08 Jan 2014

Stell Cardboard Tubes

Firstcomm Case study: J Stell & Sons

“Helping a client set up first ever sales function to promote growth”

Project Detail

Our client, J Stell & Sons Ltd, is an iconic name in the manufacturing industry, and has been making cardboard tubes in Keighley since 1872. The year 2014 saw a series of business improvement initiatives, including relocating the company after 120 years to a new state-of-the-art base at a former joinery site, to be completed in the middle of 2015. This move represented a multi-million pound investment to transform their factory into a 21st century business. The client anticipated a substantial growth opportunity, given their ability to handle more production. Therefore to support this they decided to introduce a dedicated sales.

The Brief

The brief was to recruit a sales executive, who not only could look after a customer base of in excess of 600 clients, but who could also develop new relationships. Firstcomm was selected to manage the process, due to our solid understanding of the manufacturing industry. The client up to now had never had a dedicated sales function, therefore they were very much looking for advice on how to go about this, particularly finding people who could sell within the manufacturing industry. As Firstcomm has more than 20 years’ experience recruiting sales skills within manufacturing and know that sales people come in all shapes and sizes, we were able to do a thorough analysis on which competences the client would need, plus offer full hands-on support throughout the process. It was also vital to find a candidate to fit the client’s company culture, given they are a down-to-earth, family run business.

The Solution

Firstcomm prides itself on a high-touch and transparent approach. The process involved meeting many of the senior stakeholders to discuss which type of sales skills would suit their growth plans, and conducting a thorough site visit to get a feeling for their environment. We then began a targeted headhunting campaign to source individuals with strong business development skills, plus someone who could look after the needs of the existing customer base. Firstcomm remained very hands-on during the interview process, helping to design a series of interview questions and then presenting feedback and advice after the meetings. Having really liked the two individuals with very different skill sets, who made it to the final interview round, the client decided to hire both candidates. One would focus on strategic account management and the other would be responsible for driving new business. Firstcomm then managed the process through presenting offers and finalising salary and benefits packages. We continue to serve as a trusted recruitment advisor to the client for future hiring campaigns. Some of the additional value-add services we have given them are in areas such as recruitment expense reduction and consultancy around making the most of recruitment advertising.


Is your company forecasting a period of growth and needs advice on how to hire the right skills for its sales team? Talk to Andrew at Firstcomm on: Tel nr 0333 772 0472