Danish Modular Trade Association Visit
It was a good deal of MPBA member team work that ensured the successful visit of three overseas modular supply companies to the North of England on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th April.
Dansk Byggeri is the Building Trades Association of Denmark where Modular supply companies fall into the category Materielsektionen (materials) section of the organisation.
bmpr Offsite was commissioned to arrange a two day tour of UK Modular companies, which would give the visiting group an overview of the market here:- a manufacturing operation, a rental depot and if possible a site visit was the brief and our first host was Springfield Mobile Ltd., in St Helens www.spring-field.co.uk and Managing Director Lyndsey Duggan. After a short presentation, Lyndsey and her team gave the group their first look at a UK manufacturing operation by way of a factory tour, which naturally prompted comparison conversations.
Across the Pennines next, where on the journey it would have been nice for our guests to have experienced the beauty of the area. Unfortunately but not unusually the weather conspired to provide us with little in the way of views other than fog and rain.
Jonathan Howes, Business Development Manager at Thurston Groups’ facility in Wakefield www.thurstongroup.co.uk was our next host. A completely different product range and manufacturing operation from Springfield with a predominantly steel based product gave a view from the other end of the UK Modular manufacturing spectrum and one which was not lost on our visitors who also appreciated a walk around some of the finished product on the yard.
After an overnight in Leeds, where dinner provided an opportunity for the group to meet and chat with Jackie Maginnis Managing Director of MPBA www.mpba.biz Friday morning found us journeying to Foston, Derby and www.portableoffices.co.uk largest Hire depot where we were met by our host, Managing Director Adrian Witty. Adrian was instrumental in working with Lyndsey to set up visits to both their facilities.
First order of the morning was for our visitors to provide an outline of their own businesses and it was interesting to be able to see not only the different challenges that both hosts and visitors experience in today’s’ market but also what similarities there were between them. Also apparent was what a good fit there was in terms of the ability for each to educate and learn from the other.
Lars Lindblad, CEO www.keycab.dk
Julie Bruun, CEO http://cp.dk
Peter Jakobsen, Director
Mads Blom, CEO https://www.cramoadapteo.dk
Ina Hertz, Project Director
Supplier to both Springfield and Portable Offices is Jackpad Ltd www.jackpad.co.uk and Managing Director Kris Cartwright who had kindly offered to be our driver over the two days was asked to present Jackpad to our Danish visitors. Not a product that they were familiar with and one which sparked considerable interest.
Adrian went on to detail the Portable Offices operation and he and his team showed us around the facility where product from a number of different manufacturers was either waiting to be dispatched, being refurbished or awaiting refurbishment.
Our final visit before returning to Manchester Airport had been arranged by Lyndsey to see a Springfield finished project in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. The community centre building attached to the local Baptist Church opened some 4 months ago is providing a space for many groups in the area and is a good example of Modular providing a quality cost effective solution.
As hosts we learned a number of things about the Danish Modular market from our visitors. In terms of manufacturing, their rules and regulations are considerably tighter than our own. This was definitely not a negative reflection on the UK but more that Danish manufacturing in this industry started much later than our own and therefore started from a different position.
Apart from the weather, which has an impact on the difference in Insulation requirements in Denmark, this is probably also true in regard to the fire integrity requirements of Modular there.
It was also interesting to discover that because of these higher product specification requirements, the industry uses CLT (cross laminated timber) as walling in some of their portable solutions.
An offer has already been extended by both visitors and Dansk Byggeri themselves for us to visit Denmark and see the industry for ourselves, which I hope in due course to be able to arrange. If this is something you might be interested in, please drop me a line: Bob Mears firstname.lastname@example.org