An integrated fire and security solutions specialist has become the first company to sign up for the £2 million leadership and management (L&M) programme run by Business Link in the West Midlands.
Contract Fire Security, which employs 140 people at its head office in Sutton Coldfield, has enjoyed a record £14 million sales year and is now looking to boost the skills of its managers to help it hit £25 million by 2012.
The firm believes that its senior team will be essential in driving this growth and is tapping into the initiative to develop new levels of expertise and a clear management strategy for the expansion.
Steven Quirke, who runs the business with his brother Gary, said: “We are at a really exciting stage of our development, with our experience in providing both fire and security solutions helping us land some major contracts with the likes of Sainsbury, Asda Walmart and Lloyds Chemists.
“The beauty of what we do is that we can offer a completely flexible service, from installing a single fire extinguisher in a shop to working hand-in-hand on developing integrated fire and security solutions for one of the biggest distribution units in Europe.”
He added: “Our people have been our biggest asset and we want to make sure we build on this going forward – the L&M programme is the perfect and most cost effective way of doing this.”
CFS has worked with Business Link for over a decade and says it had no hesitation in becoming the first company to sign up to the initiative, which is being funded by regional development agency Advantage West Midlands. A business adviser has already completed a review and has worked with Steven and Gary to identify areas where skills can be improved in the management and a more strategic vision implemented.
The next step has been to bring in a specialist consultant, who will deliver one-on-one and group development sessions and introduce key performance indicators that will guide the company growth.
Consultant Ray Portman said: “We are going to be looking at business strategy, change management, communication, action planning and building long-term profitability.
“Leadership and Management is perfect for CFS as it offers the services of an industry expert at half the normal cost through Business Link’s ability to subsidise 50 per cent of the programme.”
He added: “This means that I can work with the senior management team for up to six days and then, once this has been completed, individuals can receive more one-on-one development support.”
The Leadership and Management project will work with more than 1,000 senior managers over the next three years to boost the skills and expertise of leaders and managers.
It is an ambitious move, but one that will ensure the region has the necessary skills and competencies to help bridge the £10 billion output gap by 2010. Business Link will have approximately 20 dedicated professional consultants working on the service and i t is anticipated that 300 companies will take part in the three year programme.