over 1,000 Years of Service from just 40 employees!
Williams Refrigeration is celebrating its 30th birthday this month and since its inception has grown to become one of the world's leading manufacturers and suppliers of award winning commercial refrigeration solutions. Formed in 1980 - its Kings Lynn Headquarters and factory has expanded over the years to its current 33,685m2 in size, employing 300 people. Its reputation and demand for product has grown to such an extent in the International arena that it now has operations in France, China, Australia, Dubai, India and the USA - doubling its work force to over 600.
Williams is synonymous with refrigeration and have built a global reputation over the years for manufacturing a wide range of high performance, energy efficient and environmentally sound refrigerated cabinets and counters, blast chillers, coldrooms, and bakery refrigeration equipment.
Williams regularly supplies equipment to a range of varied customers including some of the best known names in hospitality, from global hotel and restaurant groups to leisure developments, supermarkets and retail chains, breweries, contract caterers and craft bakeries. Take a look behind the bar in your local pub and you're likely to spot a Williams cooling your favourite drink, or processing your favourite bread at the local Morrisons, or even being used to prepare your favourite pizza in the local Pizza Express. You will equally find Williams products in many international hotels; restaurants and stadia and they have also been centre stage in keeping food chilled for athletes at the last 3 Olympic games!
But Williams is not known for resting on its laurels. Its continuous programme of growth and development see it launching a number of new products to market over the coming months, with a re-design of its most popular range - the Jade, being delivered to customers for the first time this month.
A major ingredient in its growth during the past 30 years has been its loyal, long serving work force. Coinciding with the company celebrating its 30th year, some of its employees are being recognised for their long service to Williams.
Six employees (Mark Brown, Mark Dorr, Leon Espley, Shawn Gidney, Steve Rayner and Margaret Shaw) have all reached their twenty year service and will each receive an award in recognition of this landmark.
Thirty four current employees are previous recipients of the award. Amazingly, nineteen of those have now been with the company for twenty five years or longer - that's over 1,000 years employment from just 40 employees!
Since joining the business they have all seen the company undergo significant changes and expand beyond all recognition from their early days at Williams.
Graham Hall has been with Williams from the beginning and recalls 'right from day one it was obvious that the team that was assembled, 10 people in a small unit factory, all brought their individual skills and strengths to the table and more than that - a will and belief that this would succeed. There was never a "can't be done attitude" it was always "how can we do it?" Ideas would be bounced around and solutions found. This attitude still exists today - people that still want to push the boundaries and be innovatove'.
He adds: 'Since the very beginning the core value has been to make a quality product at a reasonable price. That core value is also still with us. In today's throwaway society we still get spares orders for products that are more than twenty years old and still going strong, now that's got to be value for money hasn't it?'
'All in all it's been great to see the company grow from such humble beginnings to be the global player it is today. I enjoy the challenges it's put in front of me and am grateful for the opportunities it has provided me with, oh, and most importantly I've had loads of laughs along the way!'
Leon Espley spent ten years assembling coldrooms before moving over to Sales and now negotiates deals with the likes of Supermarket giants Sainsbury and Morrisons. 'So much has changed over the years - technology, industry legislation and customers - but the core principles of Williams have remained, including the dedication and commitment of its staff. I'm proud to have been part of a team that has supported my progress - a position that finds me working alongside some of the top buyers for the UK's supermarkets, bakeries and restaurant groups'.
Managing Director Tim Smith comments 'The business has flourished from our humble beginnings to a respected world-renowned business and much of that's down to the hard work, loyalty and enthusiasm shown by its people. On behalf of Williams, I'd like to thank them for their efforts and congratulate the six recipients on their twenty year awards on their achievement. I look forward to working with them for many years to come.'