Charles Alexander Distribution Group’s Past, Present and Future
A chat with Charles Alexander Distribution’s Managing Director, Paul Rowlett, about where he sees his company going.
Paul Rowlett, Managing Director of Charles Alexander Distribution, is looking forward to the future of his rapidly growing organisation, but is making sure to look back to appreciate the past.
Since 2010 Paul has built Charles Alexander Distribution from a one-man operation, trading out of his wife Jennie’s bedroom, to one of the leading promotional product distributors in the United Kingdom. Jennie Rowlett is now operating as the group’s Chief Financial Officer. The group has also landed across the pond with the launch of EverythingBranded.com.
The American east-coast based company has got off to a great start and Paul and the team are looking forward to seeing where the journey takes them. Moving in to their new Leicester-based headquarters was what the group needed to continue growing. The new offices house Charles Alexander Distribution’s brands EverythingBranded.co.uk, Printed4You, YourProductsBranded and EverythingBranded.com.
“As a company, we’ve never been one to just be happy with where we are at,” Paul said. “We are always looking to grow and improve as an organisation. We’re always looking for new suppliers to work with, new customers to meet and greet, and new areas to explore.
Charles Alexander Distribution recently hosted a suppliers’ open day at the new office. A number of the group’s core suppliers came to showcase their best and brightest promotional products at the new headquarters.
“Over the last few months we’ve hired a lot of new staff, so this open day was a great opportunity for us to introduce some of the new staff to some of our core suppliers. It gave us a chance to provide on-the-job training to them, while also introducing them to the people they’ll be working with.
“It also gave us a chance to thank the suppliers for working with us over the last seven years. It’s not just the suppliers who came to the event, either. We’ve had a great relationship with many suppliers in the industry over the years, and we really couldn’t have got to where we are without those relationships.
“We are pleased that the faith they showed in us in our early days has been repaid. Our offices are open to all of our suppliers, so please get in touch if you’re interested in visiting.”
One of the things Paul really believes in is having a work force who really want to spend time at the job. His goal in creating this new office space is to make a place where the employees enjoy being.
“I have always had the ambition to create a working environment where people are happy and the job isn’t a daily chore. I’ve been happy to ﬁll the offices with fun things, so when the teams are having their well-earned breaks, it’s a fun, friendly and social atmosphere.
“We’re really proud of our staff retention levels and we think that the working environment is a key part in that. I’m also a big believer in that happy staff give the best customer service. Achieving the best customer service possible is a key element of where we’re going as a company, and the office is a great way of helping that along.”
As part of the group’s expansion plans, Charles Alexander Distribution have hired a new Director of Group Operations. After a six-month search, Paul hired Chris Pitts to head up the day-to-day running on the company.
“We brought Chris Pitts on because the company was growing so well after the office move that we really needed another set of eyes and ears. All four of the brands were expanding at a rate where bringing Chris on was a must. He’s still new to the role but it’s made a great start and we’re looking forward to seeing where he can help us go.”
Chris comes with a wealth of sales and operational experience, spending the last eight years building, supporting and directing various sales teams.
He said: “Joining the Charles Alexander Distribution Group, at this very exciting time in its history, is a fantastic opportunity to help grow all of the business units.”
“When a company is in this stage of its growth, it is essential to implement core structure around process and correct procedure. This will help build the ever-increasing sales teams with the correct values and company ethos to drive a consultative sales approach and exceptional service to our clients.”
“The group pride themselves on being the ‘best in class’ for the industry both at home in the UK and abroad in the US. We will look to grow further over the remainder of the year and for 2018 our plans will continue to drive an exceptional client experience when trading with us.”
“It’s been a great experience learning a new industry. I had nice welcome from the BPMA’s Gordon Glenister over the phone and we had a very productive chat about working with them closely.”
To celebrate their seven years of growth, Paul and the Charles Alexander Distribution team are showing their appreciation to their hard-working staff, aswell as their supply chain, by organising the inaugural Christmas company awards.
Paul said: “The Christmas company awards is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time and I think we’re at a point where we can put on a great show. We will be sending out the invites to our suppliers in August and we hope that everyone can make it. All are welcome and we hope it’ll be a fantastic evening.”
What does the future hold for Charles Alexander Distribution Group?
“Although we have got to this point being a web-based company, we really believe in expanding and adding a consultation aspect of the business. With this in mind, we are planning on opening an office in London in 2018, which will aim to fulﬁl our clients’ needs on a more personal basis.”
“Our new Leicester-based office helps us achieve this too. It’s a nicer and more relaxed place for prospective clients and customers to come and visit. We are looking forward to working to achieve our goals while working closely with the BPMA.”
“Finally, we are planning on expanding our American operations to the west coast in early 2018, together with dedicated local agents based in the States. Our initial venture into the American market has exceeded our expectations so we’re looking forward to this expansion.”
“We hope that our company’s future will be as successful as the last seven years and myself and the team truly thank everyone who has played even the smallest part. We couldn’t have done it without you.”