Independent air conditioning distributor, AMP, is celebrating its silver jubilee year and has unveiled expansion plans.
Launched in 1989 by founders Polly McConachie and Martin Michaelson, the company has grown to become a £17m turnover business, specialising in high efficiency, premium brand air conditioning.
AMP began its 25th year by being shortlisted for a major award for growth and customer service excellence in a national competition.
The 41-strong AMP team has its headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, plus branches in the Midlands and Bristol. All main centres are equipped with training facilities, and the company has pioneered with a strong emphasis on technical training.
The next step is a complete refurbishment of its dedicated Toshiba training centre for installers and field engineers at Welwyn. It will offer the recently expanded range of practical and theoretical courses launched by the manufacturer.
The distributor 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 Welwyn Garden City in 2001.
The success story has not been without drama and challenges. The withdrawal of one the AMP's key air conditioning franchises 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.
This year the company is planning a series of industry and customer events to mark its silver jubilee, spanning the year. Its development plans include continued organic growth, a commitment to achieving ISO 9001 accreditation and the Investors in People award.
Mr Micahelson said: '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.'