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RANGE REVIEW: MADE IN BRITAIN


development. A lot of that is down to Simon and Andrew, and the long- serving staff. The impact they have had on the business has been huge. We have also paid our creditors back 100pence in every pound – not many businesses can say that.”


Growing demand Whilst there has been a greater interest in British-made goods at home – particularly in the face of the ongoing Brexit wrangle – there has been an even greater uptake internationally, with UK products often viewed as of greater quality, as manufacturers have to adhere to stricter guidelines. “There is definitely an appetite


for British-made products abroad, as well as at home,” says Daniel, adding that YBS is now supplying US DIY giant Home Depot. “Around 10 to 15 years ago everyone was getting stuff from China. It took over the market. As the years have gone by and product from overseas is not as cheap, people are more inclined to look at buying British.” He continues: “At some point everybody has bought a product from China but they realise the quality control is not as strict and, therefore they can be disappointed. I would always rather do it once and do it right. We are so switched on in this country with ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation), tight quality control and sustainability systems in place. It’s something that other countries are recognising about UK manufacturing.”


The Home Depot is a huge coup


for YBS, particularly as it was the retailer who made the first approach and saw the UK business take the contract from an American manufacturer. However, Home Depot has high expectations and certain specifications YBS has to meet in order to get its products listed. “They expect and demand certain procedures are in place and we have had to update the way the product is wrapped, make other changes to the packaging, and so on but, actually, it looks fantastic and is something we plan to roll out to the UK,” says Daniel. “It’s a great contract for us. We are dealing with a worldwide giant and we are really proud that we are not letting it affect the rest of our customer base.” YBS also supplies retailers in the Netherlands and hopes to expand into Italy but, meanwhile, still has a healthy customer base at home in the UK and Daniel stresses, despite international ambitions, “first and foremost, we want to meet the demand of our British customers.”


22 DIY WEEK 10 MAY 2019


He continues: “Some UK retailers


really do want homegrown products – for example the likes of Screwfix and Travis Perkins have their own sourcing teams in China but they still buy from us.” There has also been recent interest


from another retail giant, Daniel explains. “Three years ago we tended for Kingfisher but didn’t get it and they went with a French manufacturer. We have now been invited to re-tender.” He adds: “There is a lot more business out there to get and we are investing in the future of our company.” YBS has seen turnover increase from £6million, to £11.5million last year and is on track for £14million this year but Daniel explains: “We’re not at capacity yet… We have increased our productivity and put our trust in the people in the business but if you want to grow to become a £20million business, you’ve got to look like a £30million one.” Therefore,


YBS is ploughing


profit back in and making sure the company is placed to meet growing demand for its products, including making what Daniel describes as a


“phenomenal investment” in


people, with new appointments right across the business. “Our marketing manager


Catherine


and I are both new, plus we have taken on a new sales manager, new people in our customer sales department, a new product survey manager, new quality manager, operations manager and new shift supervisors; to name but a few. We are getting ready for the next five years.” The company is the biggest employer


in the former mining


village of Cresswell, Derbyshire and supporting the local community is high on the agenda, says Daniel.


Big ambition


YBS has five units on site – including manufacturing facilities and offices – and two off site, including a new warehouse in Worksop for storing product and raw materials. It also has its own laboratory used for R&D and has just invested £60,000 on updating that facility. “We are looking at developing new products and also looking at how existing products can be used differently,” says Daniel. “Our MD is very pro-active at getting our management team around a table. We also have a lot of fresh eyes and clear heads in the business now, with new people coming in. These new faces and new blood will help us grow. We don’t just want to be the biggest insulation manufacturer in


the UK; we want to be


Managing director Simon Sharkey has been cred- ited with helping drive the company’s growth and success


the biggest globally!”


As well as adhering to strict manufacturing guidelines, YBS also has a strong environmental policy, which is incredibly important to the business. “None of our products go to landfill – they are all re-usable and 70% of our quilt is made from recycled


bottles,” says Daniel,


who believes this is another aspect YBS should be communicating to its customers. “No one else can do what we do. We have a lot of untold stories… We need our retail customers to understand where we come from and what we have been through because the guys on the shop floor are as important as our sales team.” Brexit has, understandably had an impact on the business, particularly as it buys some of its raw materials in but the business stockpiled to make sure it isn’t left short. However, there have been added costs. “We have seen price increases over the past five years but we have not passed that on to our customers,” says Daniel. “When you think we have been in a


CVA, paying for all of our products upfront, that is a tough thing to do but we want to be competitive in a competitive market. We operate in a lot of varied markets, from Superquilt, which accounts for 50% of our business and cavity closers, which is seeing huge growth, to container liners, and shed and green house liners.” With a huge amount of political uncertainty and a steady stream of manufacturers opting to cease production in the UK, YBS is keen to secure exciting prospects for itself and other operations. “We want a strong British manufacturing base. We don’t want business to leave the UK.” However, the company remains “The future


upbeat. saga, he of British


manufacturing is bright,” says Daniel. Referring to the ongoing Brexit


concludes:


“Uncertainty has played a part but people are now fed up and want to get on with it. We are a great nation. We need to put the past three years behind us and put the great back into Great Britain.”


www.diyweek.net


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