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Admittedly, with only 4 weeks remaining, the Board’s predictions about how well Solar Solve has performed during its first half-year, should be fairly accurate.

With the extra sales during February and March that resulted from the knowledge that BREXIT could happen on 29 March, with unknown consequences, plus a general upturn in sales overall, we have done very well up to now.  For those reasons I expect my ‘END OF FIRST HALF YEAR – 2019’ report and presentation to the Solar Solve team, in mid-July, to be very positive.

In 1964, UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson famously said, ‘A week is a long time in politics’.  The situation within the UK over the last 2 or 3 years has shown the statement to be true many times over.  Within the business environment and market sectors that Solar Solve is involved, a week of problems would probably have little long term effect on our company.  Although, 6 months after 9-11, Solar Solve’s turnover had dropped by one third purely as a result of the fallout and the negative effects of a huge downturn in confidence and world trade.  It was a significant hit and took us 2 years to recover the lost turnover but we did and have survived.

In today’s world there are so many precarious situations / circumstances internationally that can affect peace, stability and global trade we must accept that anything is possible, and it could occur at any time.

These days it is virtually impossible to predict anything with a great degree of accuracy.

I was prompted the other day to remember my first job ashore after I left the Merchant Navy way back in 1968.  I was Maintenance Supervisor for the new RCA automatic record producing plant in Washington, County Durham.  I had a nice little office where sales representatives would visit me and present me with their latest catalogues of products, most of which were hard-backed books, full of shiny photos and comprehensive information about their company’s products that included valves, radiators, boilers, tools, everything.  A typical catalogue was like a book from a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica.  The one thing about them that was destined to change over the following 2 or 3 years was the fact that the majority of catalogues had the price of the product / component printed on the pages after each description.  Such catalogues were very costly to produce and were only updated every 1 or 2 years, thanks to very low rates of inflation.  They made life pretty easy for those of us who had to forward-plan projects and budgets.

Fast forward to 1974, six years later, when I spent a year as factory manager of the Venetian Blind Service Centre in South Shields.  Just as I joined they were increasing the price of all their products by 18% and after 6 months they implemented another price hike of a further 10%.  Certainly heady days but everyone seemed to survive.

With the advancement of the Internet and technology, it is pretty difficult but by no means impossible, to find suppliers these days who will commit to guaranteeing a price for their goods, for a 12-month period.  At Solar Solve we revise the price of all our products once a year and issue new price lists on the 1st March every year.  As the year progresses and the time to our next price update diminishes, the ‘guaranteed price’ period reduces but it’s never less than 3 months.

New vessels usually take a few years to get from the design to the delivery stage, with blinds and screens being some of the last items to be purchased.  That is why our team at Solar Solve will always liaise with enquirers to ensure that an RFQ is produced to cover their exact requirements, including the length of price guarantee they request.

JHL MBE SSL Co. Chairman