About Willows BMS LtdA time-served joiner who spotted a potential gap in the building maintenance market now has a turnover of over £1 million.
Kevin Stevenson served his joinery apprenticeship with Pelham Construction and went on to spend 10 years with Simons Construction group becoming site supervisor. In 1985 he moved to Wrights as site manager to run various contracts in Lincoln and Boston. Whilst with Wrights he moved on to maintenance contracts on camps such as local airfields at Waddington and Kirton Lindsey, and at Rampton Hospital. During his last year with Wrights the company decided to terminate all contracts on the camps. When Kevin found that the contract for Welbeck College was coming up for tender, he gave the matter some thought.
"We (Kevin & Martin) decided there was a future in this type of work and approached the college to see if they would consider new people tendering for this work" said Kevin.
The college was more than willing to help the new company start up and Kevin took up the contract and began Willows Building Maintenance Service in 1996 and 1999 went limited and changed the company name to Willows Building Maintenance Service (Lincoln) Ltd.
Kevins partner Martin Rutland served his apprenticeship with Hurst building contracts at Retford. He has adapted to management well after working ‘on the tools’, which can be a difficult adjustment to make.
That first year turned out to be more successful than Kevin and Martin had anticipated. They had forecasted a turnover of £90,000, but actually achieved £145,000. This spurred Kevin and Martin to spread their wings. Willows then undertook a contract at the Proteus Training Camp at Ollerton and shortly after that was asked to tender at Rampton Hospital site, where Kevin had previously been projects manager for Wrights. He won the contact for two and a half years.
Kevin and Martin still wanted Willows to grow and wanted Willows to carry on going forward. Willows then bought a small plumbing firm to be able to undertake a plumbing maintenance at all Willows site. "With all our contracts the plumbing division has really strengthened the firm giving us another avenue to go down" said Martin. Willows continued to grow with another one of Kevin’s old site asking Willows to carry out the maintenance contract at Rapier Barrack, at Kirton Lindsey.
Kevin also wrote to various companies explaining what Willows do, and one company Punch Pub Company at Aylesbury later asked Willows to carry out the maintenance contract in the Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, and South Yorkshire for themselves. Since then Willows have continued to grow now serving, NHS, Punch Taverns, Local Councils, & Authorities, Local Business & the general public.
Willows believe in spending that bit longer on the job to achieve that extra quality. Willows also believe that having personal contact with the people you need to talk to.