FFP Pty Ltd is one of Australia’s largest manufacturers and distributors of spectacle frames and is a major importer of many of the world’s leading brands of premium frames and sunglasses. They operate solely as a wholesaler and have relationships within a dealer network Australia wide.
Cecil Fitzgibbon is the CEO, owner and founder of the company.
Cecil can recall the days he started the company operating out of a small facility on the outskirts of Mildura, Victoria. Business grew rapidly and Cecil brought in several close acquaintances to assist with the growth – like Cecil they possessed strong entrepreneurial skills and a focus on sales.
After approximately 12 months of continued business growth Cecil was constrained in his current location because:
• Mildura was not a central location for a distribution business and was adding a 10% premium to his costs;
• His premises had reached storage capacity;
• His current business support had largely been run from his study and there was insufficient room for all the required staff.
To address these issues he leased an office/warehouse suite on the outskirts of Melbourne.
Following his relocation to Melbourne his business continued to grow and he successfully won the distribution rights of another 2 leading sunglass brands.
FFP continue to pride themselves on their large market ‘footprint’ whilst still maintaining a lean sales focused operation. Whilst Cecil was required to bring in some staff to support operations he tried to minimise what he considered were non-revenue generating resources.
Cecil is concerned that a number of issues have distracted his management team in the past 12 months. They include:
• Six months ago, it became apparent that the top-selling sunglasses frame (‘Flash’) had a design fault. A number of customers have complained that the sunglasses easily snap on the nose bridge, resulting in shards of plastic flying into the face of the wearer. One customer required plastic surgery and is suing FFP. FFP has now addressed the design fault, but does not want to issue a product recall due to the bad publicity that will result. It prefers to settle matters on a case by case basis when a customer complains. He also decided the injuries were not that serious so he didn’t bother to report them.