UK: Independent air conditioning distributor AMP is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with a number of industry and customer events.
Launched in 1989 by Polly McConachie and Martin Michaelson, the company has since grown to become a £17m turnover business with a staff of 41.
AMP began trading from an office and warehouse in north London. “At the start, we had just three members of staff,” recalls Martin Michaelson. “Two years’ later, we were expanding with the opening of the Bristol branch. After a lot of hard initial work establishing the business, we were on our way.”
A big leap forward came with the acquisition of purpose-built offices, training room and warehouse at its current site in Welwyn Garden City in 2001.
But the success story has not been without drama and challenges. The withdrawal of AMP’s key Mitsubishi Electric franchise in 2004 was a major reversal and a potential threat to the business. However, AMP was soon appointed a Toshiba distributor, effectively replacing the lost products in its portfolio with the well-known and well-regarded Toshiba range. Since then, sales of the Toshiba brand have grown significantly.
Continued growth led to a move in Bristol to new, larger premises, followed by an AMP presence in the Midlands with a new branch in Birmingham.
All centres are equipped with training facilities – technical training being an aspect of the business upon which AMP places a strong emphasis.
Now, coinciding with its 25th anniversary year, AMP is planning to completely refurbish its dedicated Toshiba training centre for installers and field engineers at Welwyn Garden City. The new centre will offer Toshiba’s recently expanded range of practical and theoretical courses.
The company’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. At the start of the year, AMP was shortlisted for the Distributor of the Year category of the ACR News Awards. A delighted Polly McConachie said “It’s a great way to start our jubilee year, and reflects a lot of hard work and creativity on the part of the dedicated AMP team.
She added: “It also says a lot about the fantastic relationships we have developed with our customers over the years. Our approach from the beginning has been collaborative, underpinned with high quality technical support. We believe this is the key to delivering successful projects for installers and clients.”
“The key to any business is people,” says Polly. “Our staff are the best in the business, with excellent technical knowledge and a can-do approach, that customers appreciate and rely upon.”
Martin says: “When we first started AMP, we had a philosophy and that hasn’t changed: if you do the simple things well, every day – such as deliver on time and go the extra mile for customers – it has a cumulative effect, and you build relationships that last. We have built our business on this approach, and – so far – it still seems to be working.”