THE 13,500 SQ FT HEAD OFFICE and warehouse is now located all under one roof in Bury St. Edmunds and employs 20 people.

Whenever co-owner Simon Ward is asked to list the main priorities for his Automated Environmental Systems business, he would undoubtedly say: ”Customer service, customer service, oh. and customer service.” Formed in 2007, to fill a perceived gap in the market for the supply of pumps, heat pumps and all related pumping equipment – 17 years on, AES now offers a huge and ever-evolving range of products to trade and end-user customers across the UK.

Far from a ‘one-size fits all’ supplier, the company has invested £1m in a vast range of ‘in-stock’ solutions to cover all bases. The fastest growing area of AES business is in swimming pool equipment, specifically swimming pool heat pumps. About 50% of the company’s £4.5m turnover is water leisure related.

“At AES we pride ourselves on our service and our ability to react quickly to our customers’ needs,” Simon emphasises, proudly pointing out the company’s 4.9 out of 5 rating on Trust Pilot. “Our background is as pump engineers rather than pool construction,” explains Simon. “We are really interested in technical plant room equipment,” he continues.

“But we will always help where we can, from an initial enquiry to commissioning and installation or providing annual servicing,” Simon adds. “We aim to look after our customers throughout their entire journey with us.” You may recognise Simon’s face from his days with Bosta.

It is with AES founder, Oliver Pringle, that he has teamed up, to influence the powerful driving force that is AES. “I gave up a dream job at Bosta to work with Oliver on the development of AES,” says Simon. “With a young family, people thought I was taking a huge risk but it has always been my ambition to drive my own business and the gamble has more than paid off,” he shares.

Offering up to 80% reductions in pool heating costs, Simon’s knowledge and expertise in heat pumps for the pool market is perhaps one of the main reasons for the success of AES.

AES CO-OWNER SIMON WARD is the main influence in the powerful driving force that is AES.

From modest beginnings, working from split units, the 13,500 sq ft head office and warehouse is now located all under-one-roof in Bury St. Edmunds and employs 20 people. All self-funded by the company itself, investment in a state-of-the-art ERP system has paid huge dividends. The purchase of an Aisle Master forklift, combined with a new racking and warehouse management system, has enabled the expansion of warehouse space available from 450 to 1250 pallets.

The company funds five, on-the-road specialist engineers, as well as its three-strong in-house technical team. “Investment in software and racking systems has enabled us to be promoted to top division with stream-lined whole business,” Simon shares. “We are running 6% ahead of last year, so we know we are getting something right, as we are moving in a positive direction.” Simon has no intention of involving AES in any price wars.

“We are not the cheapest. We think price-cutting is a downward spiral,” says Simon. “We have learned that advice on identifying the best fit of product and speed of supply are the keys to success.” From the smallest product to the biggest complex project builds, AES offers one of the biggest solution scopes on the market. People matter to AES. For instance, the creation of a social media group Heat Pump Support UK now boasts more than 3,000 members.

Digital Marketing Manager, Kevin Gibbs built the AES website, from the ground up, that plays an integral part in the success of the company. A three-strong warehouse team average a pick-time under ten minutes compared with 45 minutes at the previous locations.

“Even more importantly, we have scope to increase turnover with only one extra person in the warehouse, so we are not held up on the potential for growth,” Simon adds. You can expect friendly expert advice, a free quotation service, communication throughout the sales and build process and next working day delivery once your order is ready to ship.

THE FASTEST GROWING area of AES business is in swimming pool equipment, specifically swimming pool heat pumps.

AES is flying its substantial flag on the Proteam range of products and has recently added Poolstar heat pumps to its swimming pool solution offerings. Significantly, AES’s Remora range is its own brand that Simon says gives its trade customers most protection and the capacity for increased margins.

“No-one is as passionate about our brand as the AES team is,” Simon stresses. “We sell the product, and we own the support mechanism which means trade customers are never selling problems. “Unless they want to, it will be AES who is providing product back-up,” Simon points out.

“We are conscious we have been ruffling a few feathers in the swimming pool supply chain, but that reassures me, we are doing something right.” Simon continues: “Everybody involved in the AES organisations is driven by doing the best job they can, not just meeting but exceeding our customer expectations. “We are all about putting customer service first at unrivalled levels which others are finding simply too hard to handle.”

Tel. 01284 658770