Financial Deal of the Year 2019

Looking back to 2019 

Three years ago this week, we announced that Robinson Manufacturing Ltd (RML) had acquired the joist manufacturing business of National Hickman from Hickman Industries Limited.

This was a major expansion, which included a major factory complex in Wolverhampton as well as a plant in Fife and took the number of factories in the Robinson Manufacturing group to seven across the UK.

Expanding our joist manufacturing capabilities with this acquisition allowed RML to deliver on our commitment to support a variety of regional and national housebuilders who requested additional supply in these areas.

Over the last three years, the office space at Wolverhampton has allowed the business to create a Joist Design centre of excellence, as well as a central location for our growing team of Timber Frame designers. Our Customer Experience Team are also based from here, sitting at the heart of the country and at the heart of our customer service model.

With joint truss and joist deals now the norm across RML’s housebuilding customers of all sizes, this deal wasn’t just a major step for RML, establishing it as a major player, it also won the company a ‘Financial Deal of the Year Award’.

For those who were working for the joist business when it was purchased by RML, the changes over the years have been quite dramatic. Jamie Wilkins, who has risen to Head of Production since the acquisition three years ago, commented: “Growth has been dramatic as we have been able to combine our offering with RML’s existing business to allow us to identify and supply a range of new and exciting developments that historically we wouldn’t have been in a position to service.”  He continued. “On a personal level, I’ve not stopped learning and am very proud to be part of RML’s Senior Leadership Team. To continually hit the numbers we have achieved is been a credit to all involved and seeing the team grow into new roles and be adaptable in the face of challenges is always good to see.”

The acquisition did come with a few additional members of staff not on the payroll. “We weren’t expecting the fishtank in the executive offices at Wolverhampton,” explained Simon Kidney, CEO, who masterminded the acquisition at the time. “The population of black moor fantails stayed with us after we moved in as an unusual feature and will live on in our memories of this amazing acquisition that did so much to elevate Robinson Manufacturing to the national playing field.”

For more information, call us on 01933 279597 or click below to request a quote any timber engineered products today.

2022 Demand

Demand in 2022

It’s now over a month since the majority of us in the housebuilding sector took the traditional Christmas and New Year break and took the opportunity to reflect on a challenging but hugely successful year.

In terms of demand in the sector, it was a year of unprecedented volumes, and one which kept supply chains busy through to the end of December and 2022 has begun how 2021 finished. That’s great news for the housebuilding sector as a whole. The mild weather has meant that sites have bounced back, and demand remains high.

The strategies we put in place to deal with consistently high levels of demand across 2021 have helped Robinson Manufacturing (RML) enter 2022 with confidence; proactive call-offs from sites have really helped us as a business manage the demand effectively and combined with our capacity planning strengths, RML continues to be a key, resilient part of the housebuilding supply chain.

We can already see Q1 production levels at high capacity for the rest of the quarter and encourage sites to continue their great work in planning ahead and requesting product in plenty of time to allow us to book it onto the system, especially considering the two four day weeks in April.

Q1 looks to be a great start to the year, and it won’t be long until Q2 starts to fill up. We look forward to working closely with Buyers, Technical departments, and Site Operations for what will be another huge year.

If you’d like to talk to RML about helping meet demand across your build programme this year, just email us or call 01933 279597.

For more information, call us on 01933 279597 or click below to request a quote any timber engineered products today.

Taking the Next Step

Taking the Next Career Step

Hayley Owen decided to apply for the admin role in the Kickstart Scheme at Robinson Manufacturing (RML) around September of 2020 when she lost her job in retail during the pandemic, like so many others.

This was a new beginning for Hayley because she had no experience in admin and RML was a good place for her to grow and develop this experience. After losing her job she had lost her confidence in going back to work. She started the part-time Kickstart role and worked hard so was offered a full-time job as Joist Design Administrator at RML when the placement ended.

Having been uncertain of what to do after the Kickstart placement, getting the full-time job represented an exciting opportunity – and allowed her to buy her own house which is something she had been dreaming of for a long time.

The admin role in Joist Design was a new one, and she took it on and very much made it her own, and in the process improving the efficiency of the approvals function.

One of the challenges that Hayley faced was being a new person, in a new role, dealing with new people, and changing an established system. However, she also enjoyed this and other challenges – like helping to develop design software to automate previously manual tasks; these have helped her to develop and grow as a person and as a team member.

After a year of working in admin, Hayley is now taking the next step on the career ladder and will be moving onto a Trainee Designer role. She was interested in this role because she loves a challenge and learning new things. Being a creative person, she likes to keep her mind active which this role is perfect for, and she can’t wait to get stuck in.

Here is what Hayley had to say about her experience with us:

“I think working in the construction sector is something very different and new to me. I have enjoyed learning about Joists and Trusses, what they are and how they work, and I find them very interesting. I now amaze my family when I talk about it especially when I could comment when watching my new house being built, pointing out what stage they were at with the build, I wouldn’t have been able to do this without RML!”

Head of Design, Sarah Horden commented: “When I first interviewed Hayley I knew that she would not only be a great asset to the team, but also thought that if she wished to become a designer one day, she had the strength and ability to learn and become a great designer,” adding “I am really pleased that we are able to give this opportunity to Hayley, I have seen her become more confident as she gains knowledge and these next steps will be even more enjoyable to watch.”

For more information, call us on 01933 279597 or click below to request a quote any timber engineered products today.

Southport Lifeboat Station

Southport Lifeboat Station

RML is delighted to have worked with Senate Group, a Liverpool based mechanical, electrical and construction company, to supply a main floor and upper mezzanine consisting of SpaceJoist metal web joists for the new Southport Lifeboat Station.

The multiple runs of 304mm depth metal web joists were specifically designed to support on hangers from various sizes of timber-packed steel beams to create the floor.

Loads applied included a 3kNm2 Live floor load and 1kNm2 partition load to suit the areas uses as changing areas, equipment’s room and communal spaces.

The Southport Offshore Rescue Trust who run the station are completely independent of the RNLI, relying solely on donations and fundraising to keep afloat, with an average of £60,000 needed each year to keep the lifeboat running, as well as providing vital land-based search and rescue services along the Sefton coastline. The crew are all unpaid volunteers who are on call 24/7 and have helped well over 400 people since forming.

The new station replaces the old lifeboat house nearby that was built in 1886 and used by the Southport Offshore Rescue trust since 1988.

Nicola Goldup, trustee director of the Southport Offshore Rescue Trust, told the media: “The Lifeboat Station will serve as an operational base and training centre for all our crew and lifesaving equipment for generations to come.”

For more information, call us on 01933 279597 or click below to request a quote any timber engineered products today.

The New Transport Year

The New Transport Year

The specific impacts of the pandemic and brexit on transport and distribution have seen business across the UK and Europe (and beyond) facing driver shortages, fuel crises and self-isolation requirements.

The Transport team at Robinson Manufacturing (RML), responsible for the company’s own in-house delivery fleet, has worked hard throughout the last two years to minimise the impact of these challenges on the business and its customers wherever possible.

Our HGV drivers have understood that a long-term position with a growing RML offers them job security for the future, and with flexibility from both the business and our team around covid related issues, we have come through the worst of the crisis in good shape. Transport Manager Chris Alldread commented: “It’s been a tough couple of years for anyone with transport responsibilities and I’d like to thank each and every one of our driving team for their ongoing professionalism and commitment which continues to enable us to deliver.”

Looking ahead to the new year, our transport team are prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. A number of new vehicles and trailers are on order; these will play a crucial part in deliveries to customer sites as demand continues to increase. The vehicles we have ordered are:

  • Two new 26 tonne rigid vehicles, with a 9-meter bed with removable posts to secure trusses and joists. The rigid fleet is also useful for timber frame deliveries when the posts are removed.
  • A new MAN TGX510 6×2 44 tonne tractor unit for hauling the company’s trailer fleet.
  • Six new step-frame truss trailers, some of which are replacements for older equipment, others to allow our transport fleet to operate more effectively.

The new MAN tractor unit will be assigned to one of our seasoned drivers Ben Massey a.k.a. ‘Lofty’, and this is what he had to say:

“I am very pleased and excited about the new tractor unit. It’s going to be a much more comfortable drive as it will be more spacious than the lorry I drive now, so it’ll make improve my working life as I move between the different RML sites.”

For more information, call us on 01933 279597 or click below to request a quote any timber engineered products today.