Three seems to be a lucky number for a South Wales manufacturing company.
At a time when most in the construction sector have seen a downturn in fortunes, Brick Fabrication Ltd, based in Pontypool, has seen sales grow three fold in recent years.
Sales growth is not the only success. In January 2013 Brick Fabrication achieved a third quality award, the CGMA Quality Accreditation standard for its products. This follows the award of Investors in Excellence in 2011 and Investors in People in 2012.
Trudy Morgan, Commercial Director said, ‘whilst awards are always nice to receive, these are not just certificates to hang on the wall, but fundamental business values that underpin everything the company does. We make quality products, have quality systems and employ the best quality people.’ The company is not stopping at that, in May this year it expects to gain British Board of Agrément certification for its complete pre fabricated chimney range.
Brick Fabrication has been in business for fifteen years. It manufactures pre fabricated building products for the UK house building industry. Nigel Watkins, Managing Director said ‘our customer base is Blue Chip. We supply all major house builders in the country with whom we have good, long standing relationships. One of the fundamentals from day one has been customer service.’ This has lead to Brick Fabrication winning Redrow’s Supplier of the Year award twice in the last ten years.
The company made its third acquisition recently, when it bought Premier Cutting Services in Stoke on Trent. This follows the purchase of a business in Colchester, Essex two years ago. Nigel Watkins, ‘this geographical expansion makes us a truly national supplier. Within 100 miles of each factory we can supply over 95% of our target market. As the UK house market continues to grow we are well placed to supply the growing demand for pre fabricated products which are increasingly used in modern volume house building.
Brick Fabrication employs 80 staff and will see sales of £3 million this year. Trudy Morgan said, ‘the business is old fashioned in many ways, risk averse and disinclined to borrow to fund growth. We only expand when we have the money to do it.’
With new products being added all the time and a larger customer base, it is unlikely that expansion will stop anytime soon. Nigel Watkins said, ‘we believe we are perfectly positioned to take advantage of the growing demand for new homes. We have been building our manufacturing capacity over the last twelve months and plan to start a second shift at the Pontypool factory during the summer. Although we work in a niche market for our products, there is consolidation in the manufacturing base across the country and we are well placed to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. We have not ruled out further acquisitions.
Trudy is quick to pay tribute to the Welsh Assembly Government, Torfaen CBC and Barclays Bank, all of whom have been very supportive in helping the business to grow.
‘Whenever we have asked for help it has always been there: Pontypool has been a great place to base our business. We plan to make this a Centre of Excellence for the design and manufacture of pre fabricated building materials, and the business is increasingly using hi tech machines and materials to do it’. A link with the Engineering School at Cardiff University has seen a second KTP project launched recently with the appointment of a Design Engineering to link the 3D Computer Aided Design used in the design of products to the Computer controlled machines in the factory.
Brick Fabrication manufactures pre fabricated products such as brick special shapes, brick arches and chimneys. Brick Fabrication’s award winning designs save time and money for house builders, enabling these products to be fitted by semi skilled personnel on site, a major advantage as the speed of house building increases.
Three awards, three factories and £3 million sales - yes, 3 is certainly looking good for Brick Fabrication.
Perhaps 4 will be the lucky number in 2014!
Wedi ei bostio ar Dydd Gwener 27th Mehefin 2014