Colnbrook-based Flostream is riding high after a move to new, larger premises marked a further step towards expanding its reputation in both international and UK markets.
The company, which provides fulfilment solutions, mailing-house services, print distribution, and warehouse and logistics solutions; has just celebrated its 15th anniversary and, during that time, has seen turnover rise from around £8,000 a year to today’s £13 million.
Average growth has been 20% year-on-year, and joint founder Dee Kaur says success is down to a clear focus on customer service and investing in technology.
“We are very customer driven and our new customers come through existing contacts and recommendations,” she said. “It’s something we are very proud of and our goal is to build on our reputation to become one of the main e-commerce players in both the UK and international deliveries.”
Kaur and her fellow co-founders, Raj Singh, Simmy Sidhu and Andrew Weaver, set up the business in 2002 at a time when they were already working in the direct mail sector and saw new opportunities starting to open up.
Given that today’s customers include such well-known names as Amazon, Trip Advisor, Deutsche Bank and Groupon, plus major publishing houses and retailers, it was certainly one that paid off and continues to do so.
International postal companies, including Australia Post, New Zealand Post and Belgium Post have chosen to work with Flostream to offer its customers a whole range of competitive and reliable mailings solutions in the current market places.
Today, the postal delivery side of the business accounts for just over half the company’s revenue, while the remainder is split between its
e-commerce fulfilment, UK and international courier accounts.
The huge increase in online shopping and the subsequent need for order processing and fulfilment has seen a major expansion for the warehouse and storage side of the business.
As more and more companies look to save costs and speed up delivery times through outsourcing, Flostream has responded by investing in innovative technology which enables it to offer a sophisticated “pick, pack and despatch” service covering all customer service elements.
The move earlier this year from Slough to new premises in Colnbrook has not only expanded warehouse space to 45,000 sq ft, it has also proved a bonus in terms of staff recruitment. The company now employs some 75 staff, mainly as pickers, packers and drivers.
“We doubled our warehouse space to handle our increased growth and being located so close to Heathrow has also helped because we are doing more and more international work, bringing in orders from overseas markets such as China,” said Kaur.
“It’s helped us on the recruitment front as previously we did struggle to attract good staff, moving to Colnbrook has literally opened new doors and we’re now finding more people with the right calibre of experience who want to join us as we continue to expand.”
Also playing a key role in the company’s success is its relationship with Barclays, with support from relationship director Steve Medley.
Kaur continued: “Steve is a senior sounding board for us; he is always willing to listen and is able to give us good guidance in terms of helping us to grow the business.
“He is able to introduce us to new potential customers and, thanks to Barclays, we are now attending networking groups and meetings, all of which help us to increase our profile.”
Steve Medley, relationship director at Barclays, added: “We always believe that supporting a client is about more than just finance, it’s also about the power of ‘added value’. This is why we’ve been so pleased to be able to introduce Flostream to a wider business community and also to projects such as our ‘Connect with Work’ scheme, in the hope that they may benefit from this at a future stage.”
With the next step being the arrival of a new wrapping machine worth a further £100,000, Kaur and her senior management team clearly have the stamp of approval from their many customers and the ability to drive a first-class service.
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Barclays is a trading name of Barclays Bank PLC and its subsidiaries. Barclays Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No 122702). Registered in England. Registered number is 1026167 with registered office at 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP. November 2017.