Ian Smith and Dave Arrowsmith to retire from Quality Essential Distribution.

QED’s beginning involved two very important people: Dave Arrowsmith and Ian Smith, whom without, we would not be where we are today. But the time has come where the pair’s decades of graft come to an end and they can begin reaping the benefits derived from hard work and dedication.

The Beginning of Quality Essential Distribution Ltd.

Rewind to the 90s, Dave was the UK Purchasing and Distribution Manager for Sensormatic and Ian was one of their key suppliers as Branch Manager of City Electrical Factors in Chorley. Through doing business together for ten years, the two became good friends; so, when Ian had to refuse a promotion abroad with CEF, Dave suggested starting up on his own.


In 1997, QED formed! Stock was initially held in Ian’s garage as well as an office in the back room of VideoTec (which was kindly donated by Bob Lister). The immediate growth of the business resulted in quick expansion and relocation after just nine months. A further nine months later, Dave joined as Ian’s partner.

Having only eight employees to begin with, QED was a small family operation, and this close-knit community remains very much a part of company culture today. We want our customers to come back to us not only because of our quality products and competitive pricing, but because of the good people that make dealing with us all that more enjoyable.

And now, we say goodbye to two amazing people.

QED-DirectorsIan and Dave santa

Ian and Dave have helped the business grow from strength to strength, but the time has come for them to start new adventures after years of hard work. After retirement, Ian wants to take his mother to Hong Kong where she was born, and then travel to where she was brought up in Australia. Dave hopes to travel the North Coast 500 in Scotland, plan weekend breaks in every historic city in Europe, drive across America and Canada and begin rekindling old friendships that drifted due to business demands.

A message to Ian and Dave from all at QED:

Thank you for all your hard work.

We will miss the office banter, Ian’s 100mph run across the office whenever his mobile rings and Dave’s weirdly wonderful phrases. Although your time at QED has come to an end, we have made some incredible memories that will last a lifetime.

We wish Ian and Dave good luck and a happy retirement – you will forever be the foundations of the QED Group.

You can read the formal announcement of Ian and Dave’s retirement and the restructuring of QED’s senior management here.

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