Bebington Glass and Glazing

Kay Ruddy is managing director at Bebington Glass and Glazing. The family-run firm offers over 85 years experience in the replacement window and glass and glazing industry.

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Kay Ruddy

The firm was founded in March 1978, by Kay's father Peter Finlay, who opened a small shop in Bebington. Kay joined the firm later in 1989 as an office junior, gradually taking responsibility for the accounts and payroll and eventually moving through different roles at the firm, including office manager and director. When Peter retired in 2004, the firm identified the need for a managing director. "We decided to go for the female touch," says Kay.

Kay, and the other company director Danny McMillan, also decided upon Peter's retirement that they needed some advice with regard to the logistics of running a business, as they had never had direct experience of this before. Peter had been receiving advice from Dufton Kellner for several years on his retirement, his personal finances and on the company, after they were recommended to him by his bank. He had often urged Kay to liaise with them about different ways to improve the business.

"I was very cynical," said Kay, "always asking '˜how much will this cost?' My dad asked me to give it a shot, and I'm extremely happy we did."

Kay and Danny became involved with Dufton Kellner's Make It Happen programme, which required them to attend monthly meetings with partners from Dufton Kellner to discuss the various ways in which the business could be improved, with focus on all facets of the firm including finance and marketing. Dufton Kellner even arranged for a mystery shopper to visit Bebington Glass and Glazing, without Kay or Danny being aware.

"It was great because we could get honest feedback from a customer's perspective on areas that the business could be improved," says Kay. "When you're involved with the business day in, day out it's easy to lose sight of how the customer sees the firm '“ you can't see the wood for the trees. It definitely worked and had a knock on effect '“ our profitability has increased."

After implementing these winning strategies, Dufton Kellner still take care of the firm's general accountancy. Kay and Danny meet every other month with Stuart and Andrew from DK who focus on figures and, according to Kay, offer truly impartial advice. They also prepare Bebington Glass and Glazing's quarterly management accounts.

"They have a very professional attitude and are still approachable. The personal service they offer is fantastic, and it applies to everyone at the firm. It's consistently high quality. The fees they charge aren't the cheapest we've come across, but we know we're getting very good value for our money."

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