'Win together, lose together' leading by example at Mar-Key Group

The CEO of Dorset-based temporary structure manufacturer Mar-Key Group reflects on the twists and turns on the road to success.

By Ben Scroggie. As a company, Mar-Key Group doesn’t fit into any sort of mould. What began as a small marquee rental business back in 1991 has flourished into a brand serving blue-chip organisations and working at some of the biggest events in the UK. Our impressive overseas clients are also on the rise.

We’ve transformed dramatically since our early days. Initially, we had no plans to manufacture. We only started making our own product in order to rent it out. In doing so, we discovered that we were able to manufacture almost at cost.
 
Pandemic pivot
 
Covid changed everything for us; there was no one to rent temporary event structures to. We had a £6million turnover business that went to nothing in a matter of weeks and our staff were furloughed. 
 
We managed to keep trading by diverting our kit to the NHS, essential services and retailers, while raising additional capital and continuing to make our own product. We are unique because we manufacture all of our components in bulk. These components then form multiple units for use in the events or industrial industries. 
 
When the world returned to normal post-covid, we returned a bigger business. 
 
Reaping the rewards
 
2023 was a huge year for Mar-Key Group in terms of business growth, which saw us ranked 4th out of 100 of the fastest-growing SME’s in the Solent region. 

We invested in excess of £750,000 in new machinery and facilities and relocated to a large new facility in Christchurch. As CEO, I’m proud of Mar-Key’s Dorset roots and committed to showcasing that we are a truly British manufacturer via our use of the Made in Britain trademark.

The lack of available warehouse space in the UK has also led to a sharp rise in the number of businesses turning to modular structures as a solution to increase their space, fuelling growth in our sector.

Expanding our global footprint, we marked a significant milestone by delivering our first export to Australia. From designing to manufacturing and consulting on installation, we supplied a Grandstand sun shade for the Adelaide 500, further cementing our reputation as a trusted partner in delivering bespoke solutions worldwide.
 
Leading my team
 
The heart of any business’ success is its people, and as such my team is always my priority.
 
I firmly believe in the 80/20 rule; you've got to enjoy yourself 80 percent of the time. This is a rule I try to live by and to lead by as well. I'm a rugby coach for an Under-15s team, and I tell them the same thing. As a team, “we win together, we lose together, we draw together.” It's exactly the same at work.
 
I am not remote from my workforce, either physically or mentally. It’s important to me that I am present and visible on-site. I started in this industry as a student, building marquees during the Summer season, so everyone at Mar-Key knows that I understand the mechanics of the work that they are doing – and that I worked my way up to the leadership role I now hold.
 
I’m looking forward to many more team wins for the Mar-Key Group team in 2024 and beyond!

By Made in Britain 1 week ago | From members

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