Laurie Thomas

vision support

Earlier this year, Vision Support Services was shortlisted for The Lloyds Bank Exporter of the Year Award.

Dubbed the “Oscars of great British Business” by David Cameron, the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards will reveal its winners on 13thNovember.
In the run up to the Awards Ceremony at The Grosvenor House Hotel, we caught up with Laurie Thomas, Managing Director of Vision Support Services.

What do you currently do at your company day-to-day?

I am responsible for the company strategy and achieving our business objectives as well as the general direction of the business. I am dedicated to the development of people in order to reach our company goals.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

The inspiration behind the business was to develop a worldwide business that is the preferred supplier and distributor of luxury, performance and specialist textiles to leaders in the global hospitality, healthcare and retail markets. With hundreds of years of manufacturing experience, Vision is now a trusted textile company; sourcing, supplying and distributing millions of products each year. We’ve developed a prestigious customer base and are proud to serve over 6,500 customers worldwide.

Who do you admire?

The people I work with are totally committed in delivering our plans and dreams and I, personally, admire them all. The business is proud to have hugely dedicated, professional people working all around the globe and each of them help to make my job so much more enjoyable.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

As we acquired different businesses, which were originally operating companies in their own right, we were slow to ensure a cohesive, common brand and philosophy. The business had no natural marketing skill base and we should have addressed this earlier on. By doing this, it would have enabled more rapid growth in many of the regions we operate in.

What defines your way of doing business?

We strive to enhance our relevance to targeted customer groups across the world through best-in-class sourcing and distribution. To ensure long-term quality, service levels and ethical compliance, we invest in the right infrastructure and technology, continually improving forecasting, supplier relationships and supply chain management.
Our aim is to surpass customer expectations whilst achieving the maximum sales potential, keeping a strong focus on our position at the cutting edge of textiles. We are a customer focused, united, global business; we are passionate about our brands and our products and each one of us strives for success and endeavours to change, evolve and lead. At Vision, we recognise our obligations to act responsibly, ethically and with integrity in all our dealings.

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

I’d say, always have a plan. At the very minimum, it’s a good idea to give you some indication as to the direction you wish to go in. Also, make sure your funding is in place; contact your bank and determine their dos and don’ts when it comes to starting up and if you’re planning on trading overseas, look to the Department of International Trade for help and advice.
Meet Vision Support Services and hundreds of other ambitious British businesses at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards ceremony. Book your place here for the 13th November, Grosvenor House Hotel, London.