2021 was an exciting year for Kirkwood Timber Frame, with the business officially launching in August, our major factory expansion commencing, and a team of passionate, like-minded individuals being brought together to bring the vision for delivering top quality products and exceptional customer service to life.
In this blog post, Malcolm Thomson, Business Development Director, takes a look back at the last four months, and how much the business has already grown. Taking some time to share some lessons learned along the way, Malcolm provides a look ahead to 2022, and the exciting year that the team has planned.
“That’s a tough question, as there’s so much that has been achieved in a relatively short space of time. One of the biggest highlights has to be how well we’ve been received since opening our doors in August. I have a great team working alongside me, who are recognised within the industry for their knowledge and experience - this has helped a lot when entering the market. We have a healthy pipeline for the beginning of next year, and although it has been challenging at times, having this team onboard has made it much easier.
“Another big milestone has to be seeing the factory expansion progress. Our new state-of-the-art machinery has been delivered and is in the process of being installed, and this is really going to excel our growth into 2022. It was great to join a company that had ambitious plans, and to see your plans moving forward, and at a considerable pace, has created a real buzz within the team.
“From an industry perspective, I have to say it has been great to see the wider timber industry come together to promote the use of timber in construction, and specifically in the offsite arena. There is no denying that COP 26 has played a big part in this, as by using the platform to educate people, we’re able to make some real changes within the industry and make some positive moves towards achieving net-zero.”
“The last four months have been a whirlwind. It feels like just yesterday we launched, but at the same time, our team is so united that you’d think we’d all worked together for years.
“I have to say, I’m most proud of the team and how far we’ve come. The new and existing members of the team have gelled so quickly and as a result of hard work and our successful entry into the market, we’re now a really strong team.
“Everyone is very aligned in the way that we do things. Because we’re all like-minded, passionate and dedicated people, there’s a real trust amongst the team. This has created a supportive culture, giving people the space to show their character and develop things how they want. It has resulted in every single person thriving which is fantastic to see after such a short time.
“Another thing that I’m really proud of is the opportunities that I’m able to give the team. We have a culture where everyone is really open to receiving feedback from the team and this has created a space where people feel that they can have input, and more importantly that it’s listened to.”
“That adaptability and patience is the key to success. It’s an age-old saying that change is constant, but it really is true. This year was a real challenge for me, coming into the business at the beginning of the process and helping to develop the service offering was completely new. I’ve always worked at established businesses, so to join a company at the very start of the process has been an exciting challenge.
“I’m a very driven and focused person who likes to see things happen quickly - and I think this has helped me in my career to date. But when you’re launching a new business, everything takes time.”
“We have so much planned for next year! We’re pushing on with our plans to keep developing our timber frame system and offering, to differentiate us in the market. This will require further specialist machinery, which will be designed to fit seamlessly into our new wall line.
“But the main thing for me is that we continue to develop our service. This has been a huge goal since day one, and our plan is to build on the great work that has already been done. We’re in the process of building a system to use with our customers, which will provide a shared hub to share and view documents, track the process of the project and the customer journey, and communicate with each other. This will help streamline the process but also enhance the experience for our customers as they can check in at any point to see the progress of their project.”
“Our team is at the heart of everything we do. Delivering a first-class service is a non-negotiable for us, whether that’s with our customers or our suppliers, and we want to maintain the same high standards that we’re currently providing.
“Like most businesses, we want to grow and meet and exceed our financial goals, but we do not want to compromise the standard of the service provided or the quality of our working environment and conditions. It’s important to me that we grow steadily and in a managed way, and that the level of work does not compromise the quality of our service or put our team or customers under unnecessary stress.
“It’s important to us that the process is enjoyable for our customers, which is why we work closely with our supply chain to ensure that products are delivered in full, on time and that all enquiries are dealt with promptly.
“One of the most exciting things that we’re working on is the digitisation of our processes and incorporating technology into our daily operations. From using less paper in the office to creating an online portal for our customers to access their project information, our aim is work towards a paperless, more efficient and environmentally-friendly future.
“I’m also proud to be part of the change, and supporting the move towards net-zero. In the very near future, home builders will be expected to build homes that have reduce their carbon emissions by up to 30%, and timber frame can play a huge role in this.
“The use of timber frames is a more environmentally-friendly solution during the build phase, but also upon completion. We’re currently researching and developing an advanced panel system to meet these challenges, which will in turn create a more economical and environmentally-friendly home.
“It’s a really exciting time, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”