Meet the Pro50: N to Z
Our final instalment from the Professional Manager Pro50 list of hyper-productive companies takes us from N to Z.
Come back next week as we take an in-depth look at some of the management processes inside the companies of the Pro50Matt Scott and Matthew Rock
Part of publishing giant News UK, printing and distribution company Newssolutions has invested more than £650m in three purpose-built printing centres through the News UK group. This means it can print 1.6 million newspapers an hour. Its client list includes famous names such as Time Out and The Jewish Chronicle.
Novelis specialises in rolled aluminium products in sectors such as beverage cans, automobiles, architecture and consumer electronics. It is the world’s largest recycler of aluminium, with a goal to make 80% of its products from recycled materials. This helps it to reduce the energy, water and landfill costs of the company, adding value to its products and boosting productivity.
Paradigm Secure Communications
Paradigm Secure Communications provides military satellite communications to the UK Armed Forces, as well as to other governments and organisations. While it is 100% owned by the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, it is a great example of ultra-high-tech being developed in the UK.
Pitch International LLP
Pitch International handles sports media rights and sponsorship, as well as event organisation, coverage and film and image production. Britain is at the centre of global sports, and leveraging brands such as the Premier League and Wimbledon will provide a long-term economic boon. The company has Chelsea FC and the England rugby union team on its client list, among many others.
Priority Pass sells membership packages that provide access to 700 airport lounges around the world, making it the planet’s largest independent airport lounge programme. It has been doing this for the past 20 years. In addition to selling passes to private customers, Priority Pass also sells direct to businesses so they can offer lounge access to customers and employees.
Rooff is a London-based construction company whose origins stretch back more than 100 years as a family-run business. The company has a flat organisational structure, allowing management and staff to work efficiently. Managing director Mark Horn says: “Strong family ties and excellent leadership have engendered extraordinary levels of commitment from clients, colleagues and, above all, staff.”
Schilling Robotics is part of global manufacturing giant FMC Technologies, which was formed in 1884 when inventor John Bean developed a new spray pump for Californian orchards. Schilling Robotics itself makes and maintains underwater robots and manipulator arms. A modular approach to design means manufacture is streamlined, efficient and highly repeatable, boosting the firm’s productivity.
Seajacks UK operates self- propelled jack-up vessels that enable the transport, installation and modification of offshore energy outfits across the North Sea. It has completed more than 300 offshore wind turbine installations. With huge investment due in the east coast offshore industry, the firm is well placed for growth. It owns and operates five of the world’s most advanced self-propelled jack-up vessels.
Subsea 7 International Contracting
Subsea 7 is a fabricator of underwater robots for the oil and gas industry, and also provides offshore engineering support for drilling sites. Staff development is key to its drive for increased productivity. The company offers career development programmes in management and engineering management through its Academy 7 training initiative.
T&W Civil Engineering
Northampton-based T&W Civil Engineering is a groundwork company that builds foundations for housing and retail developments. T&W also completes other infrastructure work, including drainage systems, road building and paving. T&W has completed projects for some of the biggest developers in the UK, including Barratt Homes, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon.
The Leisure Pass Group
Tourism technology specialist The Leisure Pass Group sells city passes that offer discounted entrance to tourist attractions. It’s a great example of a small, technology-led business taking its innovation global. The company was founded in 1998 and launched The London Pass a year later. It now offers, or is in a technology partnership with, city passes for 19 different locations across Europe, Asia and North America.
The Macallan Distillers
Scotch whisky exports totalled £3.95bn in 2014 and, with 115 distilleries jostling for a share, a strong brand can go a long way. With The Macallan, parent company Edrington Group has a winning formula. Founded in 1824, it is one of the oldest Scottish distilleries and prides itself on quality. To build on that strength, it employs brand ambassadors to train staff and host tutored nosings and tastings.
Togher is a specialist concrete frame construction company in the South East. The company offers training in both management and health and safety to help ensure that projects are run on time, on budget and to the highest safety standards. Togher uses a directly employed labour force, in-house formwork systems and fully certified plant equipment, so it has control of the whole project, reducing delays.
United Asphalt (Theale)
United Asphalt sells road-surfacing products for use in highway construction, road maintenance and commercial, industrial and domestic applications across the South East. The company prides itself on the accessibility of its staff, and publishes contact details for all its senior management members on its website, so customers can contact them directly.
Yara UK began developing and supplying plant nutrient products in 1843. The firm specialises in production and distribution of nitrogen fertilisers and was bought by Norsk Hydro in 1982. It uses ‘just-in-time’ manufacturing processes, and has distribution centres across the UK to minimise long-distance haulage. It also uses technology such as remote sensors and apps to ensure products have the right mix of nutrients.
Read our full analysis of what makes the list of Pro50 companies so productive, including expert analysis from Professor John Van Reenen, director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Illustration by Charles Williams