From the launch of S4S London in January 2020 to today it has been a journey of ups and downs, stresses and success, losses and wins. This article will address how growth mindset has kept us moving onwards and upwards through some of the toughest times businesses have seen in recent times.
Giants in the industry (S4S UK Ltd) and our small family run Business (H M London limited) looked to come up with a business concept to suit a like-minded Laboratory service in 2019. Myself as director of H M London was hoping to take our small family run Orthodontic Lab to the next level and hope for a merger with S4S UK would help us go to the next level. Indeed, this was territory I hadn’t been involved in ever, and lots of changes loomed as we got closer to coming up with a deal that suited both companies.
A small business looking to move to the next level in our industry meant that hard work and dedication to making it happen was necessary. in late 2019 we started processes in changing our systems and infrastructure in light of the big launch date. Big changes were happening and a lot of adjustments being made to facilitate the business to organically grow over the next few years. The changes included a management system being installed to book in and book out our incoming work and creating a work flow on a digital platform the negated the slow manual processes of the past.
Time had now come to launch our new business in January 2020 starting with around 98 clients and hoping to grow faster than we ever have.
We start during the launch of our company (S4S London Dental Laboratory) in 2020 prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, where spirits were high and the exciting news of our launch drove our business to great ambitious highs. We set out with a yearly plan of growth, which was quite achievable within the first year of business. Soon after launch we were hit with the closure of the business for 3 months at which infection rates of Covid-19 were at its highest. This left us in territory that no one expected and loomed uncertainty in our progress. During this time, we were sceptical of how the re launch would go once the lockdown was lifted. Was it going to be slow? Or would we survive this hard time?
Our management team worked tirelessly in the background to ensure that we took this opportunity to bounce back with a bang. This meant that we expand our customer base increase or service levels and win contracts during the time of doubt.
Since the closure we have come a long way from a small family business working out of our garage with only 4 employees to now entering a new chapter into an exciting new state of the art, purpose designed premise based not too far from our current location. The move comes through continuous month on month growth in sales, plans to expand even further over the future and also to facilitate the increasing growth in our team. Our current staffing levels showed for quite some time that we were outgrowing the current lab space and needing to work more efficiently in a larger space.
Our biggest win was the increase in Digital workflow through gaining clients with our digital workflow setup. This major increase in work encouraged us to upscale our digital production power to ensure we kept up with demand. Even to this day I still believe we will continually increase our 3D printing power to be able to access the ability to take on more and more.
Going back to the move, it will bring massive changes in the lab and the way we work to increase efficiency, productivity and service levels by using technology to meet deadline criteria and forecast day to day work in advance. Our team will adapt and grow through this transition, which can be challenging in itself, as change can sometimes lead to its own problems. With this all-in mind I am confident that we will continue to serve our customers faultlessly through this change and aim to progress our company to meet the needs of their businesses.
To summarise this all I would have to say that the growth post pandemic was down to the quality, service and integrity my team put on the table and this couldn’t have been achieved without great partners, in UK giants S4S UK backing us all the way. The substantial growth in customer base means that we are now sitting on over 500+ active customers and still growing day on day.
I look forward to updating the readers of this magazine on the move further down the line. It will be an integral part of our journey to expand, grow and be a powerhouse laboratory for our customers.
I would finally like to finish on thanking the people involved in the process at S4S (UK) and Iain at Techsystems who have worked amazingly to upgrade our systems and workplace to a modern laboratory it will be.
I once was told that all successes come through perseverance and attitude to change. With this motto I accept that we will continue to persevere and have a positive attitude to change as a company and to adapt to the future of what is now S4S London limited.