It’s true what they say time flies by when you’re having fun. Hills will be celebrating 90 years of success in 2017. Kenneth John Garle, a true visionary, established the business on Thursday 12th May 1927 to prove there was a more efficient way of making number plates. Little did Kenneth know that this very determination will be the foundation of Hills Group International.
Today Hills have reached plausible heights from an SME company to a global business reputed as one of the largest number plate suppliers in the world. With a loyal work force of 250+ employees, a portfolio of worldwide patents and standards and divisions in diverse niche markets has put the company in the ultimate position. Modern facilities combined with the best number plate technology produce an extraordinary volume of 18 million number plates per annum.
Hills history timeline shows the remarkable journey of the business, achievements and development into niche markets and global investments. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners, suppliers, customers and employees for their support throughout our journey in making Hills Group International the diverse business it is today.
The Directors and staff at Hills are very much aware of the hard work and dedication the charities in and around Birmingham put in each year to feed and help the homeless of our home city. It was with this in mind we made a monetary donation of £5,000 instead of sending Christmas cards and gifts to our valued customers and suppliers. We decided upon Sifa Fireside as our nominated charity.
Finance Director, Kath Jenkins and Office Manager, Vicky De La Rue, visited their premises in Digbeth and saw first-hand the incredible work they do each day. At their drop in centre they feed 150 people warm meals daily, provide clothing, showers and facilities to wash their clothes as well as medical and social advice. Kath Jenkins said, “We were truly overwhelmed by the dedication of the workers and volunteers there. I hope our donation helps the less fortunate in giving them a better chance in life.” Please dig deep and donate for this worthwhile cause so that this merry season Sifa Fireside are able to provide, shelter, warmth and food to as many people as possible. Donations can be made via their website: sifafireside.co.uk
Encouraging female employees is a priority for the automotive sector, with research by the Automotive Council indicating that women are outnumbered by men three to one. In the UK, just 9% of engineering employees are female, this is the lowest proportion in Europe.
In a male lead industry Hills have proven to be a unique business with gender equality. It is essential to utilise this untapped skills potential, ensuring the workforce is diverse and continue the sector’s record growth. Girl power at Hills Numberplates runs from Warehouse Operatives to Director level with the female head count currently at 22 with 7 women in management positions.
Following on from success of the 2016 Charity Golf Tournament Hills will be hosting another one on Thursday 13th July 2017 at the Robin Hood Golf Club in Solihull. Funds raised will be donated to John Taylor Hospice in Erdington, Birmingham.
The team are spreading their wings and exhibited at the NHI Nursing Home Ireland Annual Conference in Dublin. This was their first event in Ireland where they showcased their product range and met with many customers who booked the free site audit service. This is the largest NHI event and the ideal platform for Eyeway to introduce themselves to the Irish market. Visitors to the stand discussed at length difficulties their residents faced with orientation around the care home. The team were able to provide solutions for residents, staff and visitors which in return empowers carers and staff to provide the best possible care. Eyeway will be launching some new and exciting products in 2017 so keep an eye out in the next newsletter for more information.
Hills have a dedicated Service team that offer printer and software support to our customers. The Service department carry out extensive research on number plate production systems available within the market place. The team are highly knowledgeable on the various types of machines our clients have and are available over the phone to offer guidance to ensure printing equipment is utilised to its full potential. With over 20 years of experience within the department Hills are able to offer the best technical support available within the industry.
Jackie Southall is the winner of the 2016 winter Star Awards. Jackie is based in the Clipping Department and has been with the business for over three years. During her employment, Jackie has worked incredibly hard and succeeded at her role through the training and development programme available at Hills. Jackie’s performance is outstanding and this was reflected in the lovely comments made by her colleagues on the voting cards.
A huge welcome to our new Apprentices Thomas Homer, recruited at Hills Numberplates Ltd and Iunsiya Hussain, recruited at Dual Metallising. Hills Group apprenticeship programmes have been designed to provide career opportunities to young individuals who wish to go straight into work after school or college.
Earlier this year we promoted Zakar Razaq from a Business Admin Apprentice role to a permanent position working closely with Managing Director, Richard Taffinder. We understand the commitment required in offering support from coursework to training therefore have a dedicated HR team that focus on the development of our Apprentices.
Congratulations to Crisson Montaque on becoming a father to a gorgeous baby boy and Jason Freeman who welcomed a beautiful baby girl.