IG Elements may be a relatively new name to some in the trade but as MD Liam Kelly explains, the company is making its presence felt strongly across an increasingly impressive product range, bringing offsite benefits to builders across the UK from its base in Derbyshire.
How has 2017 been for IG Elements?
2017 has been a big year with over 40% growth as we have felt the full effects of the buoyant market. We are really proud of the customer service we are providing as we grow.
Our big push is to maintain the level of support we provide to our customers which we believe is above and beyond anything our competitors currently offer. We are taking a bespoke approach to what we do rather than just trying to bang out standard products.
This means we take time understanding our customers and 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 of the process, from our pre-start meetings right through to aftersales support.
Some of the feedback we have received from customers has resulted in enhancement to our service including new Site Support Packs and Minor Repair Kits which negate the need for call-out charges for minor onsite issues.
What are you investing in?
We are investing in new state of the art production techniques which will give customers an even greater level of consistency, making the installation process easier onsite. This type of product has historically been very labour intensive to produce, but with the labour market as it is now we are investing in more labour efficient production facilities.
By the end of this year we will have tripled our production capacity, leaving us ready to service our customer’s growth expectations.
What are your popular products?
Entrance canopies are the most popular product. The skills shortage is well documented and these products remove the need for skilled work onsite. We provide a number of flat, apex and curved canopies to suit a range of house types. I think the variety we provide helps to make these a very popular product.
That said we are experiencing growth across the board as builders increasingly see the benefit of taking elements like dormers and bays offsite, sometimes in the face of real quality problems with in situ built items. In the case of chimney stacks there really is no site built alternative to the quality and appearance of these lightweight items.
Why would builders choose IG over the alternative suppliers?
Buying offsite components is not like buying most other building materials. These are not standard stock products and they are bulky, so not ideally suited for storage onsite. This means the supplier must have excellent systems to ensure the correct manufacturing and call-off response.
Our approach to this gives our customers total assurance when placing their business with IG Elements that they know exactly where they stand in terms of cost, delivery and after sales support.
Where are the challenges in your business?
With rapid growth it’s normal to have some challenges in terms of production and maintaining the level of service customers have become accustomed to. We have addressed these issues by opening a new factory which will triple our capacity. Also, the provision of our Site Support Packs and Minor Repair Kits have helped to reassure our house builder partners of the seriousness with which we take their projects.
Getting the small detail right is the secret to success in these products. For example, with dormers, we have to deal with a range of different roof angles and pitches, varying sizes of windows etc. As dormers form a part of the building fabric we also need to ensure we meet building regulations with the correct level of thermal efficiency.
What’s next for IG Elements?
We have an ambitious 2020 plan and we are continuing to invest heavily in premises and improved services throughout the business as we diversify into other composite materials. We are also developing new products including a range of garage doors and sewage systems, which will see our portfolio of products increase significantly.