Steadfast Roofing

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Steadfast Roofing's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Steadfast Roofing is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.steadroof.com

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
18 | STEADFAST ROOFING
Managing Director
ColinRidgway
The Steadfast team
Steadfast Roofing were established with the vision of
becoming a roofing contractor to the major housebuilders,
servicing both north London and the surrounding counties.
Just over three decades later, their group sales are now in
excess of £21 million and they have opened another office
in Colchester while expanding into Oxfordshire. By studying
core business data, and ensuring close relationships with their
customers, they have been able to expand significantly. Managing
Director Colin Ridgway explains how this expansion was
achieved and the need to solve the nationwide housingshortage.
Our company was founded in 1983 in the living room of a semi-detached house on
the High Street of Clapham, a village on the outskirts of Bedford. Our vision was to
offer a complete supply-and-fix roofing service to the major housebuilders in north
London and the home counties.
We were educated to secondary school standard, but our business acumen was
made up of ambition, enthusiasm and brawn. It became apparent after learning
some hard life lessons that the business needed a more professional structure. We
achieved this by gaining a BSI quality assurance accreditation: we were one of the
first roofing contractors in the UK to do so.
Armed with an organised development programme, our reputation began to grow
and through our newly gained expertise, we were able to establish the business.
We enhanced our management and estimating structure by employing and training
proficient staff, and in 1995 we moved to our current premises in Sharnbrook,
Bedfordshire, consolidating the business with sales in excess of £10 million.
FACTS ABOUT
STEADFAST ROOFING
»Managing Director:
ColinRidgway
»Established in 1983
»Based in Sharnbrook,
Bedfordshire
»Services: Roofing work for
major housebuilders
»No. of employees: 30
Steadfast Roofing
19STEADFAST ROOFING |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Our vision to become the first-choice
roofing contractor for the major
housebuilders, based on a reputation
for quality, reliability, and health and
safety in an overcrowded marketplace,
was becoming a reality.
Returning to our core values
Four years ago, our founder and
chairman died unexpectedly. The
business was in turmoil, affected by an
event that might have brought it to an
end. The experience made us recognise
that the identity and success of our
company came from its employees and
our extensive training processes, which
promote ownership and accountability.
We decided to draw on the synergy
and expertise within the business.
Not only did we survive the crisis but we
also galvanised our spirits through our
vision, values and culture and started to
flourish. We have since replicated our
operation in Sharnbrook and opened
another office in Colchester to cover
the south and Essex regions, and are
expanding into Oxfordshire to cover the
western regions. We have also opened
a merchant business to supply local
contractors with a complete roofing
package. With group sales now in excess
of £21 million, the original ambitions of
some 30 years ago are being realised.
Studying business data
We understand that our working
environment is in a constant state of
flux and that it is important to test
systems and procedures regularly. We
have found it necessary to understand
our business by the use of strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats
analysis. This is supplemented by
studying political, economic, social,
technological, environmental and
legal factors and IBIS data, alongside
good old-fashioned discussion.
Theseprocedures help us to
understand our customers, suppliers
and competitors; to form our own
business model; and to set goals and
write a business plan to give direction
and clarity. Analysing the data gives us
an insight into where to operate and
an understanding of the importance
of the basics of good housekeeping:
using stock control, debt collection,
budgets and key performance
indicators to build resilience and
adaptability in thebusiness.
An eminent local businessman once
told me, when I was complaining
about the cost of training and
employing bright people, that
education is very expensive but not
as expensive as ignorance, and I’ve
held this piece of advice close to my
thinking ever since.
Our business model uses capital
expenditure investment to ensure
that we have the capability to sustain
growth and to keep expertise, buying
and distribution in-house. We advise
against outsourcing to free up cash, as
such a strategy represents costs with
a 25 per cent surcharge and a loss of
control in the business and eventually
the expertise it’s invested in.
We pride ourselves on our health
and safety record. We focus our
efforts on cultural health and safety
and the education of best practices
to demonstrate that the safest way
is the most cost-effective and only
way. We believe in good welfare by
On the way to site
Education is
not as
expensive as
ignorance
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
18 | STEADFAST ROOFING
Managing Director
ColinRidgway
The Steadfast team
Steadfast Roofing were established with the vision of
becoming a roofing contractor to the major housebuilders,
servicing both north London and the surrounding counties.
Just over three decades later, their group sales are now in
excess of £21 million and they have opened another office
in Colchester while expanding into Oxfordshire. By studying
core business data, and ensuring close relationships with their
customers, they have been able to expand significantly. Managing
Director Colin Ridgway explains how this expansion was
achieved and the need to solve the nationwide housingshortage.
Our company was founded in 1983 in the living room of a semi-detached house on
the High Street of Clapham, a village on the outskirts of Bedford. Our vision was to
offer a complete supply-and-fix roofing service to the major housebuilders in north
London and the home counties.
We were educated to secondary school standard, but our business acumen was
made up of ambition, enthusiasm and brawn. It became apparent after learning
some hard life lessons that the business needed a more professional structure. We
achieved this by gaining a BSI quality assurance accreditation: we were one of the
first roofing contractors in the UK to do so.
Armed with an organised development programme, our reputation began to grow
and through our newly gained expertise, we were able to establish the business.
We enhanced our management and estimating structure by employing and training
proficient staff, and in 1995 we moved to our current premises in Sharnbrook,
Bedfordshire, consolidating the business with sales in excess of £10 million.
FACTS ABOUT
STEADFAST ROOFING
»Managing Director:
ColinRidgway
»Established in 1983
»Based in Sharnbrook,
Bedfordshire
»Services: Roofing work for
major housebuilders
»No. of employees: 30
Steadfast Roofing
19STEADFAST ROOFING |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Our vision to become the first-choice
roofing contractor for the major
housebuilders, based on a reputation
for quality, reliability, and health and
safety in an overcrowded marketplace,
was becoming a reality.
Returning to our core values
Four years ago, our founder and
chairman died unexpectedly. The
business was in turmoil, affected by an
event that might have brought it to an
end. The experience made us recognise
that the identity and success of our
company came from its employees and
our extensive training processes, which
promote ownership and accountability.
We decided to draw on the synergy
and expertise within the business.
Not only did we survive the crisis but we
also galvanised our spirits through our
vision, values and culture and started to
flourish. We have since replicated our
operation in Sharnbrook and opened
another office in Colchester to cover
the south and Essex regions, and are
expanding into Oxfordshire to cover the
western regions. We have also opened
a merchant business to supply local
contractors with a complete roofing
package. With group sales now in excess
of £21 million, the original ambitions of
some 30 years ago are being realised.
Studying business data
We understand that our working
environment is in a constant state of
flux and that it is important to test
systems and procedures regularly. We
have found it necessary to understand
our business by the use of strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats
analysis. This is supplemented by
studying political, economic, social,
technological, environmental and
legal factors and IBIS data, alongside
good old-fashioned discussion.
Theseprocedures help us to
understand our customers, suppliers
and competitors; to form our own
business model; and to set goals and
write a business plan to give direction
and clarity. Analysing the data gives us
an insight into where to operate and
an understanding of the importance
of the basics of good housekeeping:
using stock control, debt collection,
budgets and key performance
indicators to build resilience and
adaptability in thebusiness.
An eminent local businessman once
told me, when I was complaining
about the cost of training and
employing bright people, that
education is very expensive but not
as expensive as ignorance, and I’ve
held this piece of advice close to my
thinking ever since.
Our business model uses capital
expenditure investment to ensure
that we have the capability to sustain
growth and to keep expertise, buying
and distribution in-house. We advise
against outsourcing to free up cash, as
such a strategy represents costs with
a 25 per cent surcharge and a loss of
control in the business and eventually
the expertise it’s invested in.
We pride ourselves on our health
and safety record. We focus our
efforts on cultural health and safety
and the education of best practices
to demonstrate that the safest way
is the most cost-effective and only
way. We believe in good welfare by
On the way to site
Education is
not as
expensive as
ignorance
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | STEADFAST ROOFING
offering free training, up-to-date
method statements, risk assessment
method statement briefings and
personal protective equipment to all
ouroperatives.
By embracing best practices,
innovation and sustainability, we
are able to form an alignment with
our customers. We understand that
by doing this, a loyal relationship is
formed, therefore securing repeat
business. This in turn builds trust and
competitiveness with our suppliers,
who also want to align with best
practices in the industry. This gives us
our competitive edge.
Tackling the housing crisis
One of the challenges we face, and
the wider nation faces, is the need to
construct new homes to meet soaring
demand. We are lucky, as we operate
with companies who benefit from
the government-backed Help to Buy
scheme, but this does not entirely
solve the issue. Bigger steps need to
be taken to ensure that this shortfall is
addressed on a national scale. Longer
term, we remain very confident, as
there remains a significant shortage
of houses in the UK. Further out, the
Oxford to Cambridge Expressway and
its expected five new garden towns
should present us with considerable
opportunities on our doorstep.
Our future investment plans are far
from certain, but we are working
towards partnering with a major
roofing manufacturer to open a
training centre on our premises. We
believe that doing this represents a
good investment. The requirement for
new homes in the UK necessitates new
people to be engaged and to want
to join the industry. A training centre
will enhance standards and train new
operatives. We hope to give something
back to an industry that has supported
us all of our working lives. Helping
small start-up roofing companies with
expertise and advice along their own
journeys is something we would have
found invaluable 36 years ago, the
time of our own humble beginnings.
Today, we are a strong business of 30
full-time employees, backed by a team
of roofers, many of whom have been
with us long term. Despite the short-
term uncertainties and competitive
challenges, we have great hopes for
our future.
By embracing
best practices,
innovation
and
sustainability,
we are able to
form an
alignment
with our
customers
A product knowledge
demonstration
21DOMUS FACADES |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Managing Director NicShannon
Cliffords Inn, London
Having worked on a variety of notable projects, including
the Grand Entrance to Harrods and the redevelopment of
Regent’s Crescent, Domus Facades is a leader within its
sector. Dissatisfied with the technical solutions provided by fixed
system suppliers, Domus’ designers have designed a range of
their own, considering ergonomics and even design psychology.
Managing Director Nic Shannon tells
The Parliamentary Review
about the choice to create their own range of products and
how value engineering is driving a lowering of standards.
Delivering an architect’s vision demands a balance between material properties and
the environment in which it is to be showcased. We understand this balance. With
over 7,000 commercial stones on the market, we have developed our own support
systems in the UK for materials ranging from 20mm to 200mm thick. To achieve
this range of product delivery, a specialism is required on many levels within the
construction process.
Technical solutions from fixing system suppliers do not always match the
performance that is needed. When they do, they usually require additional
components at extra cost. Some cladding material properties can change by simply
becoming wet. For example, strength can fall by 35 per cent in some materials.
Another important factor to consider is human performance, which contributes to
failure in workmanship. This performance can be defined in terms of ergonomics:
in the physical dimensions of people and the newer area of design psychology.
Understanding this and articulating this into solutions is a continuous process.
FACTS ABOUT
DOMUS FACADES
»Managing Director:
NicShannon
»Established in 2006
»Located in Redhill, Surrey
»Services: Specialist contracting
in the field of stone and
porcelain rain screen cladding
»No. of employees: 10
»ISO 9001:2015 accredited
»www.domusfacades.com
Domus Facades

www.steadroof.com

This article was sponsored by Steadfast Roofing. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster