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Posted in Minoli
4th July 2022
As we pass the mid-point of the year, we’re sharing some reflections on the market, our business and the steps we’re taking to support our clients and maintain the tempo of our trading.
Firstly, it’s worth saying up front that Minoli are fortunate to have such a loyal and diverse mix of customers, distribution partners and suppliers. As an independent business and at our scale, we’re able to be agile, seize opportunities and roll with the punches, but having trust and confidence in those we trade with makes it easier to make otherwise sometimes difficult decisions.
An example of that has been the steps we’ve recently taken to shore up availability of key product lines for our corporate and professional clients. Foreseeing further supply issues caused by the combined impact of the Brexit transition, the post-pandemic building boom and the hostilities in Ukraine, over recent months we decided to further increase our UK stockholding, by over £1m in net cost value.
From a combination of new ranges and forward orders of most frequently specified lines, the rolling average in our warehouses has increased from circa £3m to near £4m of landed inventory, ready for delivery. This has been in part possible because Minoli only source from the leading, topflight production plants in Italy and Spain. Unlike some perhaps considered second-tier factories who are having to reduce or even cease production, our main manufacturing partners have raw material reserves, long term energy supply contracts, are quickly establishing new supply lines for certain key component materials and are actually ramping-up production considerably to meet demand.
Of course, having stock readily available and an ability to supply reliably is fundamental to our own business’s success, but it’s also crucial for existing and new clients and has opened up new opportunities. Having this UK stock of core developer ranges has brought new housebuilder and corporate clients who have perhaps struggled with their usual supply channels.
We’ve also maintained our new product launch cycle, which has piqued interest with the interior design and architecture community and increased demand from residential homeowners looking for more unique and bespoke finishes. In total, we have added over 20 new ranges to our portfolio this year, with more to be previewed later in the year, for 2023 launch.
Other new opportunities have come from our deliberate and purposeful expansion into the market for external use porcelain paving. Through the launch of the Outdoor By Minoli series in May of this year, we’ve introduced ourselves to an entirely new audience of Garden Designers and Landscaping Professionals. Once more, having UK stock in volume of exceptional new 20 mm exterior product has proved advantageous, with orders coming from both this new clientele, as well as a significant uplift in mt2 of outdoor product going to our mainstay housebuilder and developer clients.
Of course, all of the above has required significant investment, but not only in ordering production of product, securing of shipping capacity and transport. In preparation for this exceptional stock intake, an additional covered warehouse facility was installed to accommodate our clients’ medium-term needs. New clients and new ranges have required increased delivery capacity, so two new 16T DAF Trucks, as well as an 18T and a 20T Rigid Curtain-Sider with Moffett, will join the fleet in 2022. We are also recruiting and investing in our team with current vacancies including Truck and Van Drivers, Warehouse Team, Customer Service Administration roles and a Showroom Host to join at our London premises.
In such turbulent and unpredictable trading conditions, it can on occasion feel a little like we’re swimming against the current, but when I speak to our suppliers, partners and clients, up and downstream, it’s at least comforting to get a sense of a shared direction and purpose. By sticking to our guns, with hard work from the Minoli team and a measure of good fortune (no doubt), our half-year performance is tracking above pre-Covid levels.
Even though the business press is currently unwaveringly negative in its predictions for the economy, everybody at Minoli gives you our assurance that we will continue to do everything possible to provide our customers, distribution clients and production partners with the level of service and product quality that they have come to expect from us over the last 60 years.