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
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
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
"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."