Sustainable stationers Red-Inc; celebrates 10 years trading.
We caught up with Founder Adam Huttly to ask him about the journey to become one of the UK`s leading office supplies companies. Not in terms of size but in terms of business values, ethics and accreditation’s.
How did it all start?
Red-Inc was born due to a personal desire to do more for clients, be a better company and take the basic stationery business model and rewrite the script. Having absolutely no baggage we could wipe the slate clean and micro analyse every decision we made. We asked questions of every process and inherent trend. Questions like, “Does this work? Do we need it? Does the client benefit? What’s the logic and why?”
What has changed in the 10 years you have been trading?
Well everything basically. The world, knowledge, availability of information to name a few off the top of my head. Think back to 2008 when I started Red-Inc, the world was in global downturn and the economy was at an all time low. The head line in the Metro that week as I set off to work on my first official day was ” the world falls into global recession”. Good start eh !
From an industry perspective, again changes have been abundant. The office supplies market has shrunk considerably, yet there are more office supplies dealers than ever before. The move to online basket style business models erupted and the future for the traditional dealers seems to be a bit bleak. However that may have seemed at the time, the traditional dealers (assuming they have some UPS) are still going strong.
There is no doubt that the serge of internet dealers really changed things considerably. People could bench mark instantly, dealers drove down prices and it became a race to the bottom, with so many companies fighting to win orders and take a small piece of the action.
We survived the toughest years because we had something different. A platinum service at a time when most dealers were moving away from own staff and warehouses. We had add on services, like print and promotional products. We did recycling for our clients from day one too. But it was the people that really made it work. Both the clients that we worked with and the brilliant committed staff that cared and shared the values. Values that we have never strayed from.
Red-Inc has had a fair amount of success in the areas that matter. We are the UK`s first B Corp office supplies company, going through our accreditation back in April 2017. We couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this wonderful community. It has opened doors and we have made great friends. Most importantly it has verified the commitment to our values lead business that finely balances profit with purpose.
Finally we set up the Red-Inc Foundation to channel our giving funds through. This came in line with us launching an industry first scheme “Plant One Protect One”, where we plant a tree for every box of paper we sell. It’s this that keeps us motivated and driven more than anything.
What are your future goals for Red-Inc?
We are a humble company, and our vision and goal is simply to be the best at what we do, not the biggest. Our growth is steady with the focus on being the most genuine ethical and sustainable office supplies company in our space. Our journey isn’t one of ego and sales figures, its one of a legacy and impeccable business model.
We must continue to drive change and innovate.
Sustainable stationers Red-Inc; celebrates 10 years trading in 2018. We look forward to another 10 years at the top of the industry.
If you would like to connect with Adam on LinkedIn please use this link. Adam Huttly