Outsourced business support specialist EC Group celebrates 200 years in promotional handling and distribution

EC Group – one of the UK’s leading providers of specialist outsourced business support services – is set to confirm its status as the country’s longest-serving promotional handling and fulfilment company when it celebrates its 200th anniversary this year.

EC Group (www.ecgroup.co.uk) began providing packing, warehousing and distribution services under the name E. Christian & Company in 1810 – the year that King George lll was recognised as insane … Beethoven composed his famous piano piece Für Elise … Napoleon and Josephine split up … and the UK’s first Indian restaurant opened in London.

The company was re-branded as EC Group in December 2004

Today, EC Group combines its 200 years of experience with the latest 21st century technology and processes to provide bespoke outsourced services designed to meet each client’s specific requirements.

The company is one of the UK’s leading providers of tailor-made outsourced marketing support services – including multi-channel customer contact centres, response handling, fulfilment, database management, mailings, storage, distribution, logistics, marketing communications, design, and e-commerce solutions.

The company has over three million cubic feet of secure storage space at its warehouse complexes in Hayes, Middlesex and Grays, Essex.

EC Group also has state-of-the-art multi-channel customer contact centres in Hayes and Grays, and a full-service design facility in central London.

Cost-saving services range from handling simple one-off distributions, mailing campaigns and point-of-sale merchandising … through to total project management of design, print, storage, fulfilment, digital asset management, and distribution contracts.

EC Group’s flexible and versatile approach means its clients span a wide range of industry sectors – from fast-moving consumer goods (fmcg), the entertainment industry and the travel industry … to the energy industry, financial services, charitable organisations, and large government departments.

The company’s prestigious clients include Heineken UK, Rolex, Rank Hovis, Lloyds Banking Group, Visit Britain, Odeon/UCI, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, the Food Standards Agency, and Christian Aid.

EC Group puts a heavy emphasis on robust systems and procedures and is fully accredited to key international standards such as ISO 9001 (Quality Management) and ISO 14001 (Environmental Management).

EC Group managing director Chris Long, whose family has owned the business since 1920, says: “Over the years, the company has obviously seen tremendous changes in the handling and distribution business – from horse-drawn distribution methods in 1810 to the advanced technology-led services, systems and procedures of today.

“I’m proud to say that the firm’s emphasis on flexibility and service delivery has endured for the whole 200 years. These attributes are probably even more important today as clients increasingly expect us to do more and deliver even greater added value.”

He says: “I believe the best way of celebrating our bi-centenary is to do all we can to ensure the business is equipped for the next 200 years. That’s why we’re increasing our emphasis on having the right people, the right processes and the right technology in place to meet the ever-increasing demands of our diverse and dynamic client base.”

During its long history, E. Christian & Company has consistently extended its services to include new activities that complement its core handling and distribution capabilities.

In the late 1940s, for example, the company pioneered bespoke point-of-sale storage and distribution services for brands and retailers.

In the 1950s, it was one of the first companies to introduce promotional marketing support services for the fledgling sales promotion and direct marketing industries.

As part of its bi-centennial celebrations, EC Group is co-sponsoring a series of lectures by leading figures on key issues and challenges facing businesses in the new decade.

An edited video of each lecture will be available on the EC Group’s website at www.ecgroup.co.uk.

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