Rely on Rowlinson rolls off the tongue but it’s no gimmicky strapline. It reflects what this timber importer is all about.
Founded in 1926, Rowlinson Timber is a family concern that has established itself as a significant UK distributor, stockist and wholesaler of imported carcassing and fencing materials.
With a headquarters near Nantwich in Cheshire and a treatment facility down in Sheerness in Kent, Rowlinson Timber is perfectly placed to service an ever-growing number of builders and timber merchants across the UK.
Sales Manager Claire Innes took up the story: “It’s a familyowned business with Jimmy Rowlinson, grandson of founder James Rowlinson, currently in charge. He’s from this part of Cheshire and runs a number of businesses that form part of the Rowlinson Group.
“We import the vast majority of our timber from Sweden, Germany and the Baltic states into the port at Sheerness where we carry out green Lonza treatments in our high-pressure tank. From there we ship out to several hundred customers across the country. End users are predominantly from the landscaping and building sectors including many fencing contractors.
“We’re a small team of 9 here in Cheshire and have very recently been accredited the WPA benchmark for treatment. We’re proud to have achieved that accreditation as it acts as areassurance to our customers that our ground contact treated timber is fit for purpose,” added Claire who joined the firm in 2019 before being promoted to Sales Manager last year.
Rowlinson are members of a few different buying groups across Britain aimed at bringing costs down across their supply chain. The company also carry out treatment for third parties.
Claire continued: “We have a number of timber buyers who use our facilities for green treatments. We outsource brown treatments. In terms of volume, we have a capacity to treat over 150000 cubic meters of timber per year.
“The last couple of years have been challenging for everyone, ourselves included but we have managed to navigate a way through these difficult times. The last twelve months have seen supply and pricing issues and now we have the impact of the horrible war in Ukraine bearing down on us in terms of increasing energy costs.
“No one is immune to these effects but we all have to put a brave face on it and be positive. The business is on a sound footing but we have to continually be sensitive and reactive to what is going on in the marketplace.
“Flexibility is key and, in that respect, Rowlinson is well placed as we have changed our business model. We no longer hold large stocks of timber down in Kent. What comes in to the port, goes out quite rapidly to satisfy demand. We are as nimble as we could be.
“Additionally we don’t put all our eggs in one basket and source from a number of mills. We use a numberof suppliers who are able to react, respond and plug gaps when issues arise.
“We cannot escape the fact that prices are rising across the board. We have to be very careful with our pricing policy and absorb costs when we can.
“In terms of the impact of Brexit, we are now seeing most of our suppliers dual certifying using both the EU’s CE mark and the UK’s CA mark that’s being instituted from 2023. We are ready for all eventualities.
“There is still significant demand for fencing, landscaping and construction timber and weare ready and willing to respond to those needs.
“Customer service is key right now. We pride ourselves on our honesty and communicate regularly with our account holders. Ourstrapline ‘Rely on Rowlinson’ is more than just words!” concluded Claire.
In four years’ time, Rowlinson will be celebrating its centenary and you suspect that this well run, responsive family firm will be perfectly placed to continue progressing well into its second century!