Picture above: Owen Thorogood
After two years of unpredictability, Kestrel’s sales and marketing director Owen Thorogood is cautiously optimistic about the next 12 months.
The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, raw material supply shortages and staffing issues made for a challenging 2021, but it was a year that made Kestrel more agile.
“The way we work has changed,” Owen explained. “We have put in place a number of processes to ensure we are adaptable and have greater flexibility, and that has been a positive outcome from a rollercoaster couple of years.”
It’s this adaptability that helps Kestrel look towards 2022 with greater confidence.
“There’s still some uncertainty around supply and cost of raw materials which, unfortunately, are still unstable,” Owen said. “The continued need for Covid measures and the pressures that puts on staffing is also a challenge, but the general forecast for construction is positive, with output growth at 4.8 per cent, so there is every reason to be cautiously optimistic.”
For Kestrel customers he believes service is the key to growing and retaining strong business relationships.
“Two years of uncertainty means that customers really value good, reliable service levels and we’re certainly focusing on our reputation for reliability,” he said. “Early in 2022 we plan to have returned our normal, one week lead time, which in turn will give our customers greater certainty to plan their own stock levels and keep their customers supplied.”
Improvements in the operations have been core to Kestrel’s ability to bring down lead times and the brand is investing again in its Scunthorpe plant in 2022. This latest round of investment will drive quality as well as productivity.
Kestrel has also focused on improved communications between departments during the last two turbulent years, which has created greater knowledge and efficiencies across the business.
“Coming together as a team to navigate through challenges is a real strength for Kestrel as we go into 2022, and with a strong, focused group of dedicated staff pulling together, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2022,” Owen added.