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Christmas presence brings joy for BAE Systems supplier

Image of the team
Last Christmas the hopes and dreams of the 50-strong Burgess Marine team at Portsmouth Naval Base were nearly sunk after an unpaid invoice for a superyacht left the business foundering. 
The key BAE Systems supplier faced a bleak future but, just a year later, after a well-planned and swift change of ownership to The SMS Group, the business is buoyant and the team are looking forward to an even more successful 2019.
 
Now they’ve said a massive thank you to defence company BAE Systems for all their support in turning the situation around. 
 
“A lot can happen in a year and it has,” said Nick Warren, Commercial and Communications Director.  “We’re all looking forward to a much better Christmas this year.” 
 
Nick explained that Burgess Marine, who had been resident at Portsmouth Naval Base as suppliers to BAE Systems for 15 years, found themselves in severe financial difficulties due to an unpaid account in a different marine sector.
 
He said the senior management team of Burgess Marine engaged with BAE Systems from the start of their difficulties. 
 
“We were only able to do so thanks to the highest quality relationships and the ethos and ethical awareness of BAE Systems’ own supply chain team - together with BAE Systems’ proactive and partnering approach to the customer / supplier relationship.
 
“Thanks to BAE Systems we weathered a terrifying storm, their help and professionalism helped protect jobs and save custom.  As a management team we’re eternally grateful for their proactive support and understanding.” 
 
The SMS Group, which specialises in mechanical, structural, electrical and hydraulic marine engineering, outfitting, painting and coatings, supports a wide range of BAE Systems’ activities within the naval base, from Small Boats to the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers.
 
Nick added: “In the last 12 months our business has stabilised and expanded, we’re trading ahead of budget and we’ve become better resourced, enabling us to take a much longer term view. 
 
“It was character building in hindsight but soul-destroying at the time. As we go into the festive period, we can’t thank BAE Systems enough for all their support in helping us make a very tricky and potentially disastrous situation a lot less challenging than it could have been. The outcome has been a win-win for both parties.”
 
BAE Systems’ Head of Supply Chain Chris Bruce said: “We have an enduring commitment to Portsmouth and the wider Solent region and its people, driving inward investment that underpins economic prosperity and collaborating with our suppliers to deliver best-in-class solutions for customers and the Royal Navy. 
 
“The maritime industry is the lifeblood of the area and we’re delighted that we’ve been able to help the former Burgess Marine team to not only survive but thrive in very difficult circumstances to become the newly formed and now well-established SMS business.”