Skyline not only put the business on a sound footing but produced a first-class strategy for the next 5 years (some of which has already been implemented) to ensure future growth and profitability. The business has been transformed. If you want a real in-depth knowledge of Charity Retail, coupled with the leadership skills to turn around a charity business and like a totally honest approach then I would, without hesitation, recommend Skyline. It has been a pleasure to work with them.
It is with great pleasure to thank Barry and the team at Skyline Business Services for the work they carried out for Willowburn Hospice, the recommendation came from another hospice and we cannot be more pleased with the outcome of the time spent working with Skyline. Moving forward into 2018, our plans are to start working on the information which Barry has supported in preparing a plan. This is a great step for retail for the hospice and we look forward to making some changes to strengthen our retail operation.
Barry Moles delivered the Skyline Commercial Training for Charity Shops to our full team of Managers and Assistant Managers. The day was informative, fun and covered several key areas which kept interest levels high. The feedback we received was the most positive I have heard for many years with long serving Managers taking fundamental action to improve sales and gift aid as a direct response to what they had learnt.
I have found Skyline to be professional, responsive and straightforward to work with, I have no hesitation in recommending Skyline. The Health Check and Strategic Review have proved to be value for money and have certainly focused the hospice team.
Skyline have an in-depth knowledge and wealth of experience of Charity Retail. They use this knowledge to work with your team and create a vision for your retail business, and then help you deliver it. At Royal Trinity Hospice they demonstrated exceptional leadership, to initially fully engage and then lead the team and key stakeholders, through a programme of operational and cultural change. The achievements made over the course of a year were well above our expectations. I can strongly recommend Skyline.
Addaction commissioned Skyline to review its wholly-owned social enterprise Resource, devise a turnaround strategy and implement the resulting plan. Skyline rapidly analysed the business, made a series of clear recommendations and supported the local team to drive sales growth and manage costs. During this period of change, Skyline also helped generate an increase in staff morale. This is testament to the excellent input from Steve in particular who has demonstrated in-depth retail know-how, excellent engagement and very clear communication with myself, the Resource Board and the Addaction Executive team. I would have no hesitation in recommending Skyline to other charities and social enterprises, whose consultancy input has really helped put Resource on a much firmer footing for the future.
We had a full days training with the managers of both hospice’s which me and fellow CEO attended. The training day was very specific to maximise the main areas of weakness. Barry was a motivational high energy trainer who certainly made the session into an interactive highly charged event with lots of fun.
I always enjoy working with Skyline they are refreshingly honest, good at engaging the teams they work with and most importantly consistently deliver outstanding results. Their knowledge of charity retail is exceptional, and they are equally comfortable on advisory and delivery. I would have no hesitation on strongly recommending Skyline to any charity.
We have worked with Skyline on a couple of projects the first being the relocation of our warehouse and furniture store to a much larger site and secondly, they performed a retail health check across our business. The Skyline team have a huge amount of charity retail knowledge and were hugely insightful They were very professional, yet sensitive to the needs of a team of staff and volunteers. They worked in a very motivating and collegiate way. Not only did we have a large move to undertake, but a new shop, much larger shop to set up. With Skylines knowledge we swiftly developed new improved processes and ways of working. New processes were underpinned
with cost saving and through Barry and Steve’s knowledge and connections we had new income opportunities opened to us to. The result a fantastic new shop, increased sales, an efficient warehouse and improved ecommerce. The health check clearly identified areas for improved performance and was presented clearly which meant we were able to start rolling out some of the actions quickly. We now have a clear plan to develop the business moving forward. To sum up, Skyline are professional, bring a wealth of experience in Retail, project management and ecommerce, they are easy to work with and I would thoroughly recommend them.
Skyline Business Services conducted a health check of our charity shops and I was impressed by the wealth of experience and good information they brought to the table. The briefing they gave me at the end of the health check was invaluable, and we finished the review with a workshop for staff and volunteers which for me was a real highlight, run by Barry and presented extremely professionally. Everyone went away motivated, understanding their achievements already, and ready to implement improvements. We are now using the strategy they produced to take our retail operations to the next level.
I would not hesitate to recommend Skyline to any charity, especially the Skyline Health Check and commercial training. I have found the Skyline team very professional, highly knowledgeable, supportive and they have helped us resolve some inherent long-term challenges leaving us in a good place to take retail forward.
Skyline were able to step in to help us when we had a critical gap in our retail management staffing. This was a straightforward choice for us as it was very clear from our initial meeting that the team at Skyline were very knowledgeable about and expert in the charity retail sector. Through the turnkey solution, Skyline were able to quickly pick up full responsibility for our retail operations. Keen to bring clear added value to the process, Skyline completed a full health check of our operations immediately prior to commencing the turnkey solution and as a result were therefore able to begin to implement the recommendations and changes arising from the health check as part of the turnkey solution.
Barry and his team ensured we were fully informed, appraised and updated throughout the tenure of the turnkey. I particularly welcomed the straightforward and honest discussion and analysis that was given during our meetings. The existing strengths of our retail operations were fully acknowledged and recognised alongside the identification of the key areas where we could further improve our performance – a truly balanced and pragmatic approach to the appraisal of our retail business, which was very refreshing.
The lead retail consultant on the ground engaged very effectively with our shop managers and facilitated change in a very supportive and consultative way. We established very effective partnership working with Skyline which helped us immeasurably as a charity. Their input delivered a very effective injection of re-engagement, motivation and development for our retail team which has achieved positive results.
Guild Care worked closely with SKYLINE for 2 years helping us realise the potential of all our charity shops – including the opening of a new Charity Superstore!
Skyline do what they promise!
If you need a critical review of your retail operations to support improvement and expansion you will not be disappointed. Skyline’s knowledge, advice and guidance has helped us to identify key issues, prioritise and implement changes with quick income raising results.
The training programme has sustainably empowered our retail team and we know how we want to train and develop new recruits to enable our growth plans.
We move forward knowing that we understand our retail business and we can deliver our development strategy ambitions.
We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for the amazing work carried out by the Charity Retail Association; not just at this difficult time, but day in and day out. Their leadership, guidance and support helps to bring to life the vision of a successful charity retail sector in the UK. As a corporate member, we’re incredibly proud to work alongside the Charity Retail Association as an advisory body and highly recommend all charity retailers to join this informative and knowledgeable community, which strives everyday to be The Voice of Charity Retail.
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Charity Retail Training & Support Services 78 York Street London W1H 1DP