APSS celebrate 25 years in business

Experts in office design, fit out and refurbishment, APSS is celebrating 25 years of creating inspirational workspaces for countless businesses.

Founded in 1997, Darren Crookes started out on his own with two fitters to install office partitions and storage solutions for local businesses in the Lincoln area.

Laurence Barrass, Managing Director for APSS said: “We now employ over 35 people and still work in partnership with our very first customer, Siemens. It’s incredible to think we have now completed over 10,000 different projects for our customers which span from Cornwall to Aberdeen.

“Since the start, we have always helped smaller businesses as they remember the quality of service they receive from us, they grow as a company, then they turn into some of our biggest customers over the years. The partnership and bond we have with them is fantastic. It’s where we want to be – recognised as the company you can trust.”

APSS has naturally evolved from a partitions and storage solution company to provide a full design and fit out service across a range of sectors. It has adapted to include its own in-house joinery department to speed up delivery time on projects and decrease overall costs for customers.

Recently, the company has seen a change at the helm as Laurence Barrass became the new Managing Director, taking over from Darren who took a step back from the day to day running of the company, but remains as Chairman.

“To reach 25 years in business is a huge milestone for any company,” Laurence said. “We have survived recessions and a pandemic which no one could have prepared for. There was a worrying time when offices nationally were closed to workers and this being key to our business. But thanks to the knowledgeable skill of our staff and the flexibility it allows for, as a company we were able to adapt to better support our customers who were going through exactly the same challenges we were facing.

“We helped businesses which sold online to adapt their warehouse to cope with the additional stock levels required. Many of our key customers, like Wren Kitchens, used the down time in the offices to create a better and safer working environment ready for the post pandemic return to the office.

“It’s been a bumpy ride, but an exciting one. We know many companies have had to shift to a more flexible, hybrid way of working thanks to the pandemic. It has been great to support so many in transforming their current office space to better suit that style of working.”

When the company was first founded, it was all about trying to get the message out. The location in the Yellow Pages was an important consideration. Everything was faxed and drawings were all done by hand. To build up the business founder Darren Crookes knocked on every door he could find to obtain local clients. Many of which we are still working with.

However, after a while, customers started saying ‘you know you’re doing that, well can you get carpets, and can you get furniture?’ It was a natural progression from the partitions, racking and storage the company originally provided – and still does. It opened up the marketplace and APSS began to offer more of a service driven product.

“During the recession, APSS helped businesses to utilise their existing workspaces, similar to now after the pandemic. The only difference back then was it was about how we could squeeze as much in to the space as possible. Now it’s more about how to create a flexible working environment with space for people to move around the office without being crowded,” Explained Laurence.

APSS works with a wide range of companies across the UK including Wren Kitchens, Slimming World, Octopus Energy, Siemens, University of Lincoln and Bakkavor to name just a few.

“Over the years we have installed all sorts of different and quirky things from hidden bathrooms to Google inspired slides. As fun and different as these things are, our primary focus has always been ensuring our customers have a productive, efficient workspace that leaves a great impression.”