UK EO AWARDS: Owners cashing in on Parfetts’ success

A passion to do the best by its employees, customers and suppliers has driven a ‘spectacular performance’ in a challenging industry, for this year’s Employee Owned business of the Year.

The judges of the UK Employee Ownership Awards, sponsored by Baxendale, highlighted how Parfetts, established as a family business in 1980, becoming employee owned 10 years ago, has been able to drive success through well executed engagement and reward including an annual dividend plus sales target bonus which has seen the team get two bonus payments in 2018 after surpassing targets.

The Cash & Carry business, which employs 604 employee owners, will add the award, which celebrates excellence in an established employee owned business, to a number of recent wins in its sector including the Cash & Carry of the Year award in November 2017.

Parfetts, which operates out of 7 depots, four retails shops and its head office in Stockport, serving more than 5,000 customers a week – mainly independent retailers and catering businesses – across the the North of England and North Wales, has a 90+% customer satisfaction rate against key KPIs.

Its recent growth has seen it buy its seventh depot in Middlesborough, and develop its “virtual” cash and carry with next day delivery, the latter adding an extra 600 customers.

Award Judge Sarah Deas said: “Parfetts is a mature EOB that has developed sound governance and engagement processes. It is clear that the Employee Voice forums allow employees to have a real say in how the company develops.”

Parfetts also credits its EO structures and cultures as giving it a competitive advantage – 7 elected representatives have formed monthly ‘well-attended’ Voice Groups which include employees from all levels of the business to input to both the operational and strategic direction of the business.

With a focus on continuous improvement in staff satisfaction through personal growth and good leadership and management the business sports a lower than average turnover rate of 15%.

Guy Tomlinson, Strategy Director, BMT Group, said: “It’s good to see different experience levels contributing to the Voice Groups and handling complex messages. What’s also good here is that the business acknowledges that in some ways employee ownership has limited its opportunities for expansion, however being able to drive solid financial performance has then enabled that growth to happen sustainably.”