Back in black: Pama’s return

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In July 2006, Stockport-based accessories company Pama embarked upon a rescue plan to bring the business out of the dark ages. For years, Pama had enjoyed a high sales turnover thanks in the main to its popular Plug N Go Bluetooth car kits, which were shifting 25,000 units per month at their height in 2004.

But the accessories market had become swiftly commodotised by 2006, and Pama was competing with a limited range against a high street suddenly busting with Bluetooth car kit brands.

New Pama managing director Kevin McHugh, with the company in various sales roles since its launch in 1981 as a CB Radio kit distributor, found volumes crashing and losses racking up. The essential business philosophy had not altered much since its early days, when sales were easy, even if its human resources had not stretched much beyond its original ‘family business’ set-up.

McHugh put new sales structures in place to drive sales again, took some overlap out of the sales operation and sought to eke out better profit. “We began a rescue mission to save the business from closing the doors,” says McHugh. 

“The sales we used to take in would relate to a much bigger corporation. We had to shrink and cut costs.”

It seems to have worked. The Pama Group – including accessories distribution, stationary supplies and the Fonebitz retail chain – turned over £18 million in its financial year to May 2009, double its 2007/8 annual turnover.

Full article in Moble News issue 457 (February 15, 2010).

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