MD Giles Fielding and his highly skilled manufacturing team know more or less everything there is to know about roto moulding. Producing contract moulded products to solve a multitude of problems, as well as their own range of items, everyone at Excelsior prides themselves on never saying no to a challenge. We asked Giles to take 10 minutes out of his busy schedule so we could find out more:
How did you get into the business?
I was employed in the Travel industry in 1999 but was looking for a new challenge when my father asked whether I would be interested in joining the family business. At that time Excelsior employed a French Marketing Manager who had decided to leave for pastures new so I jumped at the opportunity and the rest is history!
What was your first role, best role and what other roles have you had at Excelsior?
I came into the business as Marketing Manager, I had always wanted a Sales and Marketing role and I specifically wanted the interaction with customers that I knew the role would offer. With any family business, you know that it will be hard work with lots to learn and plenty of challenges, but I was determined to learn the ropes. I became a Director in March 2004, Joint Managing Director (MD) in 2006 and then MD in October 2012. Being MD is the most challenging role, my father has been retired for several years but it still very much involved with the business and it has been fantastic to learn so much from him. We are a young team and we won’t get everything right 100% of the time, anyone who professes too isn’t being entirely honest, but we have a very knowledgeable, committed group of people which is what counts.
What’s the best thing about your job?
What I love about manufacturing is the fact that no two days are ever the same! There is something very satisfying in seeing products being physically made. People knock British manufacturing but we like to shout about it. Being in an area that is well known for its cotton mills, I am very proud of the fact that over 100 years later we are still here and are doing well in such a niche market. Excelsior is renowned for dealing with people in the right way whether they be customers or suppliers, and this is one area where we like to set ourselves apart from some of our competition and is one of the reasons why so many of our staff stay with us for so long. If you can’t be passionate about plastic then you’re in trouble!
Why do you think your customers choose Excelsior?
We feel that we offer something a little different to other roto moulders both in terms of our skill base and also our services. Firstly, we have fantastic CAD design experience so customers get to work closely with us on their design and see the entire project come to life stage by stage – not many moulders offer that level of service.
Secondly, we own our own sheet steel tool making division which helps enormously in terms of price, lead time and advice. Where a project requires aluminium or CNC tooling, we work closely with the very best UK and European tool makers to manage every stage of a bespoke project with our customers. Last but not least, we are family owned and run, and as such we take customer service very seriously, we are 112 this year and our aim is to be here in another 100 years!
What’s been the most challenging project and why?
There have been many over the years, but of our most recent work I would say that the range of plastic lockers that we helped to design have been very challenging. Our customer wanted the lockers to be different from anything in the market currently, new features had to be incorporated and for a roto moulding, some of these were very challenging. Projects of this nature take time but when they reach the sampling stage it is all very worthwhile. We have a very happy customer and as a result are delighted to have been nominated for the 2014 Plastics Industry Awards which take place in London in October, so watch this space!
What’s next for Excelsior?
We are looking at various investments at the moment, details of which will appear on our website in the near future. We are also aiming to relocate to larger premises as we have now outgrown our current site, it’s a great problem to have but requires patience!