Published On: Mon, Nov 6th, 2017

Scot Gerry, Supply Chain Director at Synseal Group

First job: A paper round at 8 or 9, but proper job was with IBM UK in Greenock the very next day after my last exam at university.

When did you join current company? I joined Synseal in November of last year. Previously I was the Supply Chain Director at SIG Plc.

Most useful/favourite gadget: Apart from a bottle opener, the phone is still the best way to communicate.

Favourite/most useful website: is an interesting new approach to finding experts in a variety of fields on demand.

Business person you admire: My first boss in SIG plc was a guy called John Chivers, who created the Roofing business, a leader and inspirational communicator.

Recommended hotel for business: I prefer the non-chain hotels that have good reputations on Trip Advisor. Clean, friendly, quiet at night and some decent food.

Favourite UK restaurant: Australasia in Manchester has really interesting tasty food and a great atmosphere.

Best business decision: Hire the best to work in your team – just means you get better results and quicker change.

Other interests: I have a young family that I like to spend time with, love my sport particularly rugby. I try to keep reasonably fit with the gym, running and cycling.

Working Day: I set off for work at 6.45 am each day arriving at our headquarters in Huthwaite just after 8am. If my diary allows, I like to walk around the warehouses and yard of our 35-acre site so I can talk to our logistics team and get a sense of how daily operations are progressing. Usually I have a number of meetings scheduled with both my team and senior colleagues at Synseal Group. Our entire focus as a business today is on the improvement of our service to our customers, so my time, energy and projects are all focused on achieving service enhancements.

Working Location: As the Supply Chain Director at Synseal Group I split my time between my office and the warehouses and transport environments. It’s important for me to spend as much time as possible out with the logistics team to see where we can make improvements and implement change to help benefit our customers. Most of the time I’m based at Synseal Group’s main headquarters in Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire, where our extrusion facility is located. This is where we manufacture our Shield, Legend and SynerJy profiles as well as WarmCore, Evolve range, K2 and Global conservatory roofs.


There’s lots of changes taking place across the Synseal Group at the moment and we’re making large investments in continuous improvement projects to help ensure we’re always meeting the needs of our customers. We already know that we have a strong product range of window, door and roof systems which our customers love and continue to return to time after time. The next step for us as a company, as well as continually investing in that product range, is to ensure that we offer customers a consistent and reliable service and delivery across all of our seven sites. We’ve got some customers who have been with us for 20+ and even 30+ years and it’s important that we make sure their positive experience of our products and service is replicated for every single customer.

In order to achieve this, it’s part of our strategic plan to look closely at all aspects of our operations to find areas where we can make the experience even better for our customers. I joined Synseal Group in November 2016 in the new position of Supply Chain Director to focus on an in-depth review of our transport and distribution operations. My aim is to reshape our offer to satisfy our customers’ increasingly sophisticated demands for an agile, cost-effective distribution service. This involves assessing the quality of our supply chain as a whole, as well as our internal supply chain to make sure we’ve got the right products available at the right time for our customers.

Expansion – Since our acquisition of Essex-based Village Glass not long after I joined the Group, we now have a delivery fleet of more than 100 vehicles covering the whole of the UK. This expansion gives us an even wider offer and delivery service capability which is an invaluable gain for our customer base. Part of my job is to manage the performance and maintenance of this fleet alongside our transport team so we are delivering on-time, in-full for every order. Synseal Group is known for its innovative product developments and it’s no secret that we’re working on a new product to expand the WarmCore family. As part of the preparations for this we are looking at a reconfiguration of our warehousing space and a review of the overall logistics to ensure we’re able to meet the high demands for our WarmCore products. This is one of the hardest jobs for us at the Synseal Group – predicting which of our many products we need to prioritise for warehouse space, time and financial investment and ensuring that any logistical changes we make do not impact OTIF levels for other products. We are already very good at managing this at Synseal Group, but we always think there’s room for improvement.

None of our seven manufacturing sites could be considered small, but the 35 acres of warehousing and yard space at the Huthwaite site is a particularly large area to manage and I’m working closely with our other directors to find ways in which we can create even more space and be more efficient with our stockholding. Just before I joined Synseal we implemented our Wall of Colour with more than 80% of coloured foil products held in stock. This was a massive undertaking and £400,000 investment for us, but it was well worth the effort to respond to the customer demand for faster turnarounds on these products and we are delighted with the customer feedback we’ve received since making this decision. The market – Turning to look at the wider market, there is of course a lot of global economic uncertainty out there at the moment as well as further concerns about what Brexit will mean for the UK economy. Ultimately, we are performing well at Synseal Group in all our sectors and we see that continuing to grow over the next 12 months, whatever the impact of Brexit. Since I’ve been with Synseal Group I can see at all levels of the business there are aspirations to continue this growth. It’s still early days in my time here but I’ve already seen some very successful service enhancements campaigns which are focused on our customers and address both the processes and practices of our day-to-day operations to find ways we can make them even better.

My goal is to see Synseal Group recognised as offering the best service in the industry by providing support functions and delivery which help our customers to improve their own operations. What lies ahead – It’s very difficult at the moment to predict the way the markets are going to change in light of global economic uncertainties. At Synseal Group we’ve solidified our offer to customers with recent acquisitions to ensure that we can continually offer the most extensive product range available in the industry. We’re doing everything that we can to make the jobs of our fabricators easier – but what lies ahead for their businesses?

My advice to all fabricators from my experience working in supply chain management is to work as closely as possible with your suppliers and look at ways you can support each other, for example through shared data and future plans. The more information we can give each other, the easier it will be to drive efficiencies for mutual advantage. You can only benefit further from a closer working relationship with your suppliers – and it’s our job at Synseal Group to make sure we’re responding to your needs. From a supplier point of view, it’s helpful for us to be able to guarantee quality product to fabricators by delivering orders in pack and stillage quantities. This helps us to prevent unnecessary damage to packs and ensures that our stockholding is accurate, leading to better on-time, in-full performance. In any business, good communication along the supply chain is key to success, and that can be achieved in simple ways like informing us if you have delivery restrictions like narrow lanes en-route to your site.

In the future, it wouldn’t surprise me if businesses start sharing resources such as transport, even with their competitors. This sort of collaboration is already happening across other industries and helps to drive out unnecessary costs for the benefits of everyone in the supply chain – if you can overcome the hurdle of getting two opposition companies on the same wavelength. It’s an interesting time to be in the industry and to see what efficiencies can be achieved when you start investigating new collaborative approaches. Looking further ahead, as a connected supply chain we need to keep a watchful eye on what’s happening abroad in the fenestration and wider construction industry. Not in the next year or five years, but perhaps in a decade’s time the way we manufacture and build is probably going to change. Businesses in China are already investing in facilities in the UK to build fully finished houses in their warehouses and then to deliver the complete product to site. This is a huge advancement which could change the structure and timeline of our supply chains and is something worth considering in our mid-to-long-term strategies. The most important thing though is that we continue to work together. Costs remain the biggest restraint that we all face, particularly in times of economic uncertainty. The more we work together and share our successes along the supply chain, the more cost-saving improvements we can make for everyone’s benefit.