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Case Study: KRL Group Ltd

Published: September 2011

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left to right: George Baker, KRL Managing Director, Ian Atkinson of Finance Yorkshire and Glenn Parrish of KRL

The Company

KRL Group Limited is a photocopier specialist that has been trading for more than 25 years.  

Based in Willerby, East Yorkshire, KRL sells and services photocopiers, and is the main dealer for Konica Minolta machines as well as recently becoming a dealer for Ricoh.

The company, which also recently underwent a management buyout (MBO), sells and services photocopiers to customers across Yorkshire, the Humber and parts of Lincolnshire.

The Challenge

KRL managing director George Baker said: “In 2009 my two business partners wanted to sell up but I decided to go it alone. However the recession meant it was the worst time to try and do a MBO and we struggled to get the right finance.”

By the company’s own admission, KRL was also previously more of a ‘lifestyle company’ and had to do a lot of developing to bring the business into the 21st century.

The Solution

Business loans totalling £130,000 from Finance Yorkshire, combined with an Invoice Finance facility from Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance, have helped KRL move on from the MBO by modernising the business while maintaining its regional roots.

Said George: “We’ve updated our back-up and disaster recovery strategy, ensured we have the right servers in place to link in with customer networks and a new integrated software system will also improve efficiency of operations both in the office and engineers in the field.

“Many of these new systems will save us money because we will be able to carry out tasks at our headquarters rather than drive out to places, which is a big help in the face of rising fuel costs as well as lost man hours.”

The investment will also be used to help KRL explore new markets, expand a Leeds-based office, fund training for engineering, sales and administration staff, as well as assist with stock purchase for the company’s growing sales order book.

The Investment Rationale

Finance Yorkshire Investment Manager Ian Atkinson said: “George Baker and Sales Director Glenn Parrish have done a great job in developing the business after taking over the company and, while that may not always have been easy to manage, they have effectively transformed operations.

“With Finance Yorkshire help, KRL is now well placed to bring forward many of its growth plans and advance the company at a faster rate than would have been possible.”

Chris Steele, Client Manager from Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance said: “Since September 2010, we have helped support the daily cashflow needs of KRL, by utilising the sales ledger asset of the business.

“In such a short time, an excellent working relationship has developed between both KRL and Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance, which I am confident, will deepen further as time progresses.”

Future Expectations

“While we have modernised, we want to stay local and keep people’s jobs here,” said George. “Other companies may have moved operations to London and lost local jobs but we wanted to avoid that.

“Our focus is very much a regional one and the support we have received from finance Yorkshire and Lloyds TSB Corporate Finance means we can reinvest to protect the workforce.

“Customer care is very important to us. We don’t want to just sell our customers their first photocopier, we want to sell them their second, third and fourth and service the machines for them, too.” 

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Editors Notes…

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