Stories

Supporting a local business through lockdown and beyond

Partner spotlight | Louise O'Brien, Managing Director of Greyhound Box Ltd

Stories

Louise O'Brien, Managing Director of Greyhound Box Ltd

  • Project: Small Business Leadership Program
  • Spotlight partner: Greyhound Box

Tell us a bit about your organisation and what led you to working with Leeds Business School?

Greyhound Box are manufacturers of corrugated cases situated in Hunslet, Leeds. The company has been operating for 30 years and has a focus on developing a scalable business through employee engagement, increased productivity and a commitment to the environment. After working with the school on previous productivity projects I decided the offer of help would support our business as we recovered after the first lockdown for Covid-19. We had lost 50% of our turnover initially and although some growth was starting to happen, I felt I needed the support and extra skills for the company to survive, along with some mentoring to help me personally.

Why were you passionate about this project and why is it important to the work you already do?

I was determined for the company to survive the current climate and wanted to gain new skills and ideas for strategy within the business. After a few months of uncertainty, it was a welcome boost and encouragement for me, learning how to prepare for the future which would be a very different world.

What have you enjoyed most about this collaboration?

I enjoyed the presentations bringing together academics and manufacturers and being able to reflect on these sessions really helped me to learn. It’s also something I can use for training my team in the future. The peer group also developed a good extended network to discuss and share ideas which we have carried on with.

What have you learnt through this project, and what's next for Greyhound Box Ltd?

We covered all areas of running a business, so it has helped me to look at and review our productivity, systems, sales & marketing. Some of the ideas on marketing especially have provided us with useful tools for the company profile and how we can present ourselves in a professional manner. I am able to now understand about brand and what our proposition is. One of the main things for me to start with is to clearly identify our ‘customer persona’ and use this to grow the company in the right direction. All employees within the business can engage with this and really understand more about relationships and of course to make a profit. I have more confidence in the business with the new skills learnt and continue to share will all the team, I have a clear vision of who we are and what we want to achieve. As a result of this my management team has grown along with new team members who fit the clear company culture.