Fire alarm and security company, Bespoke Detection Services Ltd (BDS), is a multi-million-pound company founded in 1994 by Managing Director Kevin Blyde. BDS first started using the services of Rothmans Sutton in 2002.
Kevin Blyde says:
“Other accountants I used before moving to Rothmans caused me a lot of problems and meant my business was struggling. Accountancy firms shouldn’t assume that a Managing Director knows about finance. I’m principally an engineer and when I first started I didn’t have a clue about that aspect of the business. Rothmans’ advice has always proved to be excellent.
“When we decided to amalgamate with a large Manchester-based company in 2010, the assistance we received from Rothmans Partner, Andy Miller, was invaluable. I remained a non-Board Director and although the BDS side of the business continued to grow, the larger group’s service divisions were all hit by the recession, causing it to go into receivership in 2013.
This enabled Kevin to start up his company again with the support of his original customers and employees.
“I knew that Andy was always on the end of the phone if I needed him, so as soon as I made my decision to resurrect BDS I rang him and said we need limited company status within 5 days.
“The clock was ticking as BDS clients, which include large public sector hospitals, City of London companies, facilities companies and international motor manufacturers, must have their alarm systems operational at all times. My long-standing relationships with all my customers meant that they were able to take me at my word that their services would be uninterrupted.
“Andy understood the urgency of the situation. We needed to get the company up and running, sort out business forecasts and meet up with the bank immediately; I had 30 people who needed to get paid. I rang my old bank – who offered me an appointment in two weeks! Andy stepped in and got me an appointment straight away with another bank. I put some money in the account and we were away.
“The group company that had acquired BDS went down on the Friday 2nd August 2013 and we opened for business on Monday the 5th!
“We kept all our clients and all our engineers – hiring vans and giving my personal car up to one of them just to keep him on the road while I dusted off my classic MG to drive to meetings!
“Working with Rothmans fills you with confidence; you have got someone you can phone, email and meet whenever needed. Andy meets with us on a monthly basis and keeps an eye on every aspect of our business from debt-chasing to invoice performance and any issues with overheads and costs.
“For example, when some our employees’ tax returns were incorrectly coded, he brought in one of Rothmans’ tax specialists and the situation was rapidly resolved. He also introduced me to profit and loss spreadsheets so that we can easily monitor our performance on a continuing basis.
“Rothmans handles the PAYE for our employees and plans our monthly cash flow.
“We have become a cash-rich company because we have monitored our finances from day one. Recently, Andy recommended a new software and training package as we needed to monitor cash flow. Although initially the outlay amounted to a sizeable investment, it is leading to considerable cost savings for the business.
“When we discussed expanding our car fleet, Andy advised that the new tax codes regarding plug-in hybrids meant that the tax benefits on these outweighed the use of company car allowances. We now own six of the vehicles, a hefty commitment that I would not have entered into without his recommendation.
“Over the years, when we look at growing our business either by acquisition or through business development, Andy helps us to analyse the target’s structure and potential then always gives good advice on the way forward.
“It’s the consistency of service I appreciate. The best thing I ever did was to go with a reputable chartered accountancy firm such as Rothmans – which is precisely the advice I gave when I recently recommended Rothmans to the son of an old family friend who has started up his own business.”