Building Success: A Conversation with Graeme Miller, Managing Director of Birtley Group

A united approach

Graeme Miller, managing director of Birtley Group, discusses the recent successes and developments at the company

Q: Birtley Group was previously featured in Construction & Civil Engineering magazine in January 2015; how has the company progressed over the last 24 months?
A: Our business has enjoyed significant and continuous growth since 2011, with the last two years delivering record performances across each of our product areas. We have moved to align our business with our customers’ needs and this has contributed significantly to this success.

Our Wind Posts and Masonry Support products have both enjoyed significant growth and expansion of its customer base whilst maintaining excellent service levels to both existing and new customers. We continue to see increasing interest in these product types with several major projects from major construction companies in our order pipeline.

Q: How does the acquisition of Bowater Doors strengthen the group?
A: This acquisition certainly provided a number of difficult challenges throughout 2016, which we are pleased to have overcome with valued support from the market.

Throughout 2016 we added new, specific door skills and experience to our team that included the appointment of Kevin Kiernan as National Sales Manager to lead our doors division and Alistair Sharp as our Senior Production Supervisor, who brings a wealth of improvements to our production process.

Having Bowater on board presents a fantastic opportunity to develop our door business into the fabricator sector, which will see us re-launching a brand new look at the Fit Show during May 2017.

Q: How do the three brands complement each other throughout operations?
A: We have three very strong, established and recognised brands that receive enormous loyalty from our customer base and this is integral to our future growth. The Birtley lintel is independently recognised as the best lintel available, Expamet has a 130-year history with incredible loyalty and Bowater Doors is a major door brand within its specific market place.

These attributes are to be maintained and developed focusing on the obvious synergies between Birtley Lintels and Expamet whilst allowing a specific approach to developing our Bowater Door business.

Our customer base has responded positively in purchasing established and leading brands from one supplier and we expect this to continue as we introduce additional commercial support to each brand.

Q: How has the company grown and developed its team since beginning operations as a single group?
A: Each brand has delivered record sales on each of its brands during 2016 as a result of us working closely with our customers in driving sales and we anticipate seeing more of the same in 2017.

Whilst adding specific skills to our team overall we have more recently realigned our commercial function to reflect the needs of our markets. This will enable us to better support them throughout 2017 and beyond.

Q: Are there any innovative developments that you would like to mention?
A: We continue to work on a number of new product initiatives across all product groups and will communicate these to our customers and market place as we progress through 2017/2018.

Q: What is your goal for Birtley Group throughout 2017?
A: Our aim across 2017 is to provide greater support to the construction sector, in particular builders’ merchants. We have improved our point of sale and literature and we are looking to strengthen our relationships within this area.

Q: What is your strategic vision for the group over the next three to five years?
A: To take the business to the next level, be bigger and better than we were back in 2016 and to realise the potential of what is already a great business and make it something even stronger, that all of its stakeholders can be truly proud to be a part of.

Q: Is there anything you would like to add?
A: Business is about people, nothing more and nothing less, and at Birtley we are so fortunate to have great people around us. We have very loyal and supportive customers, we enjoy special support from our long standing PLC owners and most importantly, we have a really strong team of people at Birtley that go the extra mile each and every day. Our success is their success and with their continued support the future for the Birtley Group is very bright.

Birtley Group
Services: Provides quality branded products to the construction industry