Genuine optimism

Genuine optimism

Ewan Fraser

GSUK sales and marketing director, Ewan Fraser

Genuine Solutions UK (GSUK) is the environmental recovery arm of Genuine Solutions Limited, the Chessington, Surrey-based mobile distributor that is now the proud owner of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise. GSUK has gone from strength to strength since it was started four years ago, and is now bursting at the seams as its sales and marketing director, Ewan Fraser, helps grow the company even further.

GSUK is essentially a big recycling business for mobile phones and accessories, which it specialises in. It buys in returned, surplus, potentially damaged goods, physically touches everything to assess and check it, fixes or processes it, and then after careful regrading it is sold back into the market via GSUK’s distribution brother, Genuine Solutions the distributor.

Fraser says GSUK is one of the top companies of its kind in the UK. He comments: “We are one of the most accredited environmental processing companies in Britain. We are an Approved Authorised Treatment Facility,

accredited by the Environmental Agency. We bring in used, faulty and damaged stock, treat it and repair it and resell it, taking stock that can be considered waste products, fully processing it, segregating it, categorising it, dividing it into what can be recovered and what has to be recycled under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive.”

 

Phenomenon

The company has grown massively since its inception four years ago, says Fraser.

He comments: “We have grown phenomenally since we were incorporated. We specialise in accessories, with over half a million separate accessories coming into us every month. That’s a huge flow of stock. Since we began, the number of accessories we’re processing has doubled every year.

“In terms of staff, we’ve been growing at about the same rate as our accessories business,” adds Fraser. We started with six people actually handling and processing the products, and now we’re at about 25.”

GSUK currently operates in two units totalling about 14,000 square feet, and the business is now bursting at the seams of its premises. To counter this burgeoning operation while continuing to grow, Fraser is looking to move GSUK’s staff to a continental shift pattern, while the company overall looks out for premises large enough to give both GSUK and Genuine Solutions room to expand.

Commenting on GSUK, Fraser says: “We can’t get any more staff physically into our units, so I am looking at moving towards a continental shift format over the next few months. We have reached full capacity on the number of staff that can work in our warehouses at the moment, so we have to think of other ideas that will allow us to expand. That would mean keeping the business running seven days a week using double the number of staff, working on shifts.” Another area of recycling that GSUK wishes to grow is IT; it currently offers IT equipment recycling, including laptops, desktops, modems and the like, via third party partners.

However, it is now cutting out the middle man and has expended its own management team to enable it to do this itself.

 

Europe watch out

The company’s next plan of action is to grow across Europe, Fraser claims. The company, he states, already buys in stock from all over the UK, while Genuine Solutions sells it back out to the market along with new product. However, to grow the business, more supply is required.

He explains: “There is only so much we can buy here in the UK; there is a limited amount of materials here so we need to go further afield to buy stock in and secure a supply. We work with most of the major players in the UK, from network operators to high street retailers, selling via Genuine Solutions. Genuine Solutions holds over 2,000 different accessory lines alone at any one time because the company carries both new and legacy, older stock, that is still very much in demand in the market. So we are looking to emulate what we do here in the UK with the likes of Carphone Warehouse, Orange and Vodafone, in Europe.

“We will begin by expanding on what we already do, piggy-backing from our existing clients into their other countries and territories, going with our major clients first, and growing from there,” Fraser says.

 

Looking good

The future is looking good for both arms of the Genuine Solutions brand, says Fraser. The company has recently won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, based on its growth in exports. Fraser comments: “The flip side of winning the Queen’s Award is we at GSUK need to keep bringing in the materials to keep the range of products we are selling through Genuine Solutions going.

“The future here is very encouraging,” he concludes. “Our growth has been phenomenal, but we are conscious we need to sustain it and plan for the future, hence why we have increased our business development team so we can reach more clients and potential suppliers in new territories. It’s very exciting.”