“We’re the best kept secret in the marketplace,” joked Parry Catering Equipment’s director, Gary Rose, when Catering Insight visited his factory in Draycott, near Derby.
And while many in the industry may feel that they know everything the manufacturer has to offer, it’s likely they won’t have realised the whole portfolio that it produces, or the wholesale transformation that has been ongoing over the past 3 years.
Rose himself admits that Parry needs to do more to shout about what it is doing and what it can provide, and so detailed the continuous improvement programmes being put into place there.
When he took on the full reins of the company in 2013, having shared leadership responsibilities with former chief executive Terry Cooper for the previous 7 years, he knew that he wanted to make changes.
He had already hired Mark Banton as the operations director in 2012 as part of the succession plan for Cooper’s retirement, and recalled: “When we took Mark around the factory I could see his eyes brighten up – he was looking forward to the prospect of being able to change things, as it needed improvement at that time.
“There was too much work in progress, and too much stock. Plus it was untidy and disorganised. We also had some disgruntled employees with entrenched attitudes.”
So together, Rose and Banton started on a journey to change the company from the ground up.
According to Banton: “When we looked at the business, it wasn’t just about implementing lean manufacturing techniques, it was about the culture as well. Some people were blockers to change and new manufacturing ideas.”