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Q&A with Resolve's Dan & Phil - Part 1

Updated: May 26, 2020

'What drives us is the desire to do something better and also with a clear conscience that we're actually bringing some more benefits to the world than just turning a dollar'

We sat down with founders Phil and Dan in a Q&A style interview to find out a bit more about their business model, its origins, and what they’re doing to help the community during lockdown.

One thing I wanted to ask is what drives resolve to achieve what it does? You know, what drives you guys perform ethically and have a more environmental outlook in what you do?

Phil: This is kind of a brainchild of Dan’s from six years ago, something like that

Dan: Ten years ago!

Phil: Ten years ago, yeah. Well, for many years anyway, for a good many years we'd been talking about setting up an asset management business because we see how assets are managed when businesses are closed down, or when people downsize. They're not always managed in the most efficient way to start with. And they're not always, they don't always go to the right, through the right channels to get the customer the best return. and sometimes they get managed quite badly. I used to strip a lot of cafes out, and Tesco’s. Literally the contractor, there was no remit for what happened. The contractor just arranged, somehow for the contents of these kitchens to just disappear and they just disappear on the back of the van, into the marketplace somewhere.

And it was not a very traceable and professional route. So, we've always said that we could run asset management better and be more organised and do it in a more efficient way. Eventually resolve was set up a couple of years ago, but as that thought process developed, dan more and more brought onboard the idea of trying to bring an ethical angle into it and do something ethical with a percentage of our efforts.

Dan: There’s a really good analogy, one that really sticks in my mind, and that is, a burger king was closed, and we were tasked with the job of clearing it. The main assets, the kitchen equipment, can have a value. If you were just going on a purely financial basis, you would stop there. But they wanted the building shelling out, meaning the walls had to be taken back. We took the marble off carefully, and people used it as kitchen worktops.

So that was really good because essentially, I got paid to clear it as waste. I use, rather than use that money on skips, I used that money for labour to transport it too. But the asset then was, we didn't have enough shelving for all the stuff. They said, we'll take it, but we don't have the shelving.

We have no way of storing it. And then in the same place we have, which had a small intrinsic value, was the racking. So I said, well, if you want to take all of that, I’m essentially getting paid to clear that as waste, What I’ll do is take the shelves and put the shelves in for you so , you've got shelving then, to put the stuff on the shelves. And that's where I really thought, well actually these organizations need these assets.

So the impacts, and I mean, I think for me, just from a purposeful thing. We've had to chase money, not to no avail but there's no satisfaction beyond when you paid your bills.

We've got to get to work.

We've got to make it count more. And when you come home there's got to be moments meaningful to me, and I’ve had moments of really good success in my life. And it lasts for five minutes, you know, three minutes sometimes but when you do something good for someone else and have that positive feeling that you get, that stays with you and you can recall it.

You can go back to it. And it makes you feel good. I did a few things like that and I thought, this feels really good.

I’m a trustee of the Warren, and I don't know if you know the Warren at all, but it’s a young people’s mental health project, it has its own music room, really creative and it’s a pleasure to sit on it on the board as a trustee. when I joined, the Warren was at a point of a low budget, it was when all the cuts had been made. So, one of the things was the kitchen basically closed down, It used to feed young people. It couldn’t afford a full-time chef and then also the kitchen needed refurbishing. They’ve got a long-term goal project there, which means redeveloping the whole building.

I realised the value. I know myself with food. If I'm hungry, my thinking's off. If your mental health is already volatile, and you’ve got no family support, when there’s limited financial resources, and then you've got all the associated problems. As we all know, the importance of food for the staff as well as wellbeing of the young people going in means they're calmer and their attitudes are a lot easier within that.

That was pretty much our first main big project we did. I was going into the crossings, which was a homeless charity. They’d done a cafe and restaurant, but the model didn’t work.

We bought the stuff from the Crossings, but with the mission statement of what we were going to do. We refurbished the Warrens kitchen and put a counter in, a service point, made it manageable. Working in the industry and setting up kitchens. I've got a fairly good understanding of what the kitchen needs and what helps out. Well, we're growing. So, we bought everybody in!

and then from that process, we can retain a certain percent of the assets and we sold them off. We've basically funded that exercise. That was the base of the model, how it can work and the reality of the model, what we're looking to do is actually manage the assets on a percentage basis.

We've done a few bits during the lock down; I've got a cafe. It's completely shut down. We have a fridge from that. So as soon as we knew, we shut down. We spoke to The Warren knowing that they were shut down. I knew that they would be desperate to get food parcels out to the young people. So, I wrote to the coordinator there and I said, use my van. what they're doing is delivering food parcels to vulnerable families and they’ve expanded, not just young people. last time I spoke to him a few days ago there’s like 800 families they have fed so far.

if they had no van, they’ve got no way of doing it, so you suddenly realise the value of one asset; what is the value of a van that I don't need right now? Its’ not just a van. It’s the effect these assets can have on people's lives.

We refurbish equipment at a fraction of the cost as well. if we can't give them it, we source them and save them a lot of money. And then we maintain it and look after it for them. So, we're always looking in some shape or form to achieve more and the story is yet to be told. It really is. We've tried it. What we spent the last few years actually doing is making sure that this is possible and that we can deliver it.

I think we really believe now. We know it's possible! We have just got the point we are actually self-sufficient.

So, we need one or two corporate clients to get on board, and then let's deliver these assets and then we can grow as the demand grows. So, we’re treating it very cautiously and we've actually spent a lot of time physically managing that process ourselves and understanding all the aspects and the auction, dealing with the organizations.

so, we spent all the time fine tuning that and now I think, and I don’t know if you agree with this Phil, I think we're on the tip of our own model.

It's pretty much there, I think. You agree, Phil?

Phil: Yes, Dan. what drives us, really. I guess coming back to your question is: the desire to do something better and also to do something with a clear conscience that you're actually bringing some more benefits to the world than just turning a dollar.

Resolve is dedicated to the value of ethical management. Our drive is the desire to do something better and with a clear conscience. Through our work, we have established a new model of ethically managing assets that would otherwise go to waste. We are proud of the system we have developed, using a clean, sustainable way of recycling assets and using such assets to give back to our community. Through our work with The Warren Kitchen, we are giving back to the community in lockdown. We are using our assets to the communities benefits.

We realise the effects assets can have on people’s lives, and the story is yet to be told. We are driven by the feeling of doing better and to do something for the world, rather than being driven by a purely financial motive. We are giving back. We are doing better. We are Resolve.

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