The Story of Spring Solutions
We asked our managing director Jonathan Ward a few questions about the journey of Spring Solutions since its conception. Here is what he had to say…
How did it start?
“I had previously worked for a company in the same industry, I spent almost my entire career with them and loved every minute of it.
After some changes to the company ownership and structure, I felt like we started to lose what made us great. We were a small family run business, a team of people that really cared about each other and our customers. Every day was about pushing ourselves, making a difference for our customers and making their lives easier and of course making a name for ourselves in the process.
After the changes, I wasn’t happy with where I was. I spent a lot of time reflecting and then some time chatting with our customers and finding out what they were looking for. I sought advice from a lot of people in the industry and people that I respected in life and in business and I felt like every chat opened another door or pointed me in the direction of going and recreating that business and environment that I had spent most of my career in.”
Why Spring Solutions?
“This is a great question and one I sometimes kick myself for because in the early days we almost accidentally pigeonholed ourselves as suppliers of Springs – which of course isn’t what we are. I used to spend hours on the phone to prospect customers and then when I got an enquiry a few months later it would turn out it was for some Springs. Of course it was, what else would you send to Spring Solutions? I should note that we do supply springs, they just aren’t a part of our core group of products.
The name comes from our sister company, Spring Distribution. We recognised that it was going to be tough to be taken seriously by many of the companies we wanted to deal with from a standing start. I had an okay name in the industry and a bit of self-confidence (I wonder where that’s went?) but that doesn’t tick all the boxes of a reliable supplier with a sustainable business, so I recognised, with the help of my Dad, that we needed support.
At the time of starting Spring Solutions, my Dad and Group CEO, John Ward, had recently joined the board of Spring Distribution. Spring Distribution are my extended family (that doesn’t really cover how close we are but I don’t know what terminology to use otherwise)who have looked after and supported me since I was a young lad. The business has a lot of synergies and importantly a lot of the same values so when we discussed the opportunity and I presented them with my business plan they were kind enough to offer us a lot of support that would allow us to overcome many of the obstacles facing a new business. They have had a huge hand in allowing the team and I to start and run a business without a lot of the stresses facing a lot of new starts.
I guess that covers the Spring part, I wanted our business to become solutions focused. My Dad always said it well even if slightly crude, we do the ‘pain in the ass’ stuff that makes our customers lives easier. That can be a solution from free carriage on a small order to an end-to-end supply chain management solution for 1500 items.”
A bit about the journey…
“It’s been a journey that’s for sure…
I would say that it’s been hugely successful, definitely in the definition of success that I originally set out with, we achieved ISO9001:2015 & AS9120B in record time and that set the tone for us. Two years of solving problems and forging relationships with some of the most exciting companies in the industry followed. A huge contract win in just our third year of trading allowed us to develop the smaller systems that we had been trialling on a far larger scale and the success of doing that gave us the confidence that we were doing things our competitors couldn’t, and that we could roll out our products, services and solutions across the wider industries.
Besides becoming a Dad its been the most rewarding journey of my life. A lot of similarities with being a parent, I have laughed, cried, lost sleep, lost hair, questioned my sanity and it hasn’t always felt like a success, but mostly I have smiled and been thankful that I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do this and even better that I have had the opportunity to do it with a team of people that I (have grown to!) love and that make even the hardest days fun.”
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