Recruitment firm boss launches new business during lockdown

Milo Williams and Sam Goodwin of ChainBox Global Picture: CHAINBOX GLOBAL

Milo Williams and Sam Goodwin of ChainBox Global Picture: CHAINBOX GLOBAL - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich recruitment firm boss left with time on his hands after lockdown has launched a new supply company – initially to deal with a surge in demand for personal protective equipment (PPE).

ChainBox Global's offices in Claydon Picture: CHAINBOX GLOBAL

ChainBox Global's offices in Claydon Picture: CHAINBOX GLOBAL - Credit: Archant

Milo Williams – who owns mechanical and electrical engineering recruiters Rubix M&E in Claydon – had to furlough about 90% his staff during the lockdown period as demand slumped.

It was a “difficult” decision, but one he had to take, he said.

“We’ve had a great year since re-branding as Rubix M&E and I felt that I had finally built the perfect team to take the business to the next level.

MORE – Floating restaurant owners celebrate ‘exciting’ bubble relaunch after securing grant aid“However, when businesses across the country are forced to cease working, the recruitment industry obviously takes a hit.”

The £2m turnover firm – which employs eight staff – was still placing essential workers such as gas engineers, electricians and mechanical and engineering supervisors at the height of the crisis and maintained contact with staff and clients he said, with staff not furloughed keeping things ticking over. But it expects revenues to fall by 30% this year as a result of the crisis.

“It was during the course of my daily updates and calls to clients that a new opportunity arose. A business contact of mine was looking for someone to distribute PPE on behalf of a major UK medical supplier,” he explained.

He reached out to a number of contacts through social media and put a sales team in place.

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The business now has a direct contract with a factory manufacturing nitrile gloves which it sells directly to buyers in the market.

Mr Williams’ new company – ChainBox Global Ltd – was formed in April. It employs four staff and has already notched up around £250k in sales. Through his contacts in the pharmacy and medical sectors, Mr Williams was able to offer items including masks, gowns, gloves and hand sanitiser.

It has supplied PPE to organisations including NHS Trusts, dental practices, engineering, plant hire, large corporates, cleaning, construction and facilities management firms.

He now sees opportunities for ChainBox Global to branch out across a number of sectors, including medical products, raw materials, engineering equipment, technology and hardware, jewellery and fashion.

Employee Sam Goodwin had been “vital” in getting the new company up and running, said Mr Williams.

“Sam has been a fantastic person to have alongside me, putting in 18-20 hour says and executing deals across the UK, Europe and the USA,” he said. “We’re looking forward to even more success.”

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