Peter Grant and Connect become Northwood Hygiene Products
08 October 2014
During 2012 Northwood acquired Peter Grant Papers, thus joining Connect Hygiene Products in the Northwood family of paper related businesses. Now the two companies are being brought together to form Northwood Hygiene Products with effect from November 2014. Cleaning Matters talks to Brian Tarry, sales and marketing director and a key member of the senior team responsible for making it happen
Cleaning Matters (CM) - You have now successfully amalgamated the two businesses, what were your key priorities over the last year?
Brian Tarry (BT) – Our most important consideration was to look after our customers, to make sure that there was no disruption in service or supply. It was for that reason that we kept the two businesses separate until we were sure that the significant capital investment that has been made in the new back office support systems all worked properly.
CM – But there must have been other changes to be made.
BT – Of course, businesses aren’t merged for things to stay the same. The objective is to harness the strengths of the two companies and to look for added efficiencies.
CM – You operate from two sites, Telford and Penygroes in North Wales, will that continue?
BT – Oh yes. It will remain much as before. Almost all customers will continue to order and receive deliveries from whichever location they used previously.
CM –With all your ducks in a row, where is your focus now?
BT – The whole of the UK away-from-home disposable paper workplace and washroom sector. We are UK based and with access to our own mills at Lancaster and Disley, both of which have seen considerable new investment, we can pretty much guarantee supply both for now and the foreseeable future. As the clear number three in our home market, well-resourced and with the support of the other Northwood companies, we see ourselves as a genuinely credible alternative to any of our competitors. By bringing additional choice to the sector we like to think it keeps all of us on our toes. We are also looking to launch a new and exciting wiping range under the Perform brand, which includes reviving the well regarded Bosswipes name, so watch this space!
CM -What do you think the competition’s strengths are?
BT – Ha, I think they can answer that better than me. But I can tell you what we bring to the market. We have strengthened our existing management team and believe that these hugely experienced and professional people know the UK market as well, if not better, than anyone. Coupling that expertise to our short lines of management, the decision making is quick, our responsiveness to customer needs remarkable and we have a culture of high level customer service that is acknowledged across the sector. We recently flew in some prototype dispensers to help a valued distributor to pitch for an important contract which they then secured. They thought that was kind of cool!
CM – What differences will your customers actually see in terms of packaging, branding etc?
BT – Not many differences at all. Leonardo and a refreshed Essentials branding will be the cornerstone of most of our future development. Essentials will now be available across the company and we will continue to offer a private label service to selected companies.
CM –You speak of Leonardo, that has been a success hasn’t it?
NHP – It has! It’s a brand that has clear features and benefits and we are pleased that it has delivered so many solutions. Of course, nothing stands still, which is why we are committed to continually researching and developing new ways to deliver appropriate hygiene standards. Hygiene is in Leonardo’s brand DNA, we’ll never give that up.