Workwear supply firm celebrates landmark 100,000th order since formation

Tees Business Digital Media Pack

A workwear supply firm has celebrated passing a landmark milestone in the number of orders it has processed since forming nearly 12 years ago.

M.I. Supplies, based at Teesside Industrial Estate in Thornaby, recently completed its 100,000th order.

The firm, which supplies a wide range of workwear clothing and accessories, started out selling a handful of units a week when it was launched in November 2005.

But it’s now processing 25,000 orders involving more than 600,000 individual products a year.

Managing director Alex Ingham said: “It’s a landmark figure for us but we’re actually processing a lot more orders a year now than we were, so we’d expect to double that number within the next few years.

“We’re delighted with how the company has grown over the years and we’re working hard to build on our success.”

Earlier this year, M.I. Supplies set an ambitious growth target after seeing a 240% surge in online sales following the launch of a new website.

Web orders jumped from £16,000 a month to more than £55,000 a month, and Ingham has set a lofty bar of eventually hitting £2m-a-year in online sales.

If achieved, which would be in addition to long-term supply contracts it already has in place with business clients, it would almost double M.I. Supplies’ total turnover to more than £4m.

Ingham says M.I. Supplies continues to perform strongly despite challenging times amid uncertainty around Brexit.

“Our online growth is going pretty much according to plan,” he says.

“We’re on course to hit our target of £600,000 online sales by the end of our financial year in November, then the aim after that is to top £2m in 2018.

“It’s particularly pleasing for us as we continue to trade in a difficult climate. Brexit is certainly causing us issues in terms of cost pressure and prices still going up with the instability of the pound.

“We’re still feeling the pinch so we’re working really hard and trying to be smarter in other areas of the business to absorb that.

“The majority of our competition are either reducing staff or closing local sites and while that’s never nice to see good local companies scale back, it’s testament to our investment and hard work that we’re performing well in quite a hostile market place. I still believe it’s down to our customer first approach.”

M.I. Supplies, which employs 14 staff and has experienced year-on-year growth every year for the last decade, now boasts more than 140,000 different workwear products from well-known brands such as Caterpillar and major European workwear suppliers Helly Hansen and Mascot.

The firm’s B2B client base consisting of more than 250 business customers including the fire brigade, local councils, engineering firms and charities as well as supplying to well-known names including Sainsbury’s, Barbour, Aldi, Lidl, Royal Mail and Mercedes, while more than 26,000 customers have ordered supplies from the company’s website.


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