There is no greater thrill than to be powering a business that drives cultural and societal change. We are very excited to be partnering with the Blue Badge Company to bring some much-needed color and style into the UK mobility market! With Unleashed in place, the Blue Badge Company now as a much better handle on costs, margins and stock forecasting.
What does your business do?
We make attractive wallets that store and protect the disabled parking permit. Alongside our signature blue badge wallets, we have an extensive range of living aids, home comforts and travel accessories that are quirky, warm and charming and are proudly handmade by our skilled team in Bristol. We are passionate about providing jobs and training for those with limited work options, so over 40% of our workforce has a disability or domestic responsibilities.
What’s one of your favorite mobility products?
We love our blue badge permit wallets, they’re all handmade in our Bristol workroom from vibrant and uplifting fabrics.
We’ve recently launched our William Morris range and also a Roald Dahl collection that’s perfect for kids and adults alike! Our lovely permit covers are Hologram Safe© and come with a free parking timer clock that can be easily dialed without taking it out of the wallet. We can even make bespoke and personalized covers, which our customers love!
Why do you think your customers like this product so much?
As we champion choice and individuality, our blue badge wallets say more about style than disability. When we first set up Blue Badge Company, we couldn’t believe how dull and clinical the standard issue plastic holders were, so we wanted to inject a bit of fun and personality into our badge holders. Our customers love the variety of designs that we offer, and the excellent quality of our handmade products; they’re made to last!
Can you give us a brief history of your business and the growth it has experienced so far?
It all started when two friends sat in a Bristol back bedroom hand stitching mobility wallets for the disabled parking permit. In the past four years our workforce has grown from one to 20, after winning contracts to supply Argos, Boots and the Post Office. We have since expanded our range to include fun, pretty and practical living aids including lap trays, walking stick bags and wheat warmers. Turnover has soared by a factor of five from £64,000 to £325,000 over the same period and looks set to hit half a million this year.
How is Unleashed helping your business grow?
Unleashed has really helped us to be able to analyze sales data in great detail. One of the best features about this side of the software is the ability to see profit margins in real detail, and to see peaks and trends as to when sales occur throughout the year. This has allowed us to forecast sales based on the trends and peaks, which has in turn allowed us to purchase components and schedule manufacturing at the right time without sitting on too much stock.
For example there is a product that we sell which is a skeleton key that opens every disabled toilet in the UK, analyzing the data in Unleashed we can see that during the summer months we sell the highest volumes than any other time of the year, this allows us to schedule and forecast with much greater knowledge and confidence.
Is there something you are particularly excited for your business right now?
We are really excited to further expand our business into Europe and beyond! We’d love to take our practical living aids in vibrant designs overseas and take the international mobility market by storm just like we’ve done in the UK.
We are also working hard on some exciting new home comforts and travel mobility accessories that will make ideal gifts for all the family!
Is there something your business in particularly proud of?
“I really believe that a company is only as strong as the team behind it. The one thing that has driven me the most is the idea that business has a responsibility to be good for society and I’ve discovered that a rewarding, sustainable job can change someone’s life, mine included! I’ve seen it first hand and it’s the part of my company that I am most proud of.”
Ellen Green, Founder & Managing Director
Are there any particular not-for-profit causes that you, or your business is passionate about, and why?
We are dedicated to employing disabled people and those with limited work options, such as primary caregivers or people with mental health issues. We are passionate about creating social and cultural change to ensure disabled people have opportunities to fulfill their potential and realize their aspirations, and we’d like to encourage other businesses to do the same.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.