A FAMILY RUN, Kent based roofing firm is celebrating its success over the past five years with a move to bigger and better new premises.
G Baker Roofing Ltd has seen steady growth of its turnover on a consistent basis over recent years. Contracts range from public sector refurbishment projects in education, local authority and healthcare. There has been a steady rise in partnering with principal contractors and a move in to the new build sector. This has meant more recruitment for the company, growing to an employed staff of 10 with a regular team of subcontractors depending on workload.
The new Maidstone premises boast a larger office space, reception area, meeting rooms and extended storage facilities.
John explains, “Investing in these new premises will help us to work more closely with our clients. We now have a greater ability to invite potential clients to come and find out more about us and showcase what we can do. Once restrictions ease, we now have the ability to interact more personally with clients and manufacturers. We also have a larger space to assist with in house training for our staff.
“2020 was a tough year of course with the pandemic but we managed to still hit the numbers we look for. Part of the reason we’ve been so successful is our reputation for quality of workmanship on site and going that extra mile for our clients. We are also proud recipients of the NFRC Gold Health and Safety Award over a number or recent years.”
The company’s main services are predominantly bituminous roofing as well as liquid applied waterproofing, green roofs, single ply and pitched. The company’s core business is education refurbishment.
John is wary of the pitfalls of rapid growth, preferring expansion to be achieved organically by keeping overheads low and focusing on building the reputation of G Baker Roofing Ltd through quality and customer service as well as its health and safety performance.
Central to this, John explains, is ensuring all the workforce are fully qualified and competent. The employees, although mostly in their early 30’s are qualified to a high level.
“We focus on training from within and each member holds the CITB SMSTS, an NVQ, CSCS card and also enhanced DBS checks. We also work closely to achieve manufacturer training on and off site.
“They are a great team – we’re pretty demanding, it’s a 24/7 operation. I know that if I have to ring them on the weekends they’ll come out, but we also socialise together. Once here, they stay,” John adds.
Flat Roofing Trailblazer
Although the employees are vetted and approved installers, that’s not to say they have nothing left to learn. Dean McCabe, was one of the first enrolments nationwide on the new Langley Flat Roofing Trailblazer course. This is helping to upskill and update his qualifications in liquid applied roofing, single ply and BUFR.
Attending the course means staying up to date with the latest products and best practices. This is vital for installing the range of roofing the company offers, including products from Alumasc, Bauder, Garland, Icopal/BMI, IKO, Langley, Soprema and TOR Coatings.
The company’s solid reputation also stems from it being a family-run business. While John runs the company day to day, working on tenders, valuations, materials procurement and the many other daily operations of the business, his father Glenn has continued operating between sites as a Director and his mother, Lynn is the Company Accountant. They are joined by sister, Samantha who is responsible for Health and Safety compliance and holds various NEBOSH qualifications.
Glenn Baker and brother Geoff took the business to limited status in 2007 with Geoff retiring in 2016. Collectively the pair built up over 90 years of industry experience between them and have overseen much change. It is John and Samantha who will take the business forward and together they plan company strategy in the medium term.
John says, “We’re in it for the long game and that’s why our focus is on quality and reputation. Over recent years we have try to remain risk adverse with the type of contract with bid for. It has to work for us on price, but we also know that we can add value through the high standard of work we install. We’ll keep everything in house, grow organically over the next 5-10 years and maintain our profitability.
“For now, we’re looking at building up the pipeline for Q2 and look forward to a busy 2021 for the entire industry.”