Icopal recently held its approved contractors’ AGM. It was a chance for some 92 Icopal approved roofing contractors and membrane installers in the IMA to meet, compare installations, share best practice and reflect on recent months within the industry. It was also an opportunity to meet Icopal’s newly appointed managing director, Matthew Scoffield. Here he reviews some key moments from the day.
Eighteen months ago Icopal set out on a strategic restructuring programme, aimed at ensuring it was positioned to provide its customers with a full range of solutions, underpinned by a technically knowledgeable sales team focussed on key areas of the supply chain. The event held at London’s Millbank Tower - a location surrounded by many prestigious roofing projects - presented the ideal opportunity to review this strategy and reinforce Icopal’s position.
Ole Rosgaard, Group Managing Director of Icopal’s Western European region, highlighted some of the important financial milestones of the period. Icopal’s investment in its UK-based manufacturing site in Manchester is 40% complete. “Upgrades will improve efficiencies at the plant and mean we can respond flexibly to special orders,” Ole explained.
In addition to these changes contractors were impressed with the way Icopal has invested heavily in its customer service focus. Support and training has been provided to the office-based sales team while a new telephone system means that Icopal can respond to incoming calls from customers more efficiently than ever before.
Meanwhile investment in marketing products and a robust approach to product specification is driving sales back through the IMA network.
A broad product range from which IMA contractors can draw is embedded in Icopal’s investment programme, with the aim of introducing a new premium product every 10-12 weeks. “We are striving to provide contractors with premium products that will give them a unique edge to their business,” explained Ole.
The restructure of the sales approach means that customers can deal with one contact at Icopal who is equipped to provide advice on all the products and systems needed for a job. By listening to customers and responding to feedback the business can continually evolve and improve both product offering and service. It is recognised that contractors are demanding more high value specification sales too and Icopal has set particularly high standards for the number of specifications written in 2011. The focus is supported by Icopal’s ‘Faces of British Architecture’ campaign, which aims to engage directly with specifiers on a personal level.
Identifying sales trends, as determined by external market conditions, is key to ensuring work continues to be available for contractor customers. Graham Kidd, Icopal’s Regional Manager for Specification outlined the progress with increased focus on newbuild projects, which is providing fresh impetus for contractors and suppliers like Icopal.
New product development is helping to drive interest and create sales potential for contractors too. Contractors were encouraged to take up the Monarplan price challenge, to experience for themselves the unbeatable value Icopal can deliver. Monarplan is a single ply PVC membrane that delivers price, quality and sustainability for contractors.
With sustainability a core specification requirement, Icopal also highlighted its Thermazone IVR insulation system. This is a 100% recyclable expanded polystyrene insulation board that is ideal for inverted roof scenarios. With rebated edges it provides security and a sealed membrane ensures that it is the ideal specification to help achieve BREEAM A+ ratings.
Many contractors are very familiar with Icopal’s Decra Roof System. Lee Nichols outlined a new partner contractor vision for those working with Decra. “We are aiming to provide a full service with training on everything from estimating through to the installation of the Decra system,” he explained. This includes onsite support as well as technical back-up for trouble-shooting and enquiries, in line with Icopal’s robust approach to service excellence.
Because specification is such a strong route for Icopal to drive enquiries and sales through to its contractor partners, AGM attendees were updated on the latest product developments within Icopal’s EcoActiv range. Phil Singleton, Product Manager for EcoActiv, highlighted the newly launched IcoSun Console system, which provides a weathertight fixing for rigid photovoltaic panels, as an alternative to Icopal’s thin film flexible PV range.
The AGM was the ideal opportunity to celebrate the high quality of work that roofing contractors undertake every day. By using the best products to deliver excellent standards that meet and exceed regulatory demands and architectural visions, the industry is striving for professional excellence.
Recognised for its work at Cathcart St Primary School was Mac Roofing & Contracting, which won Icopal’s Best Built Up Roofing category.
Byford Roofing won the Built Up System using an Eco Activ product, for its installation of Icopal’s Noxite at the William Harvey Hospital in Kent.
Meanwhile the Best Single Ply installation category went to Watershed Roofing for the Bradford Royal Infirmary. The judges were particularly impressed with Watershed’s logistical planning which ensured the building was kept weathertight throughout the installation process.
Winning the Liquid Systems category was McCormick Flat Roofing for its value engineering solution for the Watford Colosseum.
With new product development, a specification sales focus to ensure new business is mutually beneficial for contractors and their supplier, all supported by technical excellence, advice and sales support, Icopal is well positioned to ensure success in 2011 and beyond.