Following the heavy rains of October last year, this East Yorkshire company received more than 3,000 calls from a desperate public. Chem-Dry UK, set up in 1988 by Mark Hutchinson and David Feuster, specialises in dealing with insurance claims that arise from damage to carpets and soft furnishings caused by fire and floods. It offers a ‘one-stop shop’ for claimants that includes drying out properties after flooding, to the cleaning and restoration of upholstery. Claims are initially received at a central call centre and then allocated to one of 560 Chem-Dry franchises operating throughout the country. The company, which itself operates under licence from Harris Research, the world’s largest carpet and upholstery cleaning company, has grown sales 75% a year from £3.4m in 1997 to £18.3m in 2000, when it had 98 workers.
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