Permaroof, the UK importer and distributor of Firestone RubberCover, is celebrating its most successful year in its 20-year history, after maximising the lockdown effect on the DIY market, as well as quickly diversifying in the face of the global pandemic.
The company’s positive end to the year follows several record months including a 26% increase in sales in May 2020 compared to 2019, and an 86% increase when comparing June 2019 to 2020.
Adrian Buttress, managing director of Permaroof and the wider Permagroup, is confident that the sector will strengthen in 2021 based on the fundamental necessity to keep on building and the ongoing strength of the home improvement market.
He said: “For the construction industry, the show must go on, so although I think 2021 will be a turbulent year, I believe we’ll all be better prepared and in a stronger position. I would like to think that by the end of first quarter, businesses will be feeling the benefits of change after rolling out their newly formulated plans and strategies.
“I think Brexit and the pandemic will have acted almost like a coiled spring for our sector. Once something as close to normality resumes, I think we are in for a large boom of business.”
Adrian attributes the success of the past year to a fast response to COVID-19, investment in an already solid team, and diversification into new services and products. His advice to others in the sector is to keep on learning and adapting, whilst taking as many lessons as possible from the challenges faced in 2020.
“We had to rewrite our business plans, raise funds for the unknown and rework all of our numbers, while adapting the business to ensure it was COVID-secure for the Permaroof team and its customers,” Adrian said.
“We’ve seen the sector working in new ways, which is fantastic. For example, speaking to customers and placing orders through Zoom was unthinkable before – but it works. It means that the team is saving around 60 hours of travel time per week. This can now be channelled into supporting customers; not to mention meaning a carbon reduction.”
During 2020, Permaroof was able to add products to its portfolio, including a disinfectant spray to help customers work safely. The Permaroof Rewards Programme app also launched, giving customers the opportunity to build up points, which can be redeemed and put towards future investments.
At the same time, the company worked closely with modular companies for the first time, which included supplying fast flat roofing solutions to four emergency NHS projects during the first month of lockdown.
Simultaneously the business recruited a new marketing co-ordinator to push out a formal communications strategy, and partnered with a mindset and coaching programme for the sales team, which has helped them adapt and understand customers challenges and provide bespoke solutions.