Hugh growth within SFS
‘In 2010, CRH sold Guardian, and in January 2011, we joined the Swiss SFS Group: a family firm with ambition and a long-term vision. We did well out of that. SFS offered us plenty of scope. But we also created that freedom ourselves through our extensive and certified product range and excellent performance. We grew from 12 employees and EUR 5 million turnover in 2010 to 55 employees and EUR 20 million in 2020. The market conditions are and were favourable and the number of flat roofs and options in Europe grew rapidly. There were years that we experienced a growth of 20% to 25%. That demanded a lot from the company. Continuous improvement together, smart innovation and professionalisation were no longer an option, but a necessity. We learned a lot from this, and we are still reaping the benefits today. Guardian now produces partly in the Netherlands, at SFS in Turkey, with partial procurement in the Far East. We are optimally organised to be able to meet the current and future market demands.’ In 2015 our own SFS market organisation also joined the Benelux market, which is focused on mounting materials and structural systems for the facade. The recent years have been extremely successful for new SFS product lines such as fall protection, Nvelope and mounting materials for roof and facade. The market potential for these segments will be huge in the coming years.'
Distinctive market approach with regular partner network
‘Guardian has a strong position on the Benelux domestic market, which it is steadily expanding. In each country where we see opportunities, we are also looking for one or two regular, reliable partners. We made a conscious decision not to supply directly. Finding the right partner is not always easy. It is preceded by extensive investigation, and we provide quite a lot of financial support in the early years. A risk we take. But we recoup the costs later. Ultimately, you need to be willing to invest together. Innovate together. And resolve any problems together. For us, this approach has resulted in significantly more turnover, growth and enjoyment. We have very good relationships with all our partners. I should emphasise that, besides our quality products, the services we provide to our partners and their customers are also extremely valuable. Think of services relating to wind load calculations, system testing and practical advice. But also marketing support and sales promotion. This enables us to achieve and connect the entire building envelope.’