approach, striving to fulfil all
customers’ needs, delivering to site on time, responding to all enquiries promptly
and serving our customers in the right way.
Staff first
We believe in a holistic approach – looking after our employees, customers and
the community in order to build a sustainable future. The Lawsons Family Values
document sets out the many ways in which we aim to provide the best possible
working environment by promoting job security and honesty, empowerment, a
sense of belonging, a fair job package, promotion prospects and excellent working
conditions. We are sincere when we say that we put people before profit.
FACTS ABOUT
LAWSONS
»Managing Director: Paul Sexton
»Founded in 1921
»Based across London and the
South East
»Services: Timber, building and
fencing suppliers
»No. of employees: 430
Lawsons
53LAWSONS |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Three years ago, we committed to a
£500,000 investment into training
and personal development, across
the business for over 400 staff. Each
branch has a budget every year for
staff training, which equates to £1,000
per person minimum per year, across
all job roles. We support people above
and beyond what we offer through in-
house training, and we also encourage
staff to further their education towards
qualifications at a degree level.
Lawsons work to a triple bottom
line policy in which the focus of the
company is extended beyond profits
to include social and environmental
issues. This is reflected in our current
project where we are working to
support, employ and house ex-
offenders. The welfare package
we offer includes providing every
member of staff with salary protection
insurance against critical illness for
five years, annual health checks and
an employee assistance programme
to provide any type of counselling or
support that may be required. We
also host company-wide activities and
events throughout the year, including
our annual Family Fun Day, a Black
and White Ball in aid of charity and our
Children’s Christmas party.
Every branch is a cost centre and has a
comprehensive budget for investment
every 12 months. We push the budget,
but in doing so we ensure the correct
resources are available for the branch.
We operate a profit share scheme
based on the end of year financial
performance figures for every member
of staff, which ensures everyone buys
into working together efficiently,
safely and as a team to improve on
profitability.
Adjusting and developing
We tend not to deal with the national
housebuilders; we prefer to focus
on the smaller contractors who offer
less credit risk and stronger margins.
We want to sell the right product
for the right price, delivered to the
right place at the right time and trade
on our professional service, not just
competitive pricing. Like many others
around us, we were hit by the financial
crisis ten years ago and we really
had to work hard to get back on our
feet. We identified that we had the
required skills and tools in place to
truly establish ourselves as a key player
in the loft and basement markets,
specifically in the field of repair,
maintenance and improvement, in the
London and M25 corridor area.
The volume of homes in London means
that many people look to extend their
property through a loft or a basement.
A basement can be especially
beneficial as it provides owners with
the opportunity to expand under their
above-ground premises, creating more
space and ultimately greater property
value. The end result for us has been
a significant contribution to the last
seven years of the record-breaking
turnover we have achieved.
Our social responsibility
Our commitment to family values
extends beyond our own company.
We have a social and community
conscience and commit to several
charities – we support
DIY SOS
and
over the last five years we have raised
Loft lifter and ecotruck
People before
profit
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
52 | LAWSONS
Managing Director Paul Sexton
One of the Lawsons
branches
Operating throughout London and southeast England,
Lawsons prides itself on its reputation for being a
professional, responsive and knowledgeable timber,
building and fencing merchant. Founded in 1921, the company’s
regard for people is a guiding principle, because it is people who
are the driving force behind every good business. Managing
Director Paul Sexton tells
The Parliamentary Review
more.
John Lawson, our third-generation owner, has placed the ethos of “putting
people first” at the centre of the business, as does our current Chairman Simon
Lawson, his son. Our strapline is “Family Values – Professional Service”, and this
encapsulates what we are about. We are a customer-focused, family business with
a professional attitude, and this is underpinned by our trading charter and the
Lawsons Family Values document. The charter promotes the values we hold dear
in everything we do, including adopting a personal approach, striving to fulfil all
customers’ needs, delivering to site on time, responding to all enquiries promptly
and serving our customers in the right way.
Staff first
We believe in a holistic approach – looking after our employees, customers and
the community in order to build a sustainable future. The Lawsons Family Values
document sets out the many ways in which we aim to provide the best possible
working environment by promoting job security and honesty, empowerment, a
sense of belonging, a fair job package, promotion prospects and excellent working
conditions. We are sincere when we say that we put people before profit.
FACTS ABOUT
LAWSONS
»Managing Director: Paul Sexton
»Founded in 1921
»Based across London and the
South East
»Services: Timber, building and
fencing suppliers
»No. of employees: 430
Lawsons
53LAWSONS |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Three years ago, we committed to a
£500,000 investment into training
and personal development, across
the business for over 400 staff. Each
branch has a budget every year for
staff training, which equates to £1,000
per person minimum per year, across
all job roles. We support people above
and beyond what we offer through in-
house training, and we also encourage
staff to further their education towards
qualifications at a degree level.
Lawsons work to a triple bottom
line policy in which the focus of the
company is extended beyond profits
to include social and environmental
issues. This is reflected in our current
project where we are working to
support, employ and house ex-
offenders. The welfare package
we offer includes providing every
member of staff with salary protection
insurance against critical illness for
five years, annual health checks and
an employee assistance programme
to provide any type of counselling or
support that may be required. We
also host company-wide activities and
events throughout the year, including
our annual Family Fun Day, a Black
and White Ball in aid of charity and our
Children’s Christmas party.
Every branch is a cost centre and has a
comprehensive budget for investment
every 12 months. We push the budget,
but in doing so we ensure the correct
resources are available for the branch.
We operate a profit share scheme
based on the end of year financial
performance figures for every member
of staff, which ensures everyone buys
into working together efficiently,
safely and as a team to improve on
profitability.
Adjusting and developing
We tend not to deal with the national
housebuilders; we prefer to focus
on the smaller contractors who offer
less credit risk and stronger margins.
We want to sell the right product
for the right price, delivered to the
right place at the right time and trade
on our professional service, not just
competitive pricing. Like many others
around us, we were hit by the financial
crisis ten years ago and we really
had to work hard to get back on our
feet. We identified that we had the
required skills and tools in place to
truly establish ourselves as a key player
in the loft and basement markets,
specifically in the field of repair,
maintenance and improvement, in the
London and M25 corridor area.
The volume of homes in London means
that many people look to extend their
property through a loft or a basement.
A basement can be especially
beneficial as it provides owners with
the opportunity to expand under their
above-ground premises, creating more
space and ultimately greater property
value. The end result for us has been
a significant contribution to the last
seven years of the record-breaking
turnover we have achieved.
Our social responsibility
Our commitment to family values
extends beyond our own company.
We have a social and community
conscience and commit to several
charities – we support
DIY SOS
and
over the last five years we have raised
Loft lifter and ecotruck
People before
profit
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
54 | LAWSONS
over £250,000 for Spread a Smile and
we have funded and through resources
supported Harlow Foodbank. Every
branch has its own budget for local
schools and community projects and
charities, which we have used to build
treehouses, allotments and school
kitchens and to developplaygrounds.
Investment in the business is not
confined to people and buildings either.
It makes sense to try and find ways
of investing in our vehicles to allow
them to improve the quality of service
while helping to reduce emissions. We
offer a UK first, ecofriendly delivery
solution, which is the first natural gas
and electric crane powered lorry. The
custom-built 26 tonne truck is powered
by compressed natural gas and has the
same road performance as a traditional
model. Fitted with a Hiab X-HiPro
electric crane, it is up to 50 per cent
quieter than diesel equivalents as well
as featuring ultra-low emissions.
Once we identified that natural gas
was the best alternative to diesel, we
started talking to the manufacturer.
The vehicle emits 70 per cent less
nitrous dioxide, 99 per cent less
particulate matter and up to 95 per
cent less carbon dioxide when using
biomethane. It’s also quieter than
traditional lorries, which allows us to
deliver a cleaner, quieter London.
Keeping our values at the
forefront
To continue our development, we
plan to reinvest a further £22million
for branch new-builds and
refurbishments. Ten years ago, we
were predominately a north London
merchant, but with investment we
have now established ourselves
south of the Thames. It’s all about
future investment and continuous
improvement, and we have to make
sure that we reinvest for growth.
Everything we do is about creating
sustainable business for the long-term
future. We all have an obligation to
young people, who we hope can
become tomorrow’s leaders with
secure jobs and a safe working
environment. As we continue to grow,
we will create more opportunities for
more people.
Some might argue that we over invest,
but our returns speak for themselves
– we are the third most financially
successful independent business
of our kind in the UK. The key to
Lawsons’ success is to put people first,
who in turn put the company first. A
consequence of this is financial success
that isn’t the result of putting pounds
before people.
Future
investment
and
continuous
improvement
Lawsons charity and
community support
55NORTH LONDON LOFT ROOMS |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Some loft rooms can have
excellent views
Maximising living space
with a loft room
Merging technological support with decades of senior
management and building expertise has afforded
North London Loft Rooms a unique selling point
as a construction company. Within months of its formation,
the company was admitted as a member of the Federation
of Master Builders. Having applied for chartered status while
pursuing other nationally respected awards and accreditations,
owners Dennis and Paul Weeks tell
The Parliamentary Review
more about the company’s development.
Having established the company in 2015, we had a turnover of almost £1 million
within just a year. By 2018, this had doubled to £2 million. Based upon current
rates of expansion, a minimum of approximately 20 ongoing projects at any given
time and with 50 to 100 other commissions at pre-stage status, we are currently on
track to achieve our ambition of £4 million annual turnover by 2022.
Enriching people’s lives
Our company ethos is to enrich people’s homes and lives with the development
of a larger living space. Whether to support working from home or because
adult children are still living within the family unit, we facilitate the expansion
of properties to meet new requirements and additional practicalities. Increasing
numbers of adult children are unable to leave their parents’ home due to the
current housing market and employment insecurity. Making the home bigger
affords extra space and can help to avoid overcrowding.
FACTS ABOUT
NORTH LONDON LOFT ROOMS
»Owners: Dennis and Paul Weeks
»Established in 2015
»Services: Loft rooms,
conversions, renovations and
extensions
»Based in Essex and undertake
projects in Essex, London and
surrounding areas
»No of employees: 8, with
35 fully vetted and qualified
subcontractors
»North London Loft Rooms
currently undertakes 50
projects a year, with 50 to 100
in pre-stage status
»www.northlondonlofts.co.uk
North London Loft
Rooms

www.lawsons.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Lawsons. 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