German firm shows energy with MK investment
Growing interest in renewable energy techniques from the commercial build sector is underpinning a multi-million pound investment programme at the UK headquarters of German photovoltaic, steel and aluminium supplier, Schüco.It is the UK division’s biggest-ever expansion, representing a major investment at its Milton Keynes headquarters in both people and operating systems and the result of five years of soaring demand for all types of Schüco systems including its range of solar energy and photovoltaic products.
Under the ‘Schüco Means Business’ initiative, Schüco UK will increase staff head count by 30 per cent, increase the volume of stock held in its central warehouse in Milton Keynes – now at 800 tonnes of systems-components – and increase its fleet of lorries and trailers by 20 per cent to cope with the increased demand. As the new fleet is also 20 per cent more fuel efficient, despite its increase in size it will run on the same amount of fuel as the previous fleet. On the façade system side, Schüco has also expanded its range in order to compete effectively in the more cost-driven end of the market and the work of its technical advisory team in Milton Keynes is now being mirrored by a small and newly-established project office in London, which effectively doubles Schüco’s national technical support capacity. “Turnover at Schüco has experienced double digit growth in the UK,” said spokesman, Lester Corney. “Though the market has also expanded during this period, the company’s growth has been ahead of it. “It is now a leader in the mid and top end of the market, supplying both new build and refurbished commercial offices and more recently, in schools and healthcare.” Schüco UK’s recruitment drive is expected to be complete by the end of 2008, increasing its service offering especially in its sales, sales administration and estimating teams, taking the total figure to 163 at the last count. The company has also just completed the Network Centre, a major new permanent exhibition facility in Milton Keynes that it believes to be the biggest exhibition of curtain walling and window systems in the UK. The Centre, which also showcases the company’s range of aluminium louvre blades and portfolio of solar products, will additionally be used for seminars and presentations both by Schüco and by the network of clients and customers, such as fabricators, architects and specifiers, with whom it does business. Based in Bielefeld, Germany, Schüco International KG provides a comprehensive range of products for the whole building envelope and has approximately 4,500 employees in more than 70 countries worldwide.