Miller UK has grown up

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“We knew we had to step up,” acknowledges Keith Miller.

“Back in 2003 Miller UK was a small family business that wanted to grow internationally. We needed to build a stronger management team, professional systems and processes in order to prepare for growth.

“That was when we started working with The Alchemists.

We have come along way with them since then. This year we are celebrating 35 years in business.”

“The Alchemists chairman Bill Teasdale introduced me to Lucy after Miller UK was chosen as a company with real potential for growth,” explained Miller. “With Lucy’s help we chose Brian Sweeney to be our alchemist.

“Brian has been great. He is still with us after a roller coaster journey over the years, now in the role of non-executive director.”

The extremes of that roller coaster have been all too apparent in the last five years. By 2008 Brian had helped us achieve our ambition to be a global company. The real bonus was his experience of living and working in Asia, Europe and North America with the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies, Arthur D Little and Rolls-Royce Industrial Power Group.

Business was going well, but then came the recession. In 2009 orders fell by 83 per cent. But, appropriately for a company in the construction industry, the business had shored up its foundations and has emerged from the difficult times.

Today orders are up and Keith Miller is optimistic about the future. Just last month the company exhibited at Excon Bangalore, South East Asia’s largest construction equipment and technology exhibition, a key market for Miller UK.

However, riding the rollercoaster has been tough, demanding Keith’s full attention. But he was determined to look to the future.

“For me the real benefit of our Alchemist is that he is not wrapped up in the day to day business, so I can bounce round ideas with Brian. It’s great that he has this experience of running companies who are further down the track than ours and in industries that are related to ours.

“Brian gives me good advice. It’s not all about telling me what to do; he gives me the motivation to find the right solution.

“All along, both Brian and Lucy have given me good advice.

“They challenge my thinking. And it’s that challenging and encouragement from The Alchemists that has helped Miller UK through the very difficult economic times both here and overseas.

“I’m looking forward to the next 35 years!”

Review 2017

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Tasty solution


Dicksons is a family butchers based in South Tyneside that was founded by the current MD’s father in 1953. The founder died suddenly, leaving his widow to run the business with the help of her two teenage children. Since then the business has grown steadily and now has 20 shops across the north east, employing over 200 people.

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