Danielle Hall, general manager discusses the launch of Armadillo Supplies
When Smart Solutions set up a joint venture with the former directors of Celtic Industrial Supplies, a personal protective equipment (PPE) business based in south Wales, the aim was to expand the company’s services and client base.
Previously the operations manager for Smart Solutions, I have been seconded to the company as general manager to oversee the business set-up, which has included a new brand and name - Armadillo Supplies, establishing a larger operation at a new, 5,500-square-feet premise and doubling the number of staff.
With the government’s stringent health and safety regulations in force, the importance of protecting employees at work with correct PPE has never been more prevalent.
In the last six months the Armadillo Supplies team has grown to 10 staff, seeing us bring on board specialist roles such as a UK sales manager, warehouse operative and an embroiderer. Strengthening the team has been an extremely important step in building an ambitious company culture, which we hope our clients and other stakeholders will also benefit from.
We’ve been working round the clock for the last month, in the lead up to the move to our new premises, getting the unit ready as well as packing up the old office. The unit is almost triple the size of our former home, highlighting that we’re really gearing up for growth. It’s a far more functional space – we can hold higher volumes of stock and have separate offices for staff.
What’s unique about Armadillo Supplies is its link to Smart Solutions. The business’s founders, Shane Heath and Terry Daniels, have a longstanding relationship with Nathan Bowles, as Shane was previously a director at Smart Solutions. This means that those shaping the direction of the business are on the same page, but it also means Armadillo Supplies has the HR, finance and IT expertise of a UK-wide, multi-million pound business at its disposal.
Having worked at Smart Solutions for four years, I have been immersed in the company’s innovative customer service approach. It’s exciting to see this already being adopted by the Armadillo Supplies team. We’re currently developing an online portal that will enable our customers to monitor stock levels and place orders, reducing the time clients’ spend managing their PPE and workwear supplies.
We’re different from other PPE providers. We’re passionate about supplying PPE and uniform and want to make the process as simple, streamline and user-friendly as possible - something that most of our competitors aren’t doing.