Cleaning chemicals manufacturer Greyland is one of those 'rags to riches' success stories - starting from nothing, growing steadily year on year, and doubling turnover and staff in the past six years alone. Greyland is now set to grow even further with the recent acquisition of major new customers.
Greyland was founded in Stockport in 1999 by Richard Dyson and five other experienced chemical manufacturing employees. With little investment available they had to use all their wisdom from the start just to survive.
Defying convention from the very beginning, they chose a line of products that would sell, using clear, concise labelling with no obscure brand names or code numbers, just plain English descriptions of what the product was expected to do. Those early products are big sellers to this day.
The products worked. Not only did they work, but they were also delivered on time, and cleaning staff liked using them. Nor did they come with an eye-watering price tag either which, of course, the buyers liked. The buyers also liked the almost 100% order fulfilment.
With a shortage of start-up funding there was really only one financial route Greyland could take: reinvestment. This has been continual from the beginning, and remains so to this day. Reinvestment has driven the company's growth ever since.
Moving into a much larger, modern manufacturing, warehousing and administration facility six years ago, both turnover and staff have doubled since. Staff levels have risen from about 25 at the time of the move, to almost 50 now. Automation is where much of the investment has gone. Currently the bottle-filling lines are about to undergo a 50% increase in capacity with new production equipment being installed.
A pallet load can be filled and stacked in around 30 minutes, consisting of 5 litre containers, 1 litre angle-necks, and 750ml trigger-sprays aimed largely at the catering, housekeeping and washroom markets. Beginning two years ago, Greyland has moved over to utilising as much recycled plastic in its product containers as possible - currently it is around 75% recycled materials. "We are of course very much in the hands of the bottle manufacturers and the technological advances they can make," said managing director, Richard Dyson. "But with support from companies like ourselves who are prepared to be early investors, they will eventually succeed in producing 100% recycled materials that are satisfactory for our purposes and better for the planet."
Labelling was one of the initial key factors in driving forward the prosperity of the company, and naturally Greyland continues to make great strides in this regard, with anti-fade, wet resistant and durable labels.
Here's to the next 20 years!