Nisa to be ranked number one in the region's top 200
THE executive tasked with overseeing the £1.5-billion turnover of northern Lincolnshire's largest firm has told of the pride at being ranked number one in the region.
Simon Webster is finance director at Nisa, named as the leading locally-based business in North and North East Lincolnshire's Top 200 Companies – a special Telegraph publication.
The member organisation – which brings bulk buying power to independent shops – was co-founded by Grimsby retail entrepreneur Dudley Ramsden 36 years ago. Mr Webster, a former seafood executive, who qualified as an accountant after leaving Healing School, is now a key figure in the management team headed by chief executive Neil Turton. More than 1,100 people deliver supplies and support to retailers across the UK from the Scunthorpe base, and he said the acknowledgement underlines the firm's credentials. He said: "We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice and we hope the recognition will further that."
He told how the business model, the staff and the suppliers – and the relationships forged within – has pushed Nisa on.
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"Fundamentally the success of Nisa has got to be down to the members, and the members' businesses," he said. "A big ethos is independence. Members run their own businesses and we try to support that in every way we can.
"It means our shareholders are also customers, and quite simply, without them, the company would not be here.
"The staff play a very big part, forging relationships with members and suppliers."
Mr Webster also acknowledged the relationship with the bank, Barclays, having funded a new distribution centre seven years ago, and now working on a further growth phase.
"We are just going through a refinancing at the moment and so far so good," he said. "This will give us extra working capital to grow. We are working on a strategic model and we hope over the next five years to increase both membership, and the loyalty we enjoy with our existing members, which will provide growth."
TV advertising and the launch of a Nisa brand store concept have played a big part in recent developments. And a charity set up to help shops play a key role in the areas they serve has also helped.
"Making a Difference Locally has done very well," said Mr Webster. "We have raised £4.2-million to date, since the launch in 2008. That is where we see our unique selling point. Our membership is able to dip in and give to the local community, be it a local sports club or an individual's special cause."