This year marks the tenth anniversary of Green Kite’s first ever inventory and as with all birthdays it has prompted a wave of nostalgia. In particular it has lead me to chew over what inspired us to start the business all those years ago and how things have changed in the last decade.
I moved to the Big Smoke from a small town in the Midlands in 2006 having got a job as a Property Manager with Foxtons. I had no prior experience in property other than watching the occasional episode of Property Ladder so I had no idea what to expect.
It was, by far, the best job I had ever had. It was hard work sure but it was such a vibrant, exciting and interesting environment that I just loved it. It helped that I met some great people there, one of whom I went on to marry and have two beautiful sons with.
Part of my job there was booking in inventories and right from the off I felt that it was an industry that desperately needed to be shaken up. Nobody wanted to work on weekends, nobody wanted to do inventories after 4pm or before 10am. The customer service was just appalling. The standard of reporting, in fairness, was pretty thorough, but the reports were hard to read and not user friendly.
Some years later when I finally plucked up the courage to put my money where my mouth was and start an inventory company the first thing I did was to ensure we were open from 8am til 8pm every day of the week with only one day per year off – Christmas Day. 10 years later we are still open 364 days a year and carry out inventories on each and every one of them.
After 6 months or so of operating on my own, I had a conversation with my best mate of 10 plus years. He was starting to grow stale in his role and was looking for a change, I asked him if he’d be interested in partnering with me in my embryonic venture and after some due diligence on his part he decided to give it a go.
Looking back on things this is the best thing that could have possibly happened. I didn’t know it at the time but it turns out that we have a great mix of skills and have been able to perform well as a team. Ten years later the partnership is going strong and we continue to support and challenge each other and the rest of our colleagues every day.
In the 10 years since we started up things have changed a lot and the standard of inventory companies is now a lot better. I like to think that we established new standards of what was and what was not acceptable and other companies followed our lead.
Despite the improvements from the competition we remain several steps ahead. We are constantly launching new initiatives to improve our service and relive our clients pain points and it is this focus on really getting to the heart of what the customer wants and being willing to invest to deliver it that keeps us at the top of the tree.
Talking of investing… tech has become a prominent factor in the last decade – it seems impossible to think now that when we started we found our way around London using paper A-Z books. I guess there will be a fair few people reading this who don’t even know what they are!
We’ve come a long way since then – our tech platform now encompasses a bespoke diary management system, two bespoke apps and three outsourced IT companies as well as all the hardware that goes with it. This change is an area we continue to embrace and are looking into various new technological solutions to the problems facing us and our clients and expect to have some exciting news on this front in the near future.
Last but not least I want to talk about my colleagues. There has been a lot of talk in the press about the millennial generation. In my view most of it amounts to nothing more than a lot of hot air…. Older people complaining about the younger generation. There have certainly been some changes in the last decade in terms of what people want from a job and a career but we employ around 80 people in various roles now and I see nothing but enthusiasm, commitment, hard work and a drive to work ethically and to have a real impact and that can only be a good thing.
So, having reflected on the past, thoughts turn to the future and what the next ten years might hold? I feel another blog coming on….