Winner: The Keystone Group
The judges were blown away with The Keystone Group, describing the firm as a worthy winner of this year’s award for Materials Supplier of the Year – a brilliant business which ticked all of the boxes.
With manufacturing plants in Cookstown, south Derbyshire and Poland, and a distribution site in Cwmbran, the Keystone Group says it is the UK and Ireland’s largest manufacturer of steel lintels, and the fastest-growing manufacturer of roof windows in Europe.
The firm demonstrated really strong examples of innovation right across its product range, covering a diverse mix of industry needs.
These included its Hi-Therm Lintel, a new lintel designed to be five times more thermally efficient than a standard steel cavity wall lintel, and its innovative integrated thermal collar, an integral part of its roof windows.
The judges felt the company’s IG brick slip was a particularly ingenious solution to a common problem in the masonry sector, while offsite solutions such as the pre-insulated roof panels systems, Rapid Stack and Easy Bay, were also all contributing to making the housebuilding sector safer and more efficient.
“We were impressed with Keystone’s real innovation across a wide range of products. These all led to improvements and cost savings in the businesses that used them”
The company’s approach has been recognised not only within the construction sector but also further afield, and this has been reflected in its position as one of the top 1,000 Companies to Inspire Europe by the London Stock Exchange Group, recognising it as one of Europe’s most encouraging and innovative companies.
The judging panel said it was clear that Keystone has strong long-term relationships with those the firm supplies, exemplified by the repeat business it secured and the glowing reports from those that use its products.
The company’s graduate scheme, masters research programmes and future leaders programme gives workers the opportunity to better themselves, while Keystone also provides training to the smaller builders and merchants it supplies through external schemes.
This all led to greater productivity throughout the business, with the company posting a productivity rating of 17.4 per cent, far outstripping the construction industry average of three per cent.
It is clear that Keystone is a company always looking to better itself and the welfare and skills of its workers and those it supplies.
The judges said that it was also clear that the company was committed to sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint, and the levels of recycled materials used were impressive.
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