HMG bucking the economic trend

14 February 2012

Despite the spectre of economic recession looming over businesses across the globe, Manchester-based HMG Paints has emerged stronger than ever. As increasing numbers of British paint manufacturers have succumbed to foreign ownership, HMG has fortified its position as the country’s largest independent industrial paint producers and one of the industry’s oldest family-owned enterprises.
In 2011, the company delivered record high production figures, creating their highest annual turnover throughout its 82-year history. HMG attributes its recent successes to the hard work of employees across the business and the refocusing of its distribution strategy. This strategy involved developing more relationships with distribution customers, creating a substantial countrywide network.

Now with approaching 20 key distribution partners, stretching from the south coast to Scotland, Northern Ireland to Humberside, the company can boast truly nationwide coverage and its customers can enjoy expert localised support. Equipped with the class-leading Unit colour mixing scheme, in-depth paint stock and a direct line to the factory’s technical team, each distributor is a specialist supplier in its own right, able to advise on complex product application issues and meet the surface coating requirements of its own customer base, in partnership with HMG.

HMG’s managing director, John Falder, recognises the importance of expanding the company’s coverage while also retaining the core, localised service that customers demand. He said, "With multinationals now tending to dominate the supply route, we find that trade customers are becoming increasingly concerned about the distance between themselves and the production plants, development facilities and industry decision makers. We are building market share by retaining a lean, flexible management structure and responding rapidly to bespoke customer requirements, based on the premise that our production, R&D, packaging, sales and distribution facilities are all based on one centralised site in Manchester. We also endeavour to honour our pledge of maintaining next-day deliveries anywhere in the United Kingdom, through our own delivery fleet or network of carefully chosen distributors. With a customer base approaching 2000 trade users and still growing, we must be getting something right.”

The company’s team of experienced technical sales staff, headed by sales director Danny Cleary, is well placed to gain feedback from the trade and it appears that HMG’s independent ownership, with a structure large enough to be a significant market player, yet small enough to be flexible and responsive, is what industry customers greatly appreciate.

"They like the fact that we are the largest independent industrial paint manufacturer, but that we’re still flexible, nimble and customer-focused,” says Danny. His colleague Norman Cooper adds that, "our ability to produce special finishes with no minimum quantity order is one of our greatest strengths and one that many of our competitors cannot replicate”.

It is this focus on the wants and needs of the customer that has caused HMG to prosper during the current volatile financial climate. By expanding its distribution network and building strong relationships with customers, the company now provides a personal yet professional service to customers across the country. John Falder realises it is this approach that has led to many coatings users turning to local companies for paint products. He says, "As a surviving, independent, industrial paint manufacturer, HMG feels it has a key role to play in the UK supply chain and our trade customers are putting their faith in us, by increasingly specifying our British-made products.”

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