Heywood-based Vision Commercial Kitchens is looking to the future with optimism, despite a slight drop in turnover last year and the current coronavirus crisis. In the distributor’s latest annual report, the turnover for the 12 months to 30 September 2019 was £11.5m, 6% down on 2018’s £12.3m. Operating profit also fell by 18% from £665,000 to £543,000. These figures saw its Power Players ranking fall by one place this year.
MD Jack Sharkey analysed: “As a board we are happy with our performance in the marketplace, but you can always improve. This year we have enjoyed great success with our service division, allowing us to expand the team. Equally we have enjoyed success with our project management team, both overseas and within the UK, and have expanded here too.”
He looked back to the founding of the company, detailing: “When Vision was formed, our core values were to offer innovative design, work closely with our customers in order to offer operationally efficient value for money solutions and of course outstanding customer service.
“Those core values have been the foundations of our business. Over the years we have built an amazing team and it’s fair to say that our employees, or as we like to think ‘The Vision Family’ are our greatest asset.
“We continually listen to our customers, monitor market trends and keep abreast of new innovations from our supply chain partners.”
Heading through the Covid-19 pandemic, Sharkey reported: “We read the signs very early and were very well prepared prior to the shutdown; fundamentally, keeping the Vision team safe was our priority, but equally, operationally each member of the team could work remotely.
“Throughout lockdown we constantly communicated equally with our customers and our supply partners despite a large majority of the team being furloughed. In fact I have to pay tribute to the small team who have continued to work throughout this period taking up the slack and doing whatever job or task is needed of them.”
“We’ve also kept in constant contact with all our staff, both those operational and those that are furloughed, keeping them up to speed on how and what we are doing as a business, ensuring they are coping and encouraging them to carry out training during furlough to ensure they are the best they can be when we come out the other side.”
Looking ahead, Sharkey acknowledged: “The coming year will be a challenge for everybody within the industry without exception. The hospitality sector is finding its feet and will need to find a new norm that it can operate alongside the challenges of Covid-19 and the lasting effects that it potentially will bring.
“As a board though we are quietly confident that our core values and our team are equipped to face the challenges ahead, which I am sure will be many over the next year or two.”
So what would Vision MD, Jack Sharkey currently advise the industry to do? “Learn the lessons of the last few months and the challenges that we have faced together, take note of those that have continued to keep open lines of communication and have collaborated to get through the last few months. Ultimately our successful partnerships are interdependent on each other and I think this will be even more important and relevant over the coming months and years.”