BT-HS | Celebrating 3rd Birthday: Successes, challenges, and a growing reputation
BT-HS turns 3 years old today, yet when it comes to specialist vehicle builds, hire, and sales, this is not a company in its infancy as its tender age may suggest.
The business is headed up by MD Phil Glaiser, a veteran of the sector who, in 2018 decided the time was right to step out of his comfort zone and start a business of his own.
We spoke with MD Phil as the company turns three to find out about the journey so far, and what the future holds for BTHS:
HI.com: So, Phil, why did you decide to go it alone?
“I wanted to make sure that I had 100% confidence in the products and services I was supplying to my customers. To take on that responsibility and have that level of control where I was handpicking to match the vision of what I perceived a company to be able to provide to its customers, and how it should be done.
“The only way to truly achieve this was to be in control of the process from cradle to grave. I wanted to make sure that what was agreed and promised to a customer was delivered and that that ethos was carried throughout an entire company.”
HI.com: So, you’ve gone it alone, how were the very early days?
“In a word: Interesting.
“It’s a very different position to be in – going from working for someone or a company with a hand in certain aspects, to being the person that ultimately is responsible for all the decisions. I had to learn fast, be confident with decisions and never lose sight of the vision.
“It’s been a learning curve with perhaps the steepest curve being back at the very start.
“Supplier related issues, customer demands, staffing demands and the dreaded cashflow constraints of a start-up are all suddenly solely on your plate. Adapting to that and becoming comfortable keeping so many plates spinning was the biggest adjustment.
HI.com: Did you find it difficult to build a reputation?
“I’m not sure difficult is necessarily the word I’d use. I think it’s just fair to say that we were a blank canvas and had everything to prove. I’m fortunate that as a result of my experience in the sector that I possess a lot of strong relationships and I’d like to think that once I was heading up BT-HS that there would have been some level of good reputation already in place.
“That said, we had it all to prove. The industry we work in is based on reputation and product delivery, and this is something I have hammered home with the team here.
“I have seen first-hand how precious it is, and one of the first marks on the board for me was to ensure that when we produced our first vehicles back in 2018 that they showcased our product, company vision and capability – almost as proof projects.
“Within our first year we were starting to get comments from the industry saying they could tell a vehicle was ours due to their quality. That was a very proud moment.”
HI.com: In the 3 years so far, what would you say it the company’s biggest success?
“I would say the team firstly I, and now as a we recruit, ‘we’ have put together.
“It’s extremely hard to find people with the same concept of work ethic and customer vision as I hold, and in general I think that whilst skills can be taught, work ethic, passion and care cannot. Everyone at BT-HS is an irreplaceable part of who we are, so our biggest success is without a doubt the assembly of this team.”
HI.com: And what would you say has been your biggest challenge?
“Most recently, it’s making sure that we continue to deliver vehicles to customers on time. Our supply chain has been adversely affected by both the pandemic and Brexit, and we have had to mitigate that as much as possible to our customers. It has been challenging but we do not want to let our customers down.”
HI.com: Moving on from past to future, what’s the short-term goal?
“I would like to take the team on holiday actually.” Said Phil.
“They have worked relentlessly over the last 12 months, and with many of life’s joys and luxuries off the table in that period they need a break and some downtime. It would be a well-deserved thank you.”
HI.com: And finally, Where would you like to be on your 5th Birthday?
“I would hope that we’re carrying on very much the same trajectory as we are now in terms of growth and reputation continuing to grow.
“This, alongside a more diverse product offering, incorporating more and more sustainable solutions into our products and working practices.”