Expansion, pipes and service: A big year ahead for Anglo Stainless

Expansion is on the cards at Anglo Stainless after another strong year of growth

Anglo Stainless is a company I’m familiar with, having supplied to and purchased from them over the last decade, but it was exciting to hear Managing Director Steve Brooke talk about the steps he’s now taking to expand the business and enter a new era.

Capacity to double

Space, or lack of it, is a problem that many businesses face as they scale, and having material spread across multiple sites does not always represent the best solution for businesses that are growing. Fortunately, they have secured planning for an extension to the current site, and are renting additional floor space adjacent to their unit. This will allow Anglo Stainless to more than double the amount of usable storage space that they have access to, and give the business some well-needed breathing space as they grow the product range and depth of their stock.

Pipe due into stock this year

The most exciting news for me was hearing Steve talk about their plans to stock a full range of pipe. Previously, pipe was a commodity that Anglo Stainless had always traded but never carried in stock. As market conditions have changed and space has become available, the decision to carry pipe was discussed with the management and sales teams, and orders have now been placed for delivery this year! This is a big step forward for the business, and will allow for larger orders or kitting packages to be fulfilled on even shorter lead times directly from stock.

Initially a full range of welded pipe will be stocked up to and including 16 NPS (nominal pipe size). This will complement Anglo Stainless’ huge range of fittings and flange stocks (up to 24 NPS). Coupled with in-house machining, threading, cutting and drilling capabilities, the product offering will never have been larger. The plans are to increase the volume of stock currently available, so the depth of availability will increase proportionately, as will the range.

Changing structure

As the business looks to grow, it’s been important to change the structure. Running an SME means wearing multiple hats, but as the business scales, it has been necessary to make changes to the roles of the staff. Steve spoke about how starting to have regular sales and management meetings, although quite strange to begin with, had a positive response from the team.

“The team were excited about the direction we were taking as a business, and being involved in the decisions and taking on extra responsibility was something that they relished. It actually surprised me how bought in the whole team were, and how invested they were in what we were doing.” Steve told me.

Service, service, service

Steve spoke about the new range but was quick to say that there will be lots of crossover in many parts of the range with other UK and European companies. “Service is the ONLY differentiator”, and it’s something that Anglo Stainless have prioritised for the last 4-5 years and will continue to focus on.

“We have a lot of experience in our team, but we are also bringing through new staff with zero industry experience. We will continue to bring people into the industry as we grow and will maintain that service is the most important part of what we do. We have the stock, know how and customisation solutions that our customers want, and we are continually onboarding new customers who quickly appreciate what we do. We can’t always win every order, but we can provide great service every time someone speaks to a member of our team.”

Digital strategy

Steve told me that an important step in their growth was the decision to develop a digital marketing strategy.

“We realised a few years ago that having an online presence was important to growing our business. We initially did what all business owners do and focused on building a new website, which was a great first step, and netted some good returns, but more recently we have been using social media to push our profile. We have concentrated our efforts on LinkedIn and grown our followers considerably over the last 12-18 months. We plan to push this further and push both video and photo content, showing existing and potential customers not just what we do, but more importantly who we are.”

Closing thoughts

Anglo Stainless are an established stalwart of the UK metal stockholding industry, and the introduction of pipe to stock and an expansion of their site and stock range will further solidify their position as one of the leading suppliers of standard and non-standard steel products.

If you’d like to find out more about the products and services that Anglo Stainless offer, visit their website: anglostainless.co.uk

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