EVO Group Joins The CBI

EVO Group has become a member of The CBI, the UK’s most effective and influential business organization that helps provide companies with a voice to key policymakers.


The EVO Group of Companies has become a member of The CBI, the UK’s most effective and influential business organization that helps provide companies with a voice to key policymakers.

Originally starting their membership in February, the EVO Group of Companies have been working with The CBI in order to improve their network outside of the industry along with creating more opportunities for collaboration with other businesses. As a CBI member, the EVO Group of Companies are hoping to become a leading voice in the industry, whilst also opening new avenues to feedback to the government and other important institutions. This new partnership also provides increased benefits to their corporate responsibilities with a greater chance to engage with local communities.

The EVO Group of Companies Collaboration with The CBI

Since joining with The CBI, the EVO Group of Companies has seen several benefits in helping to improve their internal business processes and industry insights. Greater access to economic data and the opportunity to both host and discuss industry topics via forums and discussions has helped the company further assess customer ‘pain points’ and how these can be best addressed. In particular, departments at the company including IT and HR have been able to engage in specialized ‘round table’ discussions in order to share their expertise and gain a better understanding of tackling growing issues in their fields.

Industry Updates and Hosted Discussions

The EVO Group of Companies have also sponsored The CBI’s annual Yorkshire Dinner and recently hosted an economics and politics event at their offices in Sheffield. The event saw CBI Chief Economist, Rain Newton-Smith attend as a guest speaker, where priorities surrounding tax and regulation and outlooks on the global economy in light of political change were actively discussed by Newton-Smith and other attendees. Membership as part of The CBI has also meant that representatives from the EVO Group of Companies have able to provide feedback and engage in discussions relating to pressing industry topics such as the Apprenticeship Levy and Industrial Strategy.

To learn more about The CBI, please visit http://www.cbi.org.uk/

EVO’S Industry-Leading E-commerce Team Acclaimed a Two Clients Pick Up Prestigious Customer Service Awards

Two clients of the EVO group of companies’ industry-leading e-commerce team have acknowledged its major contribution to the winning of prestigious customer service awards.

Two clients of the EVO group of companies’ industry-leading e-commerce team have acknowledged its major contribution to the winning of prestigious customer service awards.

Online office goods reseller Find My Supplies and retailer Post Office Shop, the Post Office’s UK e-commerce outlet, were honored in the annual Trusted Service Awards made by global feedback engine Feefo. Eligible businesses were Feefo clients who collected at least 50 customer reviews last year.

Find My Supplies won a Gold award, which meant it achieved a Feefo service rating of at least 4.5, while Post Office Shop received a Trusted Service award, for companies scoring between 4.0 and 4.4.

Both the winners’ websites are operated by the e-commerce team at EVO, the UK and Ireland’s largest multi-channel business supplies and service distributor.    

Darren Mack, EVO head of e-commerce, said: “We’re delighted to have played a vital part in securing these awards. Recognition in this unique scheme is a real badge of honour, as it means you’ve been singled-out from a field of over 4,000 businesses, based on feedback from genuine customers, all specifically matched to verified interactions, to avoid fake reviews. The awards are therefore recognised symbols of trust, helping customers to click with confidence.”  

Find My Supplies, which has premises in Sheffield and Wakefield, supplies HP business goods, including printer consumables, its service embracing free next day delivery and a helpdesk. The organisation’s customers range from home users to large businesses.  

Post Office Shop sells a wide variety of items, ranging from envelopes and tapes, through stationery and office supplies, to commemorative stamps and coins.

Kath Samuels, HP Supplies’ online business development manager, stated: “We see this as very much a joint award for EVO and ourselves. The organisation’s e-commerce team launched the site in 2007, achieving HP gold partner status in 2010 and becoming a platinum partner for HP in 2017. We’re constantly impressed at the way they action and resolve queries from our customers very quickly and deliver high levels of professionalism in all aspects of their service for us.”

EVO worked with Post Office to create and launch its online shop in 2012 and has continued to manage and fulfill the site since, developing this with its client into a multi-million-pound operation, serving consumers and businesses.

Keith Maple, head of mail and retail propositions, Post Office, confirmed: “We have worked with the Evo team for some time now and come such a long way from when we launched the site. The continuing effectiveness of our partnership is indicated by the facts that we recorded business growth of over 20 per cent last year and more than 250,000 orders have now been processed and despatched on our behalf.  

“EVO’s current contribution includes that it operates a 24-hour service level agreement for queries from our customers on business days, ensuring fast turnaround and priority handling. We’re also continuing to work with its e-commerce team on other fronts, as we invest and develop our customer offerings further, so we remain a market leader for the products we sell.”

The EVO group of companies’ e-commerce team continues to drive their significant expertise online search and marketing, covering areas such as search engine optimisation, pay-per-click, content marketing and social media development. The unit contains professionals such as user experience and user interface developers and aims to deliver competitive edges by, for example, providing valuable insights into search trends and buying patterns. Since its formation six years ago, the team has enabled EVO to nurture and develop relationships with partners such as Moorside Office and HP, while developing its own e-commerce capabilities.

The EVO Group Of Companies Sets The Course For The Future

The EVO group of companies has signalled its determination to implement its long-term plans by appointing Lorna Mendelsöhn to the newly-created role of strategy and transaction director.

Lorna, a qualified solicitor, has been general counsel and corporate services director with the organisation, the UK and Ireland’s largest multi-channel business supplies and services distributor, for the last two years.

The EVO group of companies provides sourcing, storage and fulfilment services to over 50,000 resellers, corporate clients and public-sector organisations. It has two main trading businesses: leading business products and facilities supplies wholesaler VOW, which has a network of over 2,000 resellers, and Banner, a major workplace supplies and service provider to the private and public sectors. This is underpinned by Truline, the group’s transport company, which manages deliveries on behalf of Banner and VOW.   

Explaining her new role, Lorna said: “Our organisation dates back to the 2014 amalgamation of business supplies groups Vasanta and Office2Office. Following a period of post-merger stabilisation and Steve Haworth being appointed Chief Executive in 2016, we determined our new strategy last year, and my responsibilities now include implementing this blueprint across our group of companies.

“My role also features managing all types of transaction – an area in which I have significant experience – as suitable acquisitions are a key part of the new strategy but by no means its sole element. I’ll also be implementing our corporate and business simplification process.

“In addition, I’m now responsible for our corporate communications and brand building, for our group of companies overall.”

Lorna will be assisted in her new post by Adrian Vaughan, acquisition manager, previously EVO’s credit control manager, who brings financial expertise to her team.

After attending law school, Lorna spent seven years with giant US law firm Sidley Austin, where she was a trainee solicitor and an associate in the corporate reorganisation team. She then joined Vasanta as legal counsel in 2012, assuming her previous role in 2016.

Describing her reaction on being asked to assume her new role, Lorna said: “I’m excited about not being a full-time lawyer anymore and am looking forward to making things happen and putting our plans into action.”    

News of Lorna’s appointment follows the announcement that Banner has furthered its key strategic goal of broadening its business beyond its traditional base of mainly large contract customers into the mid-market, by acquiring leading reseller Ventura Office Supplies, based in Bingley, West Yorkshire. The acquisition followed Banner’s purchase of Manchester-based WA Office Needs six months earlier, for similar reasons.   

Steve Haworth told the hundreds of resellers and suppliers attending VOW’s annual Green Light event in Birmingham last month that the EVO group of companies had been through significant change in the last three-to-five years, but now had a long-term management-led strategy, with sensible goals. He said the organisation was being supported on this journey by leading private equity investors Endless.

He said the EVO group of companies’ strategy meant it will continue to develop its range of products, brands, categories and sectors. It will accelerate this process through mergers and acquisitions, where they further its plans by taking it towards critical mass or adding important expertise in key expansion areas.

UK And Ireland's Largest Multi Channel Business Supplies And Services Distributors Strengthens Board

EVO Business Supplies Limited, the holding company of the EVO group of companies, the UK and Ireland’s largest multi-channel distributor of business supplies and services, has strengthened its board by appointing Ken Williamson a non-executive director.

Mr Williamson has significant successful senior level experience of merger and acquisition and financing work, as well as of general commercial affairs.  

He is currently chairman of Stoke-on-Trent based DW3 Products Group, a strategic investor in innovative, high growth manufacturing companies in the fenestration sector. The group is backed by north and midlands-based private equity specialists NorthEdge Capital.  

Earlier in his career, Mr Williamson was transactions director of energy recruitment specialists Air Energi, a consultant and acting chief finance officer for a Montagu Private Equity-backed management buy-out and a partner with Big Four accountancy practice Ernst & Young.

While at Air Energi, Mr Williamson led negotiations and structuring in the company’s merger with Swift Worldwide Resources. The pair in 2016 formed Airswift Holdings, an almost £1bn operator in over 50 countries, serving the technical manpower needs of energy supermajors.

Prior to that, Mr Williamson worked at Montagu Private Equity on their acquisition and subsequent carve out from banking group UBS of CEFS International, a business using cloud technologies to administer employee share participation programmes and related trading. The merged business was subsequently renamed Equatex.  

That experience followed Mr Williamson’s almost 17 years as a partner at Ernst & Young, where he built a leading reputation as a corporate finance advisor and sat on the management board for the transactions business as head of corporate finance for UK and Ireland.

Commenting on his appointment at EVO, Mr Williamson said: “I’m joining the board at a really interesting time. The EVO group of companies are a leading player, strategically well placed and performing strongly in a sector offering exciting opportunities through channel shift and ongoing consolidation.

“An important part of my role will involve supporting the management team as they look at a range of merger and acquisition and financing opportunities.”      

Welcoming Mr Williamson to the EVO board, Steve Haworth, Group Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to have a senior and experienced professional with Ken’s background and expertise on the board. He’s certain to be a major and positive influence on our organisation as we continue to exploit current opportunities and take advantage of new openings in the years ahead.”

The Sheffield-based EVO group of companies was formed in 2014 through a merger of two business supplies groups, Vasanta and office2office. The EVO group of companies provides sourcing, storage and fulfilment services to over 50,000 resellers, corporate clients and public- sector organisations through its two main trading companies: VOW, the leading business products and facilities supplies wholesaler, with a network of over 2,000 resellers, and Banner, a major workplace supplies and service provider to the private and public sectors.