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.”

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