Recognition Express Manchester has sold over five million badges during its 30 years in business.
Recognition Express Manchester has sold over five million badges during its 30 years in business. Laid end to end they would stretch from the city centre to Plymouth! Their biggest ever single order for 150,000 units came from Job Centre Plus.
The business celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion Recognition Express managing director Nigel Toplis popped in to present owner Andrea Shevloff with a bottle of champagne and a commemorative plaque.
Whilst it still sells badges, most of the business today is promotional products with pens being the constant item. Thermo travel mugs are Manchester’s current top seller and environmentally friendly options are becoming increasingly important to the North West business community.
Director Andrea Shevloff’s family started the badge manufacturing business from their Urmston back bedroom. Trading under the old Badgeman brand, Andrea’s parents’ Mike and Beryl Kaufman first big order for 20,000 badges came from Woolworths. As the orders flooded in, the family took on one and then three production units in Urmston. Now Andrea has gone full circle, outsourcing production to the Recognition Express in-house specialist production company and working from a home office again.
"The past 30 years have flown by! We’ve had good times and bad times, but we’re still here and enjoying the latest phase of our business journey.
During the financial slowdown in 2008 people were looking to cut costs and promotional products were one of the first things to go from corporate budgets. As a result, we faced two options, reduce overheads by closing our manufacturing units and outsource production or watch our business slip into bankruptcy. Obviously, we reluctantly had to go down the first route and haven’t looked back since."
Many of Recognition Express’ original customers are still with them 30 years on. Gardener Merchant (now Sodexo) was one of the first customers back in the 80’s and continues to place regular orders. Other customers include Elior, Barclays, the Department of Work and Pensions and facilities management companies throughout Manchester.
Top quality customer service and keeping in regular contact with customers has been the key to the Recognition Express Manchester’s success. In the days of their own production facility they had fun letting customers have a go at making their own badge.
"Most badges are now domed and it was always funny seeing what a mess customers made of the doming process when they tried it themselves. Not only was it a good way to interact with customers it also helped them to understand why badges can’t be despatched immediately!"
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The ongoing support from the franchisor is very comprehensive. Good initiatives and brochures are widely available to help you promote the business. New ideas and promotions are always changing to keep pace with the marketplace. It’s this approach of constantly reassessing the marketplace that helps us maintain our position.Kevin Andrews, Recognition Express Taunton
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