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Flex-R’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ Helps Drive Growth

Flex-R’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ Helps Drive Growth
Written by Amy

Flex-R has achieved double-digit growth in the first half of 2019, thanks to a rise in sales of its flagship products and its growing presence in the North of England.

The High Wycombe-based company is one of the UK’s largest suppliers of EPDM materials. Flex-R’s products include Sure-Weld, LQD-R and the recently launched silicone liquid coating GE Enduris, and the growth of its RubberBond® FleeceBack is the first of two key factors in the company’s sales success for 2019 so far.

Flex-R’s Trading Director Duncan Winter says that RubberBond® FleeceBack – which was used on a heritage project that recently received a Highly Commended at the SPRA (Single Ply Roofing Association) Awards 2019 – is coming of age and challenging the historical dominance of hot-melt systems being seen as the default for use on many new builds and renovation projects with flat roofs.

“Cold-applied single-ply systems are gathering significant traction in the flat roofing market, and having the sole rights to distribute US-manufactured Carlisle SynTec single-ply goods such as RubberBond means that we have the best products in the UK marketplace – and the growth in their use is set to continue,” said Mr Winter.

“Having the best products in the market doesn’t always guarantee growth, which is why the team at Flex-R work hard to support our network of Specialist Registered Installers (SRIs), who are making a big difference that is translating into growth.

“Take the case of Nobu, the prestigious hotel in Shoreditch, London, which was opened by Robert De Niro: contractors G. S. Moore are SRIs, and they received support every step of the way on that project, which crucially included the specification and installation. It’s this level of support that is paying dividends for Flex-R.”

The other factor in the company’s success is what Mr Winter refers to as Flex-R’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

A little over a year ago, Flex-R opened a second UK depot along the M62 corridor in Huddersfield, which acts as a training hub that roofing contractors based in the North of England can visit to undergo training to become SRIs. The depot also acts as a distribution centre for its product range, including getting pre-cut sections of RubberBond to sites for next-day delivery.

“Our new depot in Huddersfield has enabled us to grow our business by 45% in the North of England – primarily because it’s more convenient for roofing contractors to come and learn about the products and become SRIs,” added Mr Winter.

“It’s also enabled us to have a northern base for Area Sales Managers (ASMs) and Regional Specification Managers (RSMs) – meaning that, as a business, we can be so much more responsive in supporting roofing contractors, as well as architects and specifiers, who would have previously had to travel to High Wycombe.”

The growth at Flex-R has enabled the company to create a number of new vacancies, which it is in the process of filling across its business.

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