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Building Adhesives

The construction and DIY markets are once again in the ascendancy in line with the Government’s target for one million new homes by 2020 to try and offset the UK’s chronic housing shortage.

1,000,000 new homes by 2020? This kind of intense growth after years of stagnation caused by the economic crash of 2009 can put strains upon the construction supply chains, so strong bonds in terms of collaborative partnerships are required to bring products to market at the right time, right place and right cost. Building and cementing such close relationships can take years of trial and error, but sometimes the fit is almost instantaneous – and very quick to set!!! One such strategic bond is between Building Adhesives Ltd (BAL), the market leader in tile adhesives and grouting to the trade and DIY markets, and its supply chain partner Browns Distribution, a Shareholder Member. Both are based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and in the short time they have been working together have developed a synchronicity based upon strong customer service principles.

Building Adhesives Limited was founded in 1962 as the Centre for the British ceramic tile industry to foster best practice in the development of ceramic tile adhesives and to improve installation methods for tile installation. The company, backed by over 50 years’ experience and the global resources of the German-based Ardex Group, is committed to continuous product innovation and development programmes for its market leading products which are sold under the BAL and Dunlop brands. In the UK it has a manufacturing plant, R&D centre and administrative facilities. In March 2015 it was looking for a locally-based distribution partner to help bring its products to market and formed a strategic bond with Browns Distribution. The haulier was formed in 1955 but its mission, ethos and vision are all future facing and technology-driven.

Browns Distribution has built upon a strong reputation for customer service, a fact underlined this year by it becoming a finalist in the Motor Transport Customer Care Award and Haulier of the Year categories for 2016. Ryan Mobbs of BAL picks up the story. “We operate a 24/7 picking operation and under normal circumstances manufacture between the hours of 06.00 and 22.00. Browns Distribution take care of all of our palletised freight distributed throughout the UK, larger loads go direct to our customers, with smaller loads moving through the Palletline Network. “We operate in a very competitive industry and our product offering is considered to be the best within the market place. It is therefore essential that our quality of service matches that of our product, so a good distribution partner is an integral part of delivering those high levels of service. “Browns have not only been able to assist us with improvements to our delivery performance, but have also reduced the level of damages in transit we were previously experiencing. Communication to customer’s is also fundamental when it comes to offering great service, this is another area where Browns have assisted us in moving forward. They have an exceptional customer service team who work closely with our own customer care department to ensure that timely, accurate and essential communication is offered.”

“The levels of service we have received through Browns has delivered huge improvements to our logistics process and in turn our customers’ delivery experience. We now have full traceability of our goods in transit enabling us to offer up to the minute updates on the progress of our customers’ orders.

“Browns are very pro-active in ensuring our delivery process runs smoothly, yet are very quick to react when something may not go as planned, which due to the number of factors involved in logistics, they ultimately do!”

“As a true partner, Browns have gained a very quick understanding of some of the complexities involved in transporting our goods and are always looking for ways to improve upon this.

The main differential with logistics partnerships is going the extra mile to look beyond the existing relationship and to that of enhancing the relationships the customer has with its customers.

Ryan adds: “One of the main challenges is to ensure we are able to quickly adapt to the needs of our customers, change is essential to keep ahead of the game. Browns have been instrumental in allowing us to deliver significant logistical changes to some of our customers, helping us to cement long-term relationships by delivering outside of what is considered to be normal working hours.

“Browns and BAL also work closely together around peak to ensure that a clear plan is in place and delivered.

“Overall, Browns and Building Adhesive have a very good working relationship. Of course, we challenge each other, however I view that as a healthy part of any relationship as it keeps us all moving in the same direction.

Building Adhesives chose Browns as its distribution partner because they are a forward thinking local company who offered us the enhancements we needed in service at the right rates.

“I also think that David Brown is a dynamic individual who wishes to continue to move distribution into the next generation of technological advancements, with a good infrastructure and supported by a great team.”