Stability and Ambition: My Vision for NorDan UK's Sustainable Future

A blog by Craig Greenwood, Managing Director, NorDan UK Ltd

Welcome back everybody, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas break and feel refreshed and ready to go.

As you may know, I’ve started 2024 with a new job, so I thought I would share a few thoughts ahead of a new chapter for myself and NorDan UK.

There is no doubt that, thanks in no small part to our outgoing Managing Director, Alex Brown, NorDan UK is a strong and stable business with tremendous potential for growth.

We’ve had another good year, with 2023 set to yield a 12% increase in turnover, which follows on from 2022’s record growth – nine consecutive years of growth!

The NorDan gospel of low-carbon, high quality and performance is spreading far-and-wide, with 40% of our sales now coming from the South East of England, with ten of the twelve big G15 London social landlords purchasing our products.

Anyone who works in construction knows that this consistent growth is no mean feat, particularly in the present economy.

The construction industry has seen a sharp increase in companies facing critical financial distress, up 46% compared to just three months ago, and work on sites across the UK is predicted to decrease by as much as a fifth in 2024.

But despite all this, NorDan UK is still forecasting to increase sales again, by 10% over the next 12-months, and I’m confident that I can lead the business past the significant £100m turnover milestone.

To realise this, NorDan has recruited eight new senior salespeople across Scotland, Birmingham, Wales, and the South East of England, and has invested in an Innovation Centre in Livingston, as well as two new regional showrooms.

So why are we so bullish in a bear market?

As NorDan UK’s Commercial Director for the last several years, I know that this consistent growth is the culmination of lots of good decisions, many of which happen behind the scenes.

For example, we owe much of our success to our financial health.

NorDan Group is a AAA-financial rated business by Dun & Bradsteet, and our Finance Director, Gillian Irvine, has played a big part in our stability in the UK.

While our sales team are often the public face of growth, it is our financial stability that allows us to go the extra mile for customers: they know that NorDan is here to stay and that we will resolve any problems that occur on site. No questions asked.

Stability isn’t glamorous, but it’s essential for our reputation, repeat business and sustainable growth.

The same can also be said for consistent meaningful investment in product and innovation.

This year will see NorDan launch its first Dynamic Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), a digital service that will intelligently calculate whole life carbon in windows and doors based on hundreds of combinations of product iterations and business processes.

We already have standard EPDs for all our products, but we understand that digitisation is essential if we are to meet the future demands of the market. Dynamic EPDs are the result of hundreds of working hours across Europe and demonstrate an investment in the future that is ready today.

NorDan UK will also be diversifying its product range and launching its first aluminium windows and doors in the UK in 2024. More to come on this in the following weeks.

I’m more than confident that all these ingredients, combined with a market that is increasingly valuing whole-life social, economic, and environmental return, will put NorDan in a strong position for continued success.

Its strength and stability afford me the relative luxury of being able to take my time to think longer term in my new role and I’m already thinking about the future. The present-day NorDan is stronger than ever, and I have no intention of making any immediate changes to a winning recipe.

In his book, Atomic Habits, bestselling American author James Clear talks about the cumulative power of good habits. “Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress,” he writes.

I couldn’t agree more with Clear’s sentiment, and if I am to set out any ongoing ambition at this stage, it is to instil the consistent systems, or business rhythms, that will help NorDan UK realise the next phase of its potential.

Like many of our strengths, these won’t always be highly visible in the short-term, or even high-profile from the outside, but will create the good habits and consistency that will drive success.

Have a great start to the year everyone.

Jan 05, 2024
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