James Tobias

James Tobias designs and manufactures high quality storage products for offices from its own factory in Bridgewater, Somerset.

Investment date
MAY 2014
Exit date

Investment Overview

The James Tobias product range includes storage walls, media walls, education walls, library shelving, lockers and sliding walls. The products have a number of unique properties.

The core product is called ‘Storage Wall’ and is a storage/partition system that can be used just as storage or to physically create separate rooms in offices (it has sound proofing capabilities). In addition the product uses an aluminium extrusion system which not only creates a storage system that is considerably stronger than competitor systems, but installs in 25% of the time taken to install other systems and is demountable for reconfiguration.

All sales are B2B and the business has many high profile customers in both London and other regional centres.

The Growth Challenge

The market for storage solutions is competitive, but James Tobias has a unique range of products which is increasingly being specified for significant office developments and this is driving sales growth. Innovations in both media and education are also taking the business into new markets.

Value added by Altitude

Funding of £1.5m from Altitude supported a Management Buy Out. Together we then defined these development goals which are well underway:

  • Allocate additional resource to expand the company’s financial systems, including the appointment of a new FD to allow the current FD to move into the MD role.
  • Restructure the sales team and implement a new CRM system.
  • Identify and address bottlenecks in the design and build process.
  • Introduce a more formal operating structure with regular board meetings and full board packs.

What Next?

The business turnover is increasing and the sales team are expanding their coverage. The production capacity has increased and the product is being specified on an increasing basis. The company will continue to promote its brand and high quality products to a broader market.


“I can categorically say Simon and Jonathan are never overbearing. They bring a focus on the longer term and an objective, holistic view that is very valuable." Read recent interview...

Phil Jones Owner & MD

In Numbers