We are not exactly sure where 2018 disappeared but it certainly whizzed past at quite a rate of knots!
It was another very busy year. We continued to build our team, enhance our processes and make significant investment in the services we provide for architects and specifiers. The highlight of the year came in August when we extended our “family” of businesses to support the “Safe Access All Areas” proposition with the acquisition of Profab Access Ltd.
After a well-deserved Christmas break, it was not long before the Howe Green manufacturing facility in Ware was operating back at full capacity. With the demand for floor access covers for large infrastructure projects showing no signs of a slow down the pressure was on and our team did not disappoint!
We kicked off the year with a full programme of events in place for the Bilco “Safe Access All Areas” CPD. Working with Direct Contract Exhibitions (DCE) the Bilco UK Regional Sales Managers were committed to presenting at ‘Meet the Buyer’ events across the country, from Inverness to Redruth.
These free roadshows make it easy for architects and specifiers to attend CPDs and to meet their learning obligations, as set out by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Richard Fletcher was appointed as Northern Regional Sales Manager for Howe Green, having previously worked as an area sales manager for high-end carpet tile manufacturer Modulyss.
“Fletch” brings a certain north-east charm and humour to the team, our very own “likely lad”!
February was also the month that we launched our new website – www.bilcouk.co.uk. The website provides all the resources an architect, specifier or building services professional would need to include Bilco UK and Howe Green products in their next project. The significant investment in the site acknowledges the importance that we attribute to the role of the specification in the construction industry.
What a busy month!
We celebrated Howe Green’s 35th birthday as well as the first anniversary of the acquisition of Howe Green to support the Bilco UK proposition of “Safe Access All Areas”.
Howe Green was founded in 1983 to meet the requirements of supermarkets for a solution that would enable them to access building services concealed under terrazzo flooring. Whilst we still supply the retail sector the customer base now extends to a wide range of applications, from infrastructure to education to cultural buildings.
We invested in a library of National Building Specification (NBS) product specification clauses for the range of Howe Green floor access covers, Bilco fixed vertical ladders and the Bilco LadderUP® Safety Post.
For many years Bilco UK has offered a full range of NBS specifications and BIM drawings and we wanted to have similar assets for the Howe Green range.
The value of a comprehensive specification cannot be underestimated – it can minimise risk and uncertainty, improve compliance and save time and money. By investing in the NBS specifications we wanted to make it as easy as possible for architects and specifiers to access information about our products.
And, finally, we launched the new Howe Green printed brochure, if you would like a copy please let us know or you can download an electronic version.
Our MD, James Fisher, took centre stage in April with the launch of a podcast to talk about the “Safe Access All Areas” proposition. The Brand Leader Interview Podcast was created by BusinessNet Explorer, you can listen to the podcast here.
Both Bilco and Howe Green products have been specified on many major airport developments, in the UK and internationally, and have built a strong reputation in this sector. In May we joined the Airport Suppliers Directory to extend our reach in this highly specialised area. Take a look at our profile.
June and July
There was plenty to celebrate in June as World Cup fever gripped the nation and we had a record breaking month for sales at Howe Green.
The World Cup joy continued right up until 12th July when England suffered a 2-1 defeat against Croatia in the semi-finals. Watched by a staggering 26.5 million people, unfortunately, the Russian fairy tale came to an end and the chant of “football’s coming home” faded fast.
Check out our “From Russia with Love” blog and find out more about the sport and leisure projects that we have been involved with, from Old Trafford to the Ricoh Arena.
The biggest news of the year came with our acquisition of Profab Access Ltd, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of vertical access panels, riser doors and steel doors. Having Profab as part of the “family” further strengthens our “Safe Access All Areas” proposition. We can now provide architects, specifiers and building service professionals with a one-stop shop for trusted, high quality, safe horizontal and vertical access solutions for roofs, floors, walls and ceilings. Read the full story
Another exciting month with the appointment of Matthew Cunningham as Sales Director with responsibility for all three brands and the launch of a new printed brochure for Bilco UK.
Matt joined us from the LafargeHolcim Group where he had responsibility for managing the cement import business and the integration of the Aggregate Industries cement production facilities, following their acquisition.
If you would like a copy of the Bilco UK brochure please get in touch or download a digital copy here.
At the beginning of October, we received approval of our Howe Green CPD “Safe Access All Areas: Floor Access” from RIBA. The aim of the RIBA Accredited CPD is to help architects and specifiers gain a greater insight into the key considerations when specifying floor access covers. If you would like to book a free Howe Green CPD session please email [email protected] or call Sue Marler on 01920 463 230.
In October we also had our first opportunity to promote all three brands at the London Build exhibition. Our range of horizontal and vertical access solutions was very well received and resulted in business being generated. (Not to mention the celeb photo opportunity for Chris and Jamie with the legendary Frank Bruno MBE!) Needless to say, we will be back at London Build this year #SaveTheDate – 27th-28th November.
In November we headed east to Dubai and the Big 5 exhibition, the largest construction event in the Middle East. With over 2,600 exhibitors and around 64,000 visitors, it was huge! Again we were showcasing the three brands – Bilco UK, Profab Access and Howe Green – and promoting our “Safe Access All Areas” proposition. It was another very positive event with lots of excellent contacts made. Overall an interesting experience, apart from the food poisoning on the last day!
There was no slow down for Howe Green as December kicked off with a long-awaited order for a high profile project. There was definitely a collective sigh of relief when we closed the doors on the 21st December for the Christmas break!
2018 was another fantastic year and we are excited for what this year will bring. Thank you to everyone we worked with in 2018 – our customers, our suppliers and, of course, our team.
If you would like to know more about the Bilco UK, Profab Access and Howe Green range of horizontal and vertical access products please get in touch.