With over forty years’ experience in custom-made steel door solutions, Robust UK are the leading supplier of steel door solutions in the UK. They offer a wide range of products to suit your purpose in both the Industrial and Commercial sectors. Their whole product range is manufactured on their UK site, based in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.
Robust's doors are ideally used for projects within the transport, education, health, housing, industrial, warehousing and utilities markets; whether it’s for a new build or a refurbishment project, Robust UK has you covered.
In May 2019 they joined the Novoferm Group – the largest providers of door systems in Europe. This is an exciting opportunity for Robust UK and will allow them to extend their position with the UK and European markets. We spoke to them........
Tell us about the company and its journey so far
With over forty years’ experience, we are the UK’s leading supplier of steel door solutions. We offer a wide range of products to suit your purpose in the Industrial, Commercial and Residential sectors. Our whole product range is manufactured on our UK site, based in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.
Our doors are widely used for projects within the transport, education, health, housing, industrial, warehousing and utilities markets; whether it’s for a new build or a refurbishment project, Robust UK has you covered.
In May 2019 we joined the Novoferm Group – the largest providers of door systems in Europe. This is an exciting opportunity for Robust UK and has allowed us to extend our position within the UK and European markets.
We have been based in Stoke-on-Trent since the UK company was established in 1997, moving from Cheadle to Longton in 2015 when we outgrew our previous factory. We manufacture 90% of our product range from sheet materials on-site in Longton.
Robust doors are being used to replace existing doors which have reached the end of their lifespan on the bet365 Stadium, so we regularly have projects for the club going through the factory.
We are currently commencing an expansion programme to build another unit on our existing site which will allow us to increase capacity and output. This is planned to take place in 2022 and we hope to be complete by early 2023.
Tell us about what puts you ahead of your competitors….
We are incredibly thorough in our research and development, regularly sending our products for third-party testing and certification. This is vital in the construction industry as it ensures a well-respected, official third-party has tested our products and confirmed they perform how we say they do. We are members of several well-known, highly respected organisations that certify our products, including Secured by Design, LPCB and Warringtonfire.
What do you think is the key to running a successful business?
A successful business relies on a strong client base and customer support is essential, not only in building that client base but maintaining and growing it. It’s hard to achieve and easy to damage, so a constant customer focussed ethos is vital.
What's a normal week look like for the company?
We output around 400-450 doors a week – all of which are made entirely to order, so every week is different with different clients and specifications. To support this our sales office is outputting >300 quotations per week.
S-O-T is becoming a more creative city - agree?
The history and legacy of ceramics is still strong within the area but local specialists like Robust are bringing a new kind of creativity. We provide bespoke solutions to client requirements for hinged door projects which can often be an overlooked aspect of projects.
Improve S-O-T in less than 50 words
Investment – not just financial but also social and aspirational – make Stoke-on-Trent a place that people want to come to both live and work in. Pull mindsets into 21st Century and away from languishing in lost era’s of “Pits n Pots”.
How did/does Covid-19 affect the company?
Initially we scaled back production capacity to around 50% for the first few months of the pandemic, operating with reduced production staff and focussing on manufacturing products for clients working on critical infrastructure projects ie COVID wards, food manufacturing etc and introduced COVID policies ie social distancing, office-based staff WFH or furloughed.
However, after around 3 months we increased production back up to 100% and in all honesty, we’ve gone from strength to strength since. We finished 2020 strong and then 2021 was our best year to date. Hopefully this can continue into 2022!
What plans do you have for the business in 2022?
Expansion, we are building the new facility on site and investing £6m in this project for buildings and machinery. We have a long-term commitment to Stoke-on-Trent, having built the business from scratch within the ST postcode.