Sleeman & Hawken

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Sleeman & Hawken'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 Sleeman & Hawken 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.sleeman-hawken.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | ADVANCED ADHESIVES
they are dealing with a quality supplier.
We hold and have held ISO 9001 and
14001 for many years.
Bonding the unbondable
At heart, I am a problem solver, and
I won’t be beaten when it comes to
finding the right technical solution.
Generally, companies tend to have
problems joining two surfaces
together, but once we have solved
their problem, we sell glue. In such
situations, once customers can see the
technical solution we propose is rock
solid and their production line is up
and running again, they become our
best advocates. That’s one of the most
rewarding aspects of the job.
A few years ago, we launched a project
to “bond the unbondable”. Bentley
were developing a new lightweight
dashboard, which was designed to be
lighter than the current dashboard,
dimensionally stable, cost-effective
and recyclable. However, the material
selected, polypropylene, was very
difficult to bond, so we successfully
developed an adhesive that did the
job effectively while withstanding the
high temperatures the adhesive needed
to withstand. This was a standout
moment in our 22-yearhistory.
This type of solutions-based success for
a brand as prestigious as Bentley has
since opened doors for us throughout
the automotive sector, which sees us
providing similar support for the new
London taxis. We are also looking at a
new range of applications for electric
vehicles, which is a market that we
expect will have massive potential forus.
Planning for future success
One of the biggest challenges we face
is continuing to adapt to changing
legislation. While we appreciate and
support this regulation, it requires a lot
of compliance work, especially when it
comes to shipping our products, which
are classed as chemicals. With the
introduction of the REACH directive,
a European directive for chemical
registration, together with UFI
registration, we must ensure that all
our chemicals are compliant for use in
Europe and beyond. Additionally, we
need to ensure that everyone involved
in handling our products is aware of
the requirements. Our employees have
been on courses relating to handling,
regulation and shipping of dangerous
goods – which is essential training if
we are to remain compliant.
As for the future, it is looking very
good. The potential for business
growth in the short and medium term
is both realistic and achievable, and
our consistent commitment to great
customer service is now bringing its
own rewards. It’s fair to say we’ve
glued everything from rubber ducks to
luxury cars, so we’ll be sticking to this
tried-and-tested formula for success –
because it works.
Our consistent
commitment
to great
customer
service is now
bringing its
own rewards.
It’s fair to say
we’ve glued
everything
from rubber
ducks to
luxury cars
Age testing components
in climatic chamber
33SLEEMAN & HAWKEN |
INDUSTRY & PRODUCTION
Father and son Keith and Ryan
Mason
A Lister Petter engine
– Sleeman & Hawken
purchased Lister
Petter in 2017
Sleeman & Hawken Ltd is primarily a distributor for a
number of manufacturers of small diesel engines. Based
in South Devon, the firm specialises mainly in spare parts
and exports the bulk of its sales abroad. Director Ryan Mason
tells
The Parliamentary Review
that in 2017, Sleeman & Hawken
acquired its primary supplier – Lister Petter, a historic British
engine manufacturer based in Gloucestershire. Ryan explains
that the acquisition of a supplier has brought its own unique
opportunities and challenges, and discusses the company’s
emphasis on “doing things properly”.
As a group, we employ 40 people across two sites with turnover approaching £10
million. We assemble around 2,000 engines a year under the brand Lister Petter,
with the bulk of our profit coming from the sales of spare parts to support current
and previous engine sales. Some of the engines we sell spare parts for are over 50
years old.
Day to day, the business has separate core operations at its two sites. The site
in Gloucester assembles diesel engines from core components, while the site in
Teignmouth distributes spare parts to its customers and sub-dealers. On an average
day we finish around ten engines, and dispatch 20 to 30 spare parts orders.
Doing things properly
We do not believe we do anything complicated or ground-breaking at Sleeman &
Hawken. Our emphasis is on doing things properly – not taking shortcuts or doing
FACTS ABOUT
SLEEMAN & HAWKEN
»Managing Director:
KeithMason
»Founded in 1958
»Located in Devon
»Services: Primarily a distributor
for a number of manufacturers
of small diesel engines
»No. of employees: 40 across
group
Sleeman & Hawken
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | SLEEMAN & HAWKEN
the easy thing – being honest with our
customers and suppliers, and giving
the best service we can in terms of
advice, support and response times.
The aim is to take pride in the products
we build and distribute, in the place
we work, and in the people we work
with. Through this, we have built up
a substantial and loyal customer base
across over 50 countries from every
continent, the majority of whom have
purchased from us for ten years or
more. These are typically similar sized
family businesses in their own markets,
but can also vary from an individual
end user to a multi-national company
or ministry of defence.
Recent growth has been achieved
through the acquisition of an engine
assembly business, with group turnover
jumping from £5 million in 2017 to
£9.45 million in 2018. Our margins
improved through increased buying
power, as we were able to control our
market in a more consistent way than
before. This has prevented the leakage
of business to the grey market and
allowed us to control lines of enquiry
to specific distributors and regions,
preventing self-defeating competition
between those distributors,
preserving theirmarginsand ourown.
Furthergrowth will come from
increased engines sales into new
territories, which will fuel the spare
parts business in years to come.
Current challenges
The single biggest challenge we will
face in the immediate future will be
the territories in which we can sell new
engines due to the introduction of
more stringent emission regulations.
Although we recognise the need for
increased emission regulation for
diesel engines, this very increase could
threaten the existence of our engine
assembly operation in the UK. We
like to compare our engines to a Land
Rover Defender: British built, to a tried
and trusted design, robust and reliable,
and easy to repair and maintain, with
a similar, almost cult-like following.
However, like the Defender, our
engines have been surpassed by the
regulations of the industry, and our
markets in the future will be limited to
developing countries whose emissions
regulations are yet to catch up: Eastern
Europe, Africa, parts of the Middle East
and the like. Unlike Land Rover, we
do not have the resources required to
redevelop the product from scratch.
The Lister Petter
assembly line in
Gloucester
In terms of the
effects of
political events
or new
legislation, we
feel we can
continue to do
business
despite these,
rather than
because
ofthem
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | SLEEMAN & HAWKEN
the easy thing – being honest with our
customers and suppliers, and giving
the best service we can in terms of
advice, support and response times.
The aim is to take pride in the products
we build and distribute, in the place
we work, and in the people we work
with. Through this, we have built up
a substantial and loyal customer base
across over 50 countries from every
continent, the majority of whom have
purchased from us for ten years or
more. These are typically similar sized
family businesses in their own markets,
but can also vary from an individual
end user to a multi-national company
or ministry of defence.
Recent growth has been achieved
through the acquisition of an engine
assembly business, with group turnover
jumping from £5 million in 2017 to
£9.45 million in 2018. Our margins
improved through increased buying
power, as we were able to control our
market in a more consistent way than
before. This has prevented the leakage
of business to the grey market and
allowed us to control lines of enquiry
to specific distributors and regions,
preventing self-defeating competition
between those distributors,
preserving theirmarginsand ourown.
Furthergrowth will come from
increased engines sales into new
territories, which will fuel the spare
parts business in years to come.
Current challenges
The single biggest challenge we will
face in the immediate future will be
the territories in which we can sell new
engines due to the introduction of
more stringent emission regulations.
Although we recognise the need for
increased emission regulation for
diesel engines, this very increase could
threaten the existence of our engine
assembly operation in the UK. We
like to compare our engines to a Land
Rover Defender: British built, to a tried
and trusted design, robust and reliable,
and easy to repair and maintain, with
a similar, almost cult-like following.
However, like the Defender, our
engines have been surpassed by the
regulations of the industry, and our
markets in the future will be limited to
developing countries whose emissions
regulations are yet to catch up: Eastern
Europe, Africa, parts of the Middle East
and the like. Unlike Land Rover, we
do not have the resources required to
redevelop the product from scratch.
The Lister Petter
assembly line in
Gloucester
In terms of the
effects of
political events
or new
legislation, we
feel we can
continue to do
business
despite these,
rather than
because
ofthem
35SLEEMAN & HAWKEN |
INDUSTRY & PRODUCTION
Our only means to overcome this
issue will be to form a partnership
with a more technologically advanced
manufacturer, perhaps one that is
in need of the history and quality
connotations of our British brand.
While this may serve our purpose
in the immediate term, it might not
guarantee our own full nuts and bolts
engine assembly operation in the UK,
of which we are immensely proud.
Continuing despite obstacles
We have a centralised purchasing team
across both operations with over 200
suppliers, with an equal split inside and
outside the UK. That, coupled with
the fact that about 55 per cent of our
sales are outside of Europe, results in
a high freight spend, and requires our
logistics operation to be precise and
organised. The smallest disruption to
this operation can halt our day-to-
day operation through lack of stock,
particularly at the engine assembly
site. Queues at borders are our biggest
concern with regards to Brexit. To
simply stock up in readiness for this
would cost us between £100,000
and £250,000 and is not a luxury we
canafford.
In terms of the effects of political
events or new legislation, we feel we
can continue to do business despite
these, rather than because of them. As
outlined earlier, our primary concern
with regards to Brexit is queues at
borders, which we would hope will
only be a short-term disruption. In
more general terms, our view is similar
to those articulated by Lord Bamford
of JCB – the bulk of our customers
and suppliers are already outside the
EU. As with all companies in the UK,
we are capable of doing business with
these countries already; at worst, we
will have to apply these principles to
countries within the EU as well. This
is perhaps too simplistic a view, but
we feel there are no other options.
The time and resources already spent
worrying about the outcome of Brexit
will never be recuperated. All we can
do as a company, and as a country it
seems, is to work harder to plough
onregardless.
To stock up in
readiness for
Brexit would
cost us
between
£100,000 and
£250,000 – a
luxury we
cannot afford
Every engine is
assembled from scratch
and finished by hand

www.sleeman-hawken.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Sleeman & Hawken. 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 Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development