Simpson Group reaches 10-year headquarter anniversary

By Max Goldbart, Thursday 01 September 2016

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POS specialist Simpson Group is celebrating a decade at its Washington headquarters.

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Influence Park is Europe's only simulated shopping centre

Simpson’s main site is known as Influence Park and is said by the company to be the only simulated shopping centre in Europe, with offices branded as the company’s customers.

It has a second site in Langley for sales and production, which was opened five years ago. 

The company will be celebrating the landmark with a 'funday' on 3 September. All staff and their families have been invited and Simpson managing director Bill McNally anticipates more than 200 people will come to the event that has been organised by Simpson’s Works Council with outside consultation from Signature One Events.

McNally said: “We are very excited to have reached the 10 years. Our main purpose when we set out was that we wanted our staff to understand the environments our customers work in; we wanted to create that environment.

“The premises were purpose built, we designed them and really thought about them before we moved in. It’s been very well received, both from customers and suppliers. When we first opened it we had health and safety come in and say: ‘When did you open these shops’. The next day two ladies came in thinking it was a shopping mall.”

The day has been organised with assistance from the Great North Air Ambulance, with which Simpson has had links with for the past three years, since one of its production team Graham McGregor was killed in a cycling accident.

Simpson has raised £7,000 in 2016 for charities including the Great North Air Ambulance, Alzheimer’s Society and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

McNally has been with the company since 1979 and has overseen huge growth both in terms of turnover and staff numbers since he became managing director in 2008. Staff numbers have grown by 30% to almost 150 and turnover has increased by 100% and is now at £11.5m.

“It’s about having a strategy, having a plan and not veering from that. Everybody sets 12-month or two-year objectives but once we set strategies, we break it down into 90-day increments,” he said.

“It is also important to have monthly meetings with the staff and let them know where we are with sales and investments."

He said his highlight during Simpson’s period at the 6,200sqm site was seeing certain staff develop from apprentices to managers.

Simpson recently invested in a Col-Tec smart collator for £230,000, which is due for install in the next couple of weeks. McNally said this would allow Simpson to take on more business and save on labour costs.

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