Elite Outdoor Living Triumphs at 2015 Chamber Awards

SMUK Solutions is celebrating after being crowned North West Small Business of the Year in the regional heats of the National Chamber Awards 2015.

The Chamber Awards, now in its 12th year, are a highlight of the business calendar, showcasing the pivotal role that local businesses play in the UK’s continuing growth story. 

SMUK Solutions, a family business from Blackburn, is the industry-leader for the design and manufacture of bespoke stainless steel and glass railing systems, garden balustrades and glass balconies. Trading via Elite Balustrade Systems, it was the first business in the industry to offer an e-commerce website platform together with an instant free online quotation system, providing them with a unique selling point compared to other companies in the market. The extensive range of balustrade kits have all been CE Marked, recognising the systems are certified to abide to conformity of the factory production control. These achievements, together with the strict ISO 9001 Factory Control Systems followed during the manufacturing process and the Made In Britain marquee recently gained helped SMUK stand out from other entrees in the category, showing their commitment to achieving excellence and providing clients with high quality products and services at all times. 

With a steady growth from the business starting in 2007 through to 2012 and maintaining turnover and profit during the period of 2012 and 2015, provided SMUK with the firm platform required to invest further into the business and kick starting a rapid growth plan for the next 5 years. In the last 6 months the company has seen an increase in the workforce by 33% with more positions looking to be filled by the end of the year. They have also invested in larger premises to provide more office space for the growing team and bigger workshop facilities for handling the ever increasing demand of the balustrade kits and the newly introduced composite decking system.

Elite Outdoor Living was created in 2014 to expand the ‘complete outdoor living solution’ theme SMUK wants to create. The company introduced a new and innovative product to the UK market never seen before: a Qwikbuild Aluminium Decking Sub-Structure together with durable and low maintenance Composite Decking Boards, the world’s first decking system to eliminate screws when fixing the boards to the frame. With exclusive UK and Europe rights for the distribution of the product range, Elite Outdoor Living soon took of in the market. 

SMUK Solutions was very strategic when thinking about expanding their product range and entering new markets: in the balustrade industry there has always been an issue with finding a safe and secure solution when customers were looking for a decking and railing system that would work together. The composite decking solution introduced works seamlessly with the Elite Balustrade’s glass railing systems, giving customers that one-stop-shop opportunity when wanting to create an outdoor living space. 

Nora Senior, President of the British Chambers of Commerce said: “The Chamber Awards are the perfect opportunity to take stock of the outstanding performances of UK businesses over the past year; something made all the more impressive by the continuing economic global headwinds that they are facing.”

“The creativity and determination that has been shown by this year’s entrants never ceases to impress us and is a source of encouragement knowing that our economy is being driven by such hard-working and talented professionals.”

Having won the regional title with the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, SMUK Solutions will now go forward representing the North West at the National Finals which will take place in London later in the year.

“Being named regional finalist for the Small Business of the Year category is a huge accolade and SMUK Solutions should be extremely proud.” comments Jo Oliver, Regional Judge and Commercial Insurance Specialist at NFU Mutual.

“As a local commercial insurer we have helped many small businesses over the year and feel honoured to sponsor and judge the category. We now wish them the best of luck for the national final in November.”

David Martin, Managing Director at SMUK Solutions added: “The Chamber Awards were looking for a small company that has achieved consistent growth backed by a strong financial performance, while demonstrating a clear understanding of the markets that it operates in. Our strategic thinking, innovate products, strong managerial and financial planning, together with our clear commitment to our staff and investment into the business made us stand out from other candidates in the category, making sure we would be remembered after reading our entry form. As a team we are very excited of the title and we are looking forward to the next stage in the Awards at The National Finals later in the year.”

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