FORWARD-THINKING F.H. BRUNDLE CELEBRATES 130 YEARS IN BUSINESS

It all started thanks to a £500 loan between father and son.

A wide-eyed Frederick Henry Brundle arrived in London with a dream of making it big and opened premises at 14 Paper Street EC1 the centre of the Packing Case Trade.

Spotting a gap in the market by selling nails and ironmongery, his attention to detail, careful product selection and quality made him stand out and his name quickly spread across the capital. 130 years on, those hallmarks remain at the heart of leading wholesale supplier F.H. Brundle.

Proud of its history and forward-thinking in its approach, the company has been successfully led by five generations of the Brundle family – Frederick, Frank, Henry, Richard and Michael.

It all started thanks to a £500 loan between father and son.

A wide-eyed Frederick Henry Brundle arrived in London with a dream of making it big and opened premises at 14 Paper Street EC1 the centre of the Packing Case Trade.

Spotting a gap in the market by selling nails and ironmongery, his attention to detail, careful product selection and quality made him stand out and his name quickly spread across the capital. 130 years on, those hallmarks remain at the heart of leading wholesale supplier F.H. Brundle.

Proud of its history and forward-thinking in its approach, the company has been successfully led by five generations of the Brundle family – Frederick, Frank, Henry, Richard and Michael.

The company had to overcome the Blitz which destroyed their headquarters in Paper Street, resulting in a subsequent move to Hackney in 1940.

The move to Hackney was supposed to be a temporary one, until suitable alternative accommodation could be found.

Just over 50 years later, in 1998, the company moved from its Hackney premises to Stratford, into a refurbished warehouse and offices, only to be compulsory purchased after it was announced London was to host the 2012 Olympics. F.H. Brundle then moved its headquarters in the Spring of 2007 to its present location in Rainham, Essex.

Under the guidance of Richard, Frederick’s son, a further five new branches were opened as Richard quickly recognised and spotted opportunities within the industry.

That trait of careful product selection resulted in the addition of welded wire mesh, perforated metal and wrought iron components to name a few making F.H. Brundle one of the largest independent steel stockists in the UK.

Today, the name F.H. Brundle is synonymous with the same values, quality and competitive prices first established way back in 1889 with the tradition of a proud family history at its core.

But as Michael Brundle, Managing Director and fifth generation of the family business  readily admits, it is the company’s forward-thinking, agile and flexible approach that has ensured it has grown and thrived.

Mr Brundle said: “While we are incredibly proud to celebrate 130 years in business, we have always been looking for the next opportunity to innovate and evolve our product range, whilst trying and adapt quickly to changes in the marketplace.

“We have maintained a loyal customer base by choosing products at the right price, offering excellent service levels with friendly staff to deliver sustained growth of the company.”

This personal touch has been a feature of the company since  its very first days of business. Mr Brundle added: “One of the main reasons behind the company’s success is that we have always adapted to the changing needs

of customers by listening and responding.We continually search the world for product opportunities to bring into the UK.

“This approach has seen the addition of Pro-Railing, our stainless steel handrail component system, Rinato WPC and Polymer deck and fence boards.

“And, more recently Marano, a stunning range of anodised aluminium fencing and railing systems that are long lasting, low maintenance and lightweight to work with.”

Spotting an opportunity and supporting it with investment has always been key to delivering growth, and in 1998 the company’s first website was launched, followed by an ecommerce site in 2010.

This allowed customers to order 24/7 for delivery on one of the company’s 60 strong fleet of vehicles that utilise software technology to optimise the best routes, or trade counter collection.

A design office was opened in 2012 to support the design and development of new systems and products.

With the latest advancements in 3D printing the company in now able to produce prototypes and reduce its time to market for the likes of its  Sleeve-Fit Brackets used with glass clamps that deal with slopes, curves and stairs and can be built without drilling the stainless steel posts.

Most recently introduced is Liveconfigurator, a free real time design software that helps customers design handrail and balustrades using Pro-Railing products.

A major investment landmark in 2016 was the opening its new distribution centre in Burton- On-Trent, which increased the company’s overall warehousing capacity to 500,000 sq/ft – the equivalent size of almost 10 football pitches.

It allowed the centralisation of its stockholding and better service to the network of branches, while also offering the potential for bulk- buying opportunities. This ultimately ensured more competitive prices for its range of 9,200+ stocked product lines purchased by 40,000+ customers annually.

Mr Brundle said “There are not many businesses who survive and adapt over 130 years. “A huge thank you goes out to our awesome customers, and my incredible team, who have supported the business over the many years.

“We will continue to work as hard as possible to ensure F.H. Brundle remains at the forefront
of the industry and customers we serve for many, many more years to come and we look forward to being of service.”

To find out more about F.H. Brundle, please visit www.fhbrundle.co.uk

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