Unlike many other refurbishment companies, Designphase is staffed and run by industry professionals, such as surveyors, as well as by builders. This was a deliberate move on the part of Stephen Hutton, who set up the company in Esher in 1991. ‘Clients want to work with someone they can talk to, who understands the requirements of their business, and who can offer a rounded solution,’ he says. Designphase is involved in projects ranging from installing air conditioning and lifts in large office blocks to putting up new partitions and office decorations. The company’s flexibility and willingness to work alongside clients have driven up sales by 78% a year, from £632,000 in 1996 to £3.6m in 1999.
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