Newly acquired structural steel facility in Basingstoke drives efficiency and productivity at Builders Beams and makes it the largest structural steel fabricator in the South of England!
In June 2015, Builders Beams acquired two new units in Basingstoke to complement the 50,000sq ft. facility in Crawley, making it the largest structural steel fabricator in the South of England. The new facility’s 10,000sq ft. internal space comprises of two units which is complemented by an additional 20,000sq ft. of external grounds.
Scott Linbourne, our Operations Manager at our facility in Crawley, takes us through the project and gives us an insight into plans for the units in the future.
What preparation was required before operations could commence at the site?
Unit 1 was cleared first and we appointed Lee Clayton as our on-site Production Supervisor (picture below). Lee’s role was pivotal in getting the initial operations started and to manage the five
self-employed fabricators who started with us in June.
Unit 2 has now been cleared, the power supply is just being installed and we now have a team of ten based at the site; three Builders Beams fabricators, two Builders Beams labourers, four self-employed fabricators and a Production Supervisor.
What challenges did you face managing this project?
I have had the opportunity to coordinate the project from the outset but it has been predominantly from Crawley where I oversee the operations at our main facility. It’s been challenging as managing a site remotely is new to me. It was so important to recruit the right person to supervise the sight and Lee is doing a great job. He’s had to make the transition from fabricator to a managerial role which has been challenging for him too!
What will be the main focus of the Basingstoke site?
There is no purchasing or administration based there, it is purely for structural steel work at the moment. It has been designed to handle our increasing structural steel project work, collaborating with the BB Structural Steel team, also based at our Crawley Head Office.
What impact has this new facility had on Builders Beams?
Output is ramping up (over 600 tonnes per month) and we now have increased capabilities in terms of the geography we can supply to, increasing our customer base and capabilities. In addition, the large floor space has opened up opportunities to different projects that we couldn’t fulfil in our Crawley facility. For example, we have recently been able to comfortably fabricate 22m rafters and larger beam structures which is fantastic! The space has also been designed with efficiency in mind, using a combination of side-loaders and fork-lift trucks to mobilise the steel.
What does the future look like for Basingstoke?
On 9 October 2015 we achieved CE accreditation at the site which is a great achievement for the team. To complement this, we are now working towards BSI ISO: 9001 accreditation. Over the coming months we intend to increase our team to a minimum of 12 fabricators, working across both units, and install a spray booth in Unit 2 in the near future.