Here is the Thirteenth chapter of the CPU Enterprises Story which was originally sent in the CPU Summer 2011 Newsletter - emailed out to customers on 09.08.11. Written by Peter
It's now time for the final part of the CPU story.
In the previous part of our story you may remember that we were under a lot of pressure to finish the build of our new warehouse in time for our move from the stalls on Peterborough Market.
Well, yes, we did finish on time - just - but it was a major effort by all of our family, especially our sons-in-law, Martin and Simon, who transported most of the stock for us. I seem to remember that I was plaster boarding the inside of the walls, again with the help of the boys, at the same time as the builders were finishing putting on the roof.
To save a bit of cash I had purchased a large amount of secondhand metal shelving, so the next step was to fit all this into position. I remember that the girls were filling the shelves as fast as the boys and I could build them.
I will not pretend that we did not have problems during this major move, because we did have a few, but on the whole it was the best thing we have ever done.
Dawn took charge of the warehouse right from the start and it took her several weeks to arrange the stock to her liking, all at the same time as she was processing the internet orders (pick, pack and post). She quickly started to mention that the warehouse was really just not big enough and eventually Dianne had to sacrifice her 'best front room' for storage of spare stock.
Carole took charge of creating the office; we converted an unused bedroom in the Granny Annex for this purpose. The kitchen of the Annex became the Post Room. Even though the office was often in chaos, she still managed to extract the orders from our secure server, book them and get them ready for Dawn to process. She did then, and still does, the majority of the website updating at home, often working until the early hours.
This was a time of complete change for Dianne and myself, and I have to say that we were a little apprehensive about the future. At that time internet buying was still fairly new, would it catch on? We need not have worried, it did not just catch on, it took off! In the first full year of internet only orders we turned over more than a quarter of a million pounds and have not looked back since.
As you know, Carole and Dawn are partners in CPU and it is due to them that we have done as well as we have. They have both slotted into their roles without any pre-planning at all, and are continuing our principles of giving good value and honest service.
They now run the business, involving us only when needed, leaving Dianne and myself to enjoy our old age together. We are very, very lucky to have them and the rest of our family.
This is the end of the CPU history; I hope that it has not been too boring for you and that maybe I have given some of you an idea as to what is involved in small business survival.
Finally, you may remember that some of you asked as to what the C stands for in CPU. Many of you worked it out before I told you a few Newsletters ago, but for any new readers - CPU are my initials. Therefore I sign off this final Newsletter with CHARLES PETER UNDERWOOD.
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