Published On: Thu, Mar 29th, 2018

Looking after customers’ core needs

David Leng recently took over the mantle as group chief executive at Customade Group and is spearheading the next era of growth for the £100 million manufacturing business. He speaks to Windows Active about his ambitions for the group and what it intends to deliver

I’m delighted to take up this role at a pivotal time for Customade Group. In the last year, Customade Group has benefitted from substantial investment, developed an impressive product range, achieved a wide geographical reach and built a terrific team of people. It is now one of the UK’s foremost suppliers of fenestration solutions with some well-respected brands in its portfolio, including REAL Aluminium, Atlas Glazed Roof Solutions, Polyframe and Virtuoso Doors. There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes to bring these established and newly acquired businesses together. Each of them was operationally strong in its own right and the Customade team has worked hard to align them and prepare them for the future. We’re now ready for the next stage in our development and I’m looking forward to building on the scale and strength of the group to help it fulfil its potential.

Customade Group has an enormous capacity for further growth and an appetite for improvement and I believe it will double in size to become a £200 million business within the next few years. In my eight years as chief executive officer at Synseal Group, I helped it achieve strong revenue and customer growth through the strategic acquisition of seven specialist companies. During my tenure, Synseal grew from a £70 million to £160 million business and successfully launched many market-leading products including WarmCore, Masterdor and Global. There is a science to managing growth on this scale and an art to getting the best out of each specialist business and I‘m excited to now bring my experience to Customade Group to drive through some ambitious plans in the next phase of its growth. Customade Group has many unique strengths and our ongoing development programme will be underpinned by a focus on quality and customer service. The market has historically been poorly served and customers now rightly expect much greater quality, service, value and logistical support. Our strategy is about becoming a leader in the broadest sense and providing customers with what they need to help them thrive in a changing marketplace. Our aim is to become the natural first choice supplier for customers by delivering the best possible customer experience for them.

We want to be the best in the eyes of our stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers and investors – and further innovation will be fundamental in helping us achieve this goal. You can certainly expect to see an increased pace of product development from the group this year with some exciting announcements coming soon. What has been achieved in the last year is phenomenal. We have doubled our production output with expansion at three of our nine manufacturing sites and we have merged a team of experienced people who really understand the market and their installer customers’ businesses. There will be strategic recruitment at a senior level in the very near future to drive further improvements through our operations and enhance our performance. Customade Group is already a very strong business that’s well-structured for the future and I’m delighted to be part of the journey ahead. With a 15-year track record for year on year growth and a passion to deliver, I am motivated to capitalise on the numerous growth opportunities out there and achieve our ambitious plans. We’re all ready at Customade Group to re-define the industry and to be the best.