What have we learnt this year?

As the winter holidays approach, it’s time to reflect on the challenges and achievements of the past year and look forward to the next. 2015 has been an unusual year for us at FB Chain. The first few months saw an explosion of large orders as two of our biggest customers went into overdrive. This pushed our people and processes to their limits – and at points beyond. While I can’t say that everything went as smoothly as I would perhaps have liked, it showed that the can-do attitude of the FB Chain team can successfully navigate us – together with our customers – around almost any issue. Great people always win out in the end and I am pleased to say that we have lots of great people at FB Chain.

Another thing that was brought home to me this year was the importance of trusting my instincts. About 18 months ago I believed I would benefit from being more analytical in my decision-making. Since then I’ve realised just how good our brains are at processing and putting together information from a number of different sources, without us actively thinking about it. Using your intuition can often bring you to the same conclusion – but a lot quicker. If I wanted to run a company by the numbers, I could go and work for a big corporation. Running FB Chain is – and will always be – about so much more than just numbers.

Over the course of the year we’ve introduced many small changes that have had a positive impact on our overall business. Encouraging staff to accept and even drive change is hard and a single big improvement can seem daunting. At FB Chain we’ve learnt this year not to underestimate the value of making small changes – they soon add up and can even make the jump to a big improvement a lot easier.

2016 looks set to be another challenging year. There are a number of factors affecting our business that are beyond my control – exchange rates, raw material prices, the referendum on whether the UK should remain in the EU – and it’s a bit frightening. Nevertheless, we are resolved to focus on the activities that we can control and will keep our business moving forward – and create an environment in which people have the freedom to make a difference whatever the coming year throws at us.

In the meantime, I would like to thank you all – colleagues, customers, suppliers and other business partners – for your continued support and wish you and your families very happy holidays and a healthy and prosperous new year!

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