Snows arrived in Towcester
Timber firm creates 25 jobs as boss pledges to shake-up 'archaic' industry
Snows Timber, which relocated to Pury Hill Business Park earlier this year, is spearheading a “massive programme of change” that will position it at the forefront of a stagnant industry.
Managing director Ian Church’s vision for the company is a modern, efficient, agile outfit with a young, talented and diverse workforce.
He said, “The business needed to be more efficient. We have closed four regional sales offices and set up a full end-to-end service here in Towcester. It’s a one-stop shop.
“Here, there is a rich pool of talent we are able to fish in and we have created 25 new jobs. This is a hugely traditional industry that is rapidly evolving – and we are moving the dial.”
Mr Church hand-picked the location for the firm’s new national sales office near the picture postcard village of Alderton, Towcester, after taking the reins 18 months ago.
Snows was founded more than a hundred years ago and now imports, processes and sells Â£43m worth of cut and sawn wood to smaller building supplies firms, manufacturers and housebuilders.
Its parent company, the Bradfords Group of Yeovil, is owned by 160-plus members of the same family and can trace its roots back to 1770 – the year of the Boston Massacre.
Snows has invested Â£750,000 at its Mansfield distribution centre and introduced innovations such as double shifts from 6am-11pm.
“Our goal is for customers to be able to order up until midnight for delivery the next day,” said Mr Church.
“Nobody else can get anywhere near that. This business will redefine how the sector behaves in the future.”
The company recently became the first in the UK to introduce Routyn – a new cutting edge planning and routing system for lorries. It means the same amount of timber can be moved with 25 per cent fewer vehicles.
Working at Snows is an attractive proposition too.
“We have created a look and feel very different to our competitors and diversity and inclusivity is the key,” said the former Northampton School for Boys pupil.
“We have a high proportion of females to males and we are keen to bring in people from mixed backgrounds.
“We are attracting sales people from areas as diverse as IT and car dealerships.
“You cannot build a culture overnight – it takes time – but the whole sector is archaic and ripe for a shake-up.
“We are setting standards by putting customers at the heart of everything we do – we need to be a ‘can do’ business.”
Mr Church’s philosophy is clearly paying dividends.
Marketing manager Ebony Hutt, 24, says Snows is an exhilarating place to work.
“You are given the freedom to be autonomous and run with your ideas,” she said.
“It’s exciting to be involved in something with this pace of change.”
Mr Church agreed.
“It will be a very different business in a year’s time,” he said. “In the best possible way.”