Cambridge Roof Truss Acquisition

crt3Today we announced our acquisition of Cambridge Roof Truss. The strategic acquisition has an excellent geographic fit with our present business and will further supplement our existing product offering across the Southern and Midland regions of the UK.

In extending our geographical footprint, it ensures that wherever our customers are, we are on their doorstep; providing the best in quality and local service with a national distribution network.

Established in 2014, Cambridge Roof Truss limited (CRTL) designs, manufactures and supplies roof trusses, joists and spandrel panels to leading housebuilders and construction companies in the UK. The company has built a reputation for being a marketing led, sales driven business with a renowned customer service ethos, and it is this professionalism and dedication to the client that makes the CRTL team a compelling fit with the DTE family.  The Board of Directors at CRTL felt that strategically the time was right to secure the future of the company, knowing that DTE has the infrastructure needed to continue to satisfy its growing customer base.

Cambridge Roof Truss Managing Director, Jack McMinn said: “I am very proud of the reputation we have built, and for putting our customers and the service we provide to them at our core. By joining forces with DTE, we can offer a broader set of manufacturing capabilities with the resource and operational experience necessary to fully support our customers.”

Sue Mills, Sales & Marketing Director for CRTL will take on the role of branch manager, leading a team of 29 staff. With an investment plan already in place, the branch can potentially double its production output in the new year.

In practical terms, there will be no changes for clients or suppliers of CRTL. Payment and banking details remain as is.

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Jonathan’s Charity Cycle – Kelpies to Cardiff

IMG-20180718-WA0006On behalf of everyone at DTE, we wanted to acknowledge a great challenge our MD Jonathan Fellingham recently completed for charity.

Many of you will know that in early July, Jonathan and a team of eleven others cycled 500 miles from the Kelpies in Falkirk to Cardiff to raise money for Dementia UK and various other charities.

Cycling for six days, covering an average of 80 miles per day, and over 100 on the final leg, Jonathan and the team showed incredible strength and perseverance in the name of many worthy causes.

The total fundraised to date is almost £20,000, of which £3,000 will go to Dementia UK – an amazing amount of money that will go towards providing families with the one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions they need to face dementia with more confidence and less fear.

The JustGiving charity page remains open for anybody wishing to make a last minute donation.

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Double honours for DTE

Donaldson Timber Engineering wins Taylor Wimpey awardWe are pleased to announce that we have recently been recognised with two awards from our customers – Taylor Wimpey East Midlands Supplier of the Year and Barratt Supplier Excellence – Health & Safety.

For Taylor Wimpey East Midlands, we currently supply 11 sites with floors and five sites with trusses. The awards are voted for by the Site Managers who each nominate their preferred supplier, from ground works to tiles, and everything in-between.

For Barratt, we supply roof trusses and spandrel panels and we have worked hard to adapt our procedures and products to assist Barratt and comply with its vision for health and safety – something we are both committed to continually improving.

While industry awards are always welcomed, this recognition directly from our customers means a lot to us. We work hard to nurture great relationships and become a part of a customer’s team, and this level of feedback makes us really proud of what we have achieved.

Thanks to our customers for their support, and everyone at DTE for their tireless work.

Pictured left to right accepting the Taylor Wimpey award: Claire Atkinson (Joist Designer), Vicky Kirk (Joist Team Leader), Robert Aldred (Business Development Manager – Midlands), Matthew Thorpe (Truss Team Leader)

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Women in Construction Summit

IMG_1984In March, several of our team members attended the Women in Construction Summit in London. The first of its kind, the summit was designed to bring together women who share a passion for construction, giving them a platform to challenge, equip and inspire each other, and build relationships with like-minded women in the industry.

Sarah Kelly, technical sales manager, was one of the attendees and wrote about her experience at the event:

On 6 March, Sophie Haynes, Lauren Clarke, Jonquil Taylor, Katie Millar and I attended the first ever Women in Construction Summit. It was a fantastic event, and I have a few helpful outcomes to report:

1) The Women in Construction Summit wasn’t a ‘We Hate Men’ conference

I say this because not one, not two, but three people since the event have said they thought it seemed like a ‘man-bashing’ conference. But in reality, we need gender-specific events like this in industries where the disparity is so great, because of the ‘If I can see it, I can achieve it’ motto. Women made up 15% of the workforce in Construction in 2000, but today the number is still only 20%. We have a long way to go in this industry.

The event was designed to celebrate women who have achieved success in their careers and to help other women look at routes for development which they may not have considered before.

Seeing someone you can aspire to be like has immeasurable impact on your belief in your own potential, and I could definitely see myself in some of the women’s stories. It was a great day to celebrate all that women can bring to the construction sector, summed up by Katy Dowding, VP at Skanska, who said: “Diversity isn’t a feel-good goal; it’s about adding value to your projects.”

2) Stats don’t lie, but they’re not everything

When HS2 adopted the ‘Blind Auditioning’ practice (removing the name/gender/address of candidates on CVs) the rate of women shortlisted for roles increased from 17% to 47%. For BAME candidates, the number went from 14% to 50%. Don’t get me wrong, you still have to prove yourself in the interview, but getting that foot in the door to then show what you can bring, is often half the battle.

3) Preaching to the Converted

One of the most startling realisations I had from this conference occurred when listening to Ceri Evans, Commercial Director at Jacobs, talk about her journey in construction. She had begun in an administrative role and was mentored and developed by one of the senior managers in the company. I was listening to her talk and thinking, ‘Yes, of course we should be championing women in construction! Equal rights also mean equal opportunities!’ But then it struck me that simply having equal opportunity doesn’t always equate to gender parity in business.

Based on an internal report by Hewlett Packard, men apply for a job when they meet 60% of the criteria, and women apply only if they meet 100%. That’s a generalisation, but the pressure to be perfect is prevalent for young girls and women throughout our society and often stops very able and passionate women entering and/or staying in the Construction sector. Ceri asked, “What’s the biggest obstacle to Women in Construction? It’s self-belief.”

Which leads me to my fourth and final point: (or rather, question)

4) How do we get better at championing Women in Construction?

I am proof that the Family of JDS companies really do challenge and champion their employees.  Where you see an opportunity, share it. Where you see potential in someone else, call it out. It’s amazing how easy it can be to build a network of colleagues who are wonderfully diverse and wildly interesting, with just a small word of encouragement or a recommendation of someone’s expertise or experience. For me, it’s looking at the People we employ with an open mind and seeing what each individual can add to the business.

With a diverse set of minds and opinions what can we achieve in timber innovation and design? What could a truly equal workplace bring to the next 100 years of Timber Construction?

And finally, here is a little visual for you, because a picture is worth a thousand words.

This was my view at the Women in Construction Summit on 6 March:








And this was from the Timber Trade Federation Softwood Conference on 7 March:







This just goes to show what a difference being invited in and championed by your company can make. JDS had the highest gender parity in attendance at that conference as we were 40% female! There are so many fantastic women employed at JDS, and I feel privileged to work alongside them and learn from their experiences. I can only look forward with excitement at the next generation of women being employed and developed within our business. We have come a long way, but there is still more to be done!

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Malcolm Vaughton appointed to run newly established glulam business

Malcolm VaughtonWe are very pleased to announce that Malcolm Vaughton has joined DTE as general manager of our newly formed glulam business.

We currently supply a small volume of cut to size glulam beams, and the occasional glulam structure, but we are now starting a journey to become the UK’s market leader in the design and supply of secondary processed glulam.

Malcolm, the former UK MD of the Danish glulam producer, Lilleheden, joined DTE in November and comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge that will help us to establish our new business’ position in the market.

He will be based out of an office near his home in Barnsley, South Yorkshire and will initially be working between all of DTE’s branches to establish relationships with the staff, and in particular the sales team, so we can examine our existing supply agreements and determine new opportunities. We will also be registering for access to public sector projects using glulam.

In recent years, the number of suppliers for glulam projects has diminished, creating an opportunity for us. The initial plan is to establish relationships with key feature glulam beam producers in Europe, so we can source material competitively for project tenders we’ve won and designed using external engineers.  Longer term, it is our intention to design, detail and carry out elements of the secondary production processing in-house.

I look forward to this exciting new venture – and welcome to the team, Malcolm.

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New technical sales managers

Lauren and SarahWe’ve made some internal changes in a bid to further improve the customer experience and offer a fully dedicated service, and we’re pleased to announce the appointment of three new sales staff. Members of the new sales team will now be based at local branches, allowing them to act as one direct contact for admin, design, production and customer service support.

Looking outside of the industry for a fresh approach, the new technical sales managers are: Jonquil Taylor, who will be based at Ilkeston; Lauren Clark at Ashford; and Sarah Kelly at Andover.

Jonquil has worked in sales and management in various engineering fields over the last 10 years; Lauren has over seven years’ experience in sales and account management, previously working with H&H UK; and Sarah started working with DTE three years ago as a temp receptionist, before training as a designer.

We’re looking forward to introducing the new team members to customer accounts over the coming weeks.

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Luke comes out top at the TTJ Awards

2P3A4722We are very proud to announce that Luke Roberts won a TTJ Award in the Career Development category at a ceremony in London on Friday 29 September.

Well done, Luke – all of that hard work paid off!

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Luke Roberts shortlisted for TTJ Award

Luke RobertsWe are proud to announce that Luke Roberts has been shortlisted for a TTJ Award in the Career Development category.

The Career Development Award recognises achievement in training, qualifications and skills development of individual employees in the timber industry. Luke, a Business Development Director based at our Ilkeston branch, has worked in the industry for over 18 years. He joined DTE in 2008 and has advanced through the business, much in thanks to his hard work and commitment to personal development, including obtaining a post-graduate Diploma in Applied Management from Warwick Business School.

Now in their 21st year, the annual TTJ Awards showcase the timber sector as a major, modern and forward-looking industry and recognise its achievements in areas that are vital to business success.

The winners will be announced on 29 September at a ceremony in London. Well done, Luke – and good luck!

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DTE appoints new GM in Andover

Sean AnnellsWe have appointed Sean Annells as general manager of our Andover branch.

Sean joined DTE in 2015 as a design technician and has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. He first joined Gang-Nail Systems in 1996 as a trainee design engineer and worked his way up through the design team before taking a role as a technical support representative. Following 16 years with Gang-Nail, Sean took positions at Consultec Timber Frame and Scandia Hus.

Jonathan Fellingham, Managing Director of DTE, said: “With hands–on experience of product design, combined with roles involving client support, Sean has a proven ability to understand the needs of our customers and ensure that we provide solutions to support their projects efficiently and cost effectively.”

Commenting on his appointment, Sean said: “This is a great opportunity and I’m really looking forward to leading the team at Andover. Over the least two decades, I feel like I’ve picked up many of the best practices for customer service and operational management and I can’t wait to make a start at building on the already terrific work we do at Andover, and across all of DTE’s branches.”

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DTE’s Cramlington Branch Celebrates 25 Years

Scott Cairns, Jonathan Fellingham, Andrew Donaldson and Andrew Lee present long-serving staff with anniversary awards and certificatesWe are celebrating the 25th anniversary of our Cramlington, Northumberland branch.

DTE Cramlington, which supplies customers in the north east with trusses, spandrel panels, I-joists, and open web joists, was our first branch outside Scotland. In that time, the branch has gone from strength to strength and now has a turnover of £3.9m per annum.

Seven of the 30 current employees at Cramlington are also marking their quarter-century with DTE, including Keith Peart, who was general manager for 20 years before side-stepping into a technical sales role in 2012.

Commenting on the milestone, Jonathan Fellingham, managing director of DTE, said: “This is a terrific achievement for DTE and the Cramlington branch, with 25 years of operation confirming our position in the north east construction industry. Several members of the team have been with the branch since day one – and many customers have too – and we’re incredibly proud of this accomplishment.”

Andrew Lee took over from Peart as general manager five years ago. Commenting on the business, he said: “DTE is a family business and this ethos cascades down through all of the branches. We’ve got a solid team in Cramlington and the fact Keith and six other employees have been here for all 25 years really shows their loyalty and investment in the company. The local knowledge and expertise in the branch is unbeatable.”

The occasion was marked by a staff event at the branch, where Fellingham and Group managing director of James Donaldson & Sons, Scott Cairns, presented long-serving staff with anniversary awards and certificates.

DTE was established in Scotland in 1985 and has eight branches across the UK.

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