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Featured in the June 2015 issue

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Long established electrical engineering company Ray Butler Ltd has relocated the business to Lions Way, Sleaford as part of its push for growth and efficiency.

The firm’s vans and livery are familiar to anyone travelling around Sleaford and the surrounding area but over the next few months new branding will be rolled out, shortening the company name to Butlers and launching a fresh image for the forward-looking business.

“Everyone calls us Butlers anyway,” explained managing director, Matt Cook, “so it made sense to adopt this for the design of our new branding. It will be rolled out over a period of time but it is just one part of a programme of business development we have been working on over the past twelve months.”

The three directors of Butlers, Matt, his wife Kate and Stuart Bridgeman signed up for the government-backed Growth Accelerator programme, which provided a mentor, to help them consider how to drive the business forward.

The business was started in 1959 by Ray Butler and has a large customer base serving the agricultural and industrial sectors, as well as domestic, commercial and local authority markets. It has always been a family owned business and Matt’s father, Gerry, worked with John Bell Electrical before joining Ray Butler Ltd and taking over the business in 1990. Matt joined the company after completing an apprenticeship, then working for a period of time in the commercial sector. Kate and Matt met at university, after which, Kate worked in London in marketing and training roles, before retraining as a modern languages teacher on moving to Lincolnshire. Her role is now focussed on business development and marketing. Stuart has worked with Gerry and for Butlers for more than twenty years and is their highest grade technician responsible for system design and quality control.

“We took over the business in 2001, on the supposed retirement of my father, but I am pleased to say he is still working with us on a consultancy basis,” continued Matt. “The growth in technology and the demand for ever more sophisticated design and service means we are always looking to the future, without losing that personal service and contact which our customers value.”

“The impetus to re-evaluate how we were working,” said Kate, “came partly from these new markets which have opened up. We were working from two locations in Sleaford, one of which was in the centre of town. Our workforce and fleet of vehicles had grown and we could see that time was being wasted and logistics becoming more difficult. The Growth Accelerator programme helped to focus our minds and give us the confidence to move the stores, workshop, offices and vehicles to one location and launch a showroom for new, innovative products.”

The new premises on Lions Way, Sleaford is close to the A17 and provides fast access to major routes to clients. On site there is ample parking for Butlers’ fleet as well as customer vehicles. The spacious offices, within the former open-plan call centre, have been designed by Matt and Kate to include meeting rooms for training as well as a bright, airy showroom and counter in reception.

“Our core business is from the agricultural and industrial sectors but a big growth area for us has been renewables and new technology,” continued Kate. “We began to work in Solar PV in 2011 and this market is rising again. We are able to offer a full service fit. We also recently completed our first anaerobic digester installation. Finally, home automation is the new trend and our new showroom will demonstrate how these hi-tech systems can be integrated into your home, bringing wide ranging benefits and cost savings.”

These systems range from remote home utility control, to Sonos Sound equipment, Lutron lighting which can be controlled from a mobile phone or iPad, or flood lighting and fire alarms. Bound be to a talking point in any home is stock which includes auto opening bins and robot hoovers.

The move was completed in March. “It does feel as though the company has come full circle in some ways,” said Kate. “Ray Butler had a retail shop in the town many years ago, so partly we have returned to our roots, but the motivation has definitely been innovation combined with our high degree of electrical expertise.”

Butlers are proud of the family links that twine through the workforce. There are nineteen staff now which include the Cook family members; Pete Jenkins, another long standing employee from Ray Butler’s time, who also works as a consultant, is supervising his apprentice grandson; approved electricians Liam and Chris now supervise their younger brothers’ apprenticeships; Sally the office manager and Vanessa the office administrator job share while a team of approved electricians work with trainee electricians to complete the Butlers team. The company gained Investors in People accreditation this year, demonstrating the value it gives to its team.

The family feel continues beyond working hours with support for community events and sponsorship in the town. This has included support for the Sleaford Carnival, Sleaford Beer Festival, Sleaford Live, Sleaford Fun Dog Show and the Sleaford Teenage Market. The company is also sponsoring the ‘Butlers 10th World Egg Throwing Championships’ to be held in Swaton in June.

“We have always been a family business in the heart of our community,” Matt concluded, “and this will continue, along with our exciting plans for the future to bring even more innovation, electrical expertise and friendly service to our customers.” The company recently won ‘Business of the Year’ in the Sleaford Awards as nominated by the public, which shows that their efforts are being recognised by the local community.

Butlers
Enterprise House, Lions Way, Sleaford NG34 8GN
Tel: 01529 302665 • www.raybutlerltd.co.uk

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