Sharon Jenkins IG Elements National Account Manager

Welcome to the Team- Sharon Jenkins National Accounts Manager

Sharon Jenkins IG Elements National Account ManagerWe are delighted to welcome Sharon Jenkins to the team as she takes up the position of National Sales Manager at IG Elements. Sharon brings with her a wealth of experience with over 20 years of experience in sales and account management. Having developed extensive knowledge of the construction and home improvement industry, Sharon has most recently managed key accounts in the engineering sector with a strong focus on achieving an excellent level of customer satisfaction.

Sharon commented “I am excited to take on this new opportunity with IG Elements. I believe it is vital to build strong relationships with customers and ensure that what is promised is delivered. I feel communication is key to delivering excellent customer service and I will be in close contact with our valued clients to ensure they are satisfied at every step of the purchasing process and have a smooth experience with us.”

 

ig elements production resin transfer moulding door canopy

Shaping the Future of Offsite Construction

ig elements production resin transfer moulding door canopyProduct Innovation

Ask any house builder about the challenges in the industry today and the response will most likely involve labour availability, skilled or otherwise. IG Elements continues to invest in offsite efficiency to help house builders meet these challenges. Skills are the essential element in house building which provide the quality and efficiency essential for a successful business. The government has now injected £22million into the Construction Skills Fund which it hopes will loosen the skills shortage stranglehold over the next couple of years, but the reality on the ground is currently still an acute shortage and anticipation of future Brexit supply pressures.

In the face of these challenges, most house builders have already engaged with some type of offsite system, while others are pushing further down this route to reduce their reliance on skills onsite.

Having experienced the advantages of removing complex detailing from site, builders are now discovering the additional benefits which include; enhanced health and safety plus reduced waste onsite. IG Elements is a great example of an entry point into offsite products which can be adopted quickly into a build with the minimum amount of disruption but still make a big impact on the build’s quality.

ig elements resin transfer moulding construction door canopyIG Elements Invests for Offsite Efficiency

IG Elements has made a major investment in new modern methods of moulding which will help increase quality and volume. Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) is a closed-mould process for manufacturing high performance composite components, aimed at increasing manufacturing efficiency and the reduction of waste.

This major investment will enable house builders to enjoy the key benefits of offsite including build quality, enhanced energy efficiency and a reduction of onsite risks to the health and safety of staff.

First Impressions Count

IG Elements offers the house builder a range of offsite manufactured products, helping to reduce the reliance of onsite labour, speed up build times and provide cost certainty.

In a tough market, first impressions count and offsite components can add considerable kerb appeal to volumetric housing. Products include the Coverlite Canopy, the Redi Dormer, Easy Bay, Rapid Stack and Preform Surrounds.

ig elements celebrate record sales month

IG Elements celebrates its best sales month on record

ig elements celebrate record sales monthIt’s a time to celebrate at IG Elements as June 2018 saw them achieve their best monthly sales figures since the company was established in 2011. IG Elements is an offsite component manufacturer providing house builders and architects with quality composite products including entrance canopies, dormers, chimney stacks, bay window roofs and door and window surrounds.

As house builders continue to adapt to new challenges within the industry such as increased demand for housing and a shortage of a skilled workforce, offsite manufacturers such as IG Elements are providing solutions to overcome these challenges. The IG Elements product range is manufactured in a factory environment ensuring the product meets high quality standards. The product design allows for quick and easy installation minimising the need for skilled tradesmen on site and avoiding any time delays due to external factors such as adverse weather conditions.

Liam Kelly, Managing Director at IG Elements commented “With IG Elements ever increasing stature within the GRP market we are pleased to announce our best ever sales month on record. So far this year we have seen the business grow from strength to strength. We are continually investing in new innovative production methods to respond to the needs of our customers and help house builders overcome the major challenges in today’s construction industry.

This is a fantastic achievement and we want to thank all of our customers for their continued support. Customer service is a core aspect of our business, the team at IG Elements use their technical expertise to provide the best possible service for our customers. This fantastic result is a testament to the continued hard work and dedication of everyone at IG Elements and we look forward to building on this in the future.”

 

IG elements apex door canopy

Understanding the role of offsite components in response to the UK’s housing challenge

Understanding the role of offsite components in response to the UK’s housing challenge

IG elements apex door canopyThe offsite sector now accounts for an estimated 7% of total construction output in the UK, worth £1.5bn to the economy and growing annually as offsite
technologies become recognised as a solution to some of the industry’s most pressing challenges. These include the severe skills shortages, a housing shortage plus the drive to eradicate risks to workers’ health and safety onsite. The debate surrounding housing supply and the Government’s plan to build two million homes by 2020 has clearly identified the need for a rapid switch towards alternative construction methods as an important step towards making this target achievable.

House builders are now actively pursuing relationships with offsite manufacturers in a bid to develop solutions which will shorten build programmes. The much reported skills shortage is growing as Brexit uncertainty is increasingly deterring foreign workers from entering the UK, adding further impetus for change.

Offsite solutions come in different shapes and complexities and while the number of complete factory built, or modular houses is growing, they are still not appearing in very significant volume. On the other hand, the use of offsite components to assist traditional build is now widespread. Offsite is not being promoted as the answer to every situation because for some bespoke builds with a high degree of personalisation, factory built offsite solutions may not be cost effective. For many house builders however, new offsite options are delivering welcome advantages for both the designer and the client.

window dormer ig elementsA dormer window would be a good example of a labour intensive task for a skilled joiner onsite, requiring multiple trades to construct. Compare that process to a factory built dormer which benefits from economies of scale and enhanced quality as it is managed at every stage of production. The process to insulate the dormer in a factory environment for example is likely to result in a far superior finish without the voids or gaps in insulation which often occur onsite, resulting in cold bridging issues.

High quality build detailing is a positive benefit for house builders presenting properties for sale and the value of kerb appeal is not going unnoticed. This, together with the skills issues are just two of the reasons house builders are increasingly turning to IG Elements for practical solutions.

Liam Kelly, MD at IG Elements, explains the company’s approach to the market’s challenges.

Innovation

In an increasingly unpredictable world, we believe the best response is to focus on innovation which enhances the way we work and meets the challenges faced by the industry today. Closing the gap between designed and built performance should feature heavily within the R&D team of every building material producer.

It is important that the construction industry delivers a build quality and performance that matches the architect’s vision, unhindered by an onsite shortage of skills or labour. This is our challenge as a material producer and we are responding with innovation which is delivering effective, simple-to-use products, which facilitate the realisation of that vision.

Working in partnership with Architects & House Builders

bay window roof black, offsiteAt IG Elements, we are addressing these challenges through a process of continuous improvement and welcome feedback with both architects and house builders to understand their views and priorities.

Early engagement in the build process reaps benefits as being involved at the design stage adds efficiency, streamlining the process as details are incorporated into drawing packages. This early intervention also ensures the products are developed to meet site requirements cost effectively but most importantly, in a way that won’t threaten the original design.

At IG Elements, we take time to understand our customers, their build process and how best we can ensure the smooth running of the supply process. We liaise with the build teams at every stage, from the pre-start meetings, right through to after sales support.

The Future

We will continue to engage further and deeper with those in the industry looking for new solutions to their everyday needs in the face of changing demands. Ease of installation combined with quality detailing is vital as the labour market tightens and skills shortages mount. Our job is to innovate for easier installation, reducing the number of tasks to be completed onsite while at the same time raising energy performance levels.

Predicting what the future has in store for our industry is a challenge but one thing for sure is that it will involve more change. At IG Elements, our response is to increase investment in innovation with a clear focus of helping the industry overcome the barriers currently in the way of greater output and higher performance standards.

International Women in Engineering Day- Priya Rai

International Women in Engineering Day- Priya Rai

To celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, Priya Rai provides us with an interesting insight into her role as a Design Engineer at IG Elements. Priya explores what her normal working day involves and the great opportunities there are for women joining the engineering industry.

What made you want to develop a career in engineering?

After studying Product Design at A-Level along with Maths, Physics and Business, I decided to continue developing my skills further at University. I felt Product Design incorporated all of the individual subjects I studied and allowed me to utilise my interests collaboratively. Being able to solve problems and find solutions through design is what made me want to pursue this subject as a career. It gives us the opportunity to improve our lives & create better outcomes by challenging what already exists and looking at things from a new perspective.

I studied Product Design and Technology BSc at Loughborough University for 4 years. As part of receiving my diploma in professional studies, I worked as a creative designer for a year within a company specialising in POS/retail design. Once I had graduated, I decided that I wanted to broaden my knowledge and skill set by experiencing the technical aspect of design, which is how I came about joining IG Elements as a design engineer.

Describe your normal working day?

My role involves creating site specific drawing packs for buyers and architects, which provide technical information for the offsite building solutions we provide at IG Elements. Using 3D design software called Solidworks, we take the information provided on customer working drawings and model our products onto their individual structures, in order to provide a realistic outlook of what we can offer them. This process can involve modifying existing products or creating new solutions which better suit the needs of their projects. Liaising with buyers, technical designers and architects at this stage is vital to ensure all aspects have been covered and that they are therefore happy to commence with manufacture.

Another task involves creating BOM’s for our ERP system on Microsoft NAV, for all new designs and variations in order for the products to be planned into production accordingly. BOM’s are completed once an internal production drawings has been approved – these log the routing and materials required to make each unit within our factory. For some customers, using GRP within the building industry is a relatively recent development and as such it is important that as a team we are always available to provide technical knowledge and help answer customer queries, to ensure they feel confident with our products and the installation process.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

I love the experience of working in a fast paced environment and utilising the new skills I have learnt in order to help provide outstanding customer service. I enjoy being able to explore new solutions for the construction industry and helping to design products which alleviate the housing and skill shortages currently in the UK as a result. Having the opportunity to communicate with various customers and suppliers has greatly increased my confidence and knowledge of the industry. Finally, taking on projects and overseeing them independently from conception through to the product being delivered on site is great experience and insight to the complete design process.

What has been your career highlight to date?

Being involved in designing new products and watching them progress through to the final outcome is something I value. Before working at IG Elements, I had zero knowledge about fibre glass and over the last year I have learnt a great deal of information particularly relevant to GRP within our sector. I feel the skills and personal progression I have gained in my role can be transferred to multiple industries and provides a great platform for me to further my development.

What advice would you give to women considering a career in engineering?

Go out there and explore the opportunities, have your say and make it count.