Openhouse Products Limited

As the managing director of a family-run company, the concept of partnership is extremely important to Brian Jones.

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Openhouse Products Limited

Brian Jones

Openhouse photo

Openhouse Products Limited was formed in 1991. The firm manufactures and supplies a vast array of bespoke products to a range of industries, with heavy emphasis on the emergency services. Their client base is mainly UK based, serving a number of European customers as well.

Family values are at the core of Openhouse Products. Brian's wife Helen is financial director, his son Andrew is head of the design department and daughter Samantha, who is studying for a degree in marketing, applies her expertise to the promotion of the firm. With Helen's sister acting as resource manager, and Helen's brother as operations manager, the senior team at Openhouse Products really are as close-knit as they come.

According to Brian, the system works. "We have our ups and downs like everyone else," he says. "But on the whole we really enjoy it. The other option is being in business with people that you don't know you can trust. Our employees are like part of our extended family as well."

Trust is one of the aspects of his relationship with Dufton Kellner that Brian values. When the firms first met, Brian felt that the relationship was instantly a partnership.

"I believe in chemistry and fate. Things will conspire to work for you at the right time, as long as you are prepared to recognise it when it comes along. We were proactively looking for a firm like Dufton Kellner, with people prepared to sit us down and talk frankly to us, just as readily as we were prepared to listen."

Brian first encountered Dufton Kellner after they were recommended to him by his bank. Brian and Helen had begun to realise that they were quickly outgrowing their existing accountant when they needed to put together an application for a business mortgage to enable them to buy a new factory.

Since then Dufton Kellner have been involved in all aspects of the business, offering sound, up-to-date advice on the firm's accounts and taxes. One of the things Brian has found most beneficial has been the advice offered on running the business. He attended meetings and seminars with Dufton Kellner in which the firm looked at the best ways to improve the business, and also Brian's personal business outlook.

"When you go from a business that you set up in the garage to employing 33 people you have to change your attitude. We have gone from strength to strength since meeting Dufton Kellner. The best thing you have is your ears so it's good to sit down and let someone else give you advice.

"Dufton Kellner helped me to understand the skill of working on the business instead of working in the business. The business is like a fourth child. We've got a lot invested in it, and not just finances. It's easy to get involved in the day-to-day running of the business, and forget how to be an MD!"

As a self-confessed straight-talking person, Brian asserts that if Dufton Kellner weren't providing the best service, he wouldn't be using them. Instead he endorses them entirely.

"I have been quoted as saying that Dufton Kellner changed my life. I meant it when I said it and it still rings true today. They are one of the few companies that I can wholeheartedly say 'use them'. We definitely have no aspirations to change."

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