Graham McWilliam, Managing Director of Glencraft Mattresses
Tell us about what you do?
Glencraft is a social enterprise and a registered charity and have been around since 1843. We make a range of bed bases and mattresses, both classic and luxury, and have a Royal Warrant to HM Queen Elizabeth, having served the Royal Family at Balmoral for 4 generations. Our social impact is providing work for our disadvantaged staff and offering what we refer to as”Dignity Through Work”. It is a privilege to be the current MD and custodian
How has the pandemic affected you?
Like many businesses, our client base has been badly impacted, not least the hospitality sector and the offshore industry. These are important areas for us. Thankfully, we have significant contracts in Asia and these have allowed us to continue in some capacity during these difficult times. Retail sales, too, have declined significantly.
We have real difficulty in receiving the materials we need – delivery times have moved from 3 – 4 weeks to well in excess of 12 weeks and with some big price increases. All of this at the wrong time, of course!
Most importantly, our staff have suffered and we’ve only survived because of the various support schemes available. Social distancing measures have not allowed all of our team to return to the factory and this too has impacted on our production levels. We are working hard to make sure that all of our team are coping.
Do you have a link to Scotland?
What’s not to like about Scotland! I was born and raised in Aberdeen but was fortunate in my career to work throughout the country. Indeed, we’ve lived in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness as well as Aberdeenshire.
Favourite thing about your job/business?
Our people are inspirational. I enjoy (or did previously!) travelling to meet our clients and the variety that brings.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
I think, without doubt, we are going through one of the biggest challenges right now and the pandemic. I worry about what we are leaving as a legacy for future generations.
Who inspires you?
My family provides all the inspiration I need. Our daughters are doing well in their careers and that’s great to see. As well as the team at Glencraft, I really enjoyed working with my Chairman, Duncan Skinner, who introduced me to Glencraft initially. He just did things right and was passionate about all things involving Social Enterprise.
If you could swap places with one person (dead or alive) for a day who would it be?
The professional golfer, Ian Poulter, has not a bad lifestyle! A range of lovely cars and on top of his chosen game. Similarly, as a lover of football too, perhaps someone like Kenny Dalglish – not only for his skills but for what he stands for. His charitable work is incredible.
Unfortunately, my skills in either of these sports were never near good enough! It’s nice to dream though (on a Glencraft mattress of course!)