Carrs Pasties is a hugely successful and growing food manufacturer based in Bolton. As a third generation family business, the puzzle was to maintain and protect the culture whilst the business grew. With the incumbent Managing Director at retirement age, Dad needed to step down as his sons were very keen to step up and take on the reigns of the business. Although this seems like the natural succession story, family sensitivities, the need for structural change, and the absence of a business plan did not make for plain sailing.
Throughout the company clear roles and reporting lines were missing, meaning duplication of effort in some places, and other important duties falling between the cracks.
• People Puzzles’ Hazel Lowndes kicked off by engaging the top team in some crucial conversations, getting everything out in the open for the first time.
• Facilitated by Hazel and her strong strategic background in business planning, the family started to make important decisions about roles, and for the first time ever, business planning and direction.
• Hazel’s next steps were to initiate performance conversations with the long-term and methodical goal to take the company through succession planning.
• The top team are now in the posts they are supposed to be in.
• For the first time in 70 years they have a polished business plan which has cascaded down to the rest of the business.
• Hazel implemented an organisational structure at management level which has filtered down through the entire company so there is effective line management, reporting and accountability.
• To give the business independence and new skills, Hazel has been mentoring a former member of the Bakery team, who is now their new HR Manager, dealing with the day to day people issues.
• After some initial, and of course natural, concerns about entering into such a period change, Carrs Pasties has a hugely engaged workforce, queuing up for development courses to improve their skills.
• There is strong organic growth and they are now moving into wholesale, resulting in significant increase in revenues. Alongside this new revenue stream, the company is massively expanding: they are building a new bakery and have acquired a new shop.
• Carrs, with Hazel’s support is in the process of delivering a whole suite of management and leadership development, and the staff are now looking forward to the future when they were once fearful of it.
• Ultimately the company are keeping their family and cultural values intact, which was the priority for all of them. There is great excitement about the family and the business future. It is amazing what a business can achieve with a high performing, aligned team at the top.
“This is an inspiring story and it’s all true. I can’t believe it’s about us! We’ve accomplished a lot over the last 18 months.”
Joseph Carr, Managing Director, Carrs Pasties