S1 Ep5: Camplings Linen - Richard Turvill, MD

Tourism Business Chat

24-03-2021 • 52 mins

In the final episode of series 1, Chris chats to Richard Turvill, the managing director of Camplings. Operating out of Great Yarmouth and Cambridge, they are the region’s leading laundry and linen supplier to the hospitality, food production and leisure sector. With many of their customers closed due to lockdown, Richard and his team had to find ways to pivot and adapt during the last 12 months, and his insights into lockdown, investment in technology, Brexit and business in general are invaluable.

Richard offers a fascinating look behind the scenes at how this family business was started, and has evolved, describing them as the ‘fourth utility’ for the hospitality sector; as important to a hotel, for example, as their gas and electricity!

Richard chats about the recent expansion away from their Victorian factories, and into ‘smart boxes’ where the focus is on sustainability, energy saving and efficiency; benefiting both the business and staff, and in turn, a blessing when it came to operating during lockdown. He discusses how subtle changes can up your green credentials, and describes how they now operate two of the ‘smartest laundries’ in the UK and the most advanced in Europe.

Speaking of Europe, Richard talks openly about how Brexit – “If it’s a problem for Mercedes, it’s a problem for everybody” – will affect their recruitment, and his frustrations for those affected who have worked for them for a long time, and subsequently how they have been supporting their staff. He hopes that the downturn in the retail sector will help them fill the gaps in staffing, with many skills transferable and adaptable from the retail sector into manufacturing.

The roadmap to the hospitality sector re-opening has meant that yet another pivot has had to be put in place, but Richard is as prepared for re-opening as they can be, taking their responsibility of supporting the sector, and providing a trouble-free supply chain, seriously.
Richard describes how, in the initial despair of the first lockdown, hope emerged, and now they are ready for the challenge of the expected staycation boom. He praises the loyalty of their teams in helping the business weather the storm.

Visit Camplings here.

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