Data protection is becoming increasingly important in our society. How did you get into the industry?
I started selling document shredding services to companies and businesses within the local Manchester area and was promoted to National Sales Manager. After a number of years he company was then sold on to a multi national shredding company and I was asked to do different roles not connected to document shredding which to be truthful I did not particularly enjoy. After much research I decided that the there was an opportunity in the manufacturing and supply of shredding consoles and lockable bins. I decided to set up my own business and it has just gone from strength to strength and we are now the market leaders in the industry supplying most of the document shredding companies, waste companies, document storage companies and numerous Police Forces, Hospitals and other Government organisations.
What advice do you give businesses in regards to data protection?
Simple answer really –have a proper system – that is where businesses have a problem no clear defined system for staff to follow. The Data Protection Act carries hefty penalties – now up to £500,000 and the bad press regardless of size of business is really horrendous and can lead to business failure. I have over the years spoken to many businesses and organisations that have been fined and they have all said the increased work load created by non compliance is awful. Lockable bins or shredding consoles around the office or business premises are a proper system. There are very few alternative totally compliant systems.
What have you found to be the most challenging part of your business so far?
Transport companies are always a bit of a nightmare as they invariably let you down and more importantly the customers. We now have our own fleet of vehicles and drivers. We now deliver most of the consoles and bins ourselves this has made a huge difference to reliability. Plus we do not rely on overseas deliveries as none of our bins are manufactured outside of the United Kingdom.
If you could have made one change to your business activity so far, what would that have been?
I wish I was a lot more artistic – I would love to take good quality photographs of our shredding consoles and lockable bins. I have tried but I am really hopeless at it and now leave to the professional photographers!
If you could leave our readers with one last piece of business advice, what would it be?
There is absolutely no substitute for hard work and a can do work ethic. Fortunately I was brought up on good old fashioned Scottish values and I am still first in the morning and last to leave at night!! Also I try and treat everyone (customers and suppliers) the way I would like to be treated myself and I think that really does make the difference. It is not always very easy but long term it does!!