Schueco is seen as a leader in its field because, despite the downturn, it has consistently invested in training staff, improving product development and dispersing knowledge through the industry
Manufacturer of the year
Sponsored by the Construction Products Association
The judges declared Schueco the clear winner of this category, thanks to an impressive programme of expansion and investment that marked it out as a real industry leader. Throughout 2010, while many other companies were retrenching, Schueco invested heavily in its renewables offering, recruiting extra staff and developing building-integrated photovoltaic products. The company also decided to expand its aluminium division, launching a series of new window and facade systems, including a Green Guide A-rated window. The company’s role as a sector leader was further highlighted by its decision to increase the number of courses that are available at its training centre in Milton Keynes, which is open to any company and is designed to improve the industry’s overall knowledge base. The judges said that this was a firm making an “excellent contribution to the industry”.
Ambar Kelly saw its turnover triple last year as a growing number of contractors and architects were won over by the merits of its RiserSafe product. The product overcomes safety, efficiency and cost issues which can occur within risers on multi-storey sites.
Eurocell has achieved growth over the last 10 years in a mature market - so it must be doing something right. Last year, it spent £2.5m on increasing its PVC-U recycling capacity, and £1m on developing Ecologik - an innovative window made from the recycled material.
Aircrete systems manufacturer H+H reversed two years of decline to grow sales by more than 25% in 2010, and added a return to profitability to boot. Its success was helped by improving the efficiency of its manufacturing process, and by developing collaborative relationships.
Kingspan Insulated Panels
Kingspan’s products have traditionally been associated with large scale commercial buildings, but last summer it launched its Benchmark business, aimed at supplying architects across the scope of the construction industry with a vast range of materials and possibilities.
Last year’s manufacturer of the year, Polypipe Terrain, has maintained its high standards over the past 12 months. It has sought to build on its work on the Olympic park, and has been rewarded by a series of orders and customers, sending turnover up 20%.