As with previous years 2018 was an incredibly busy and exciting time here at HPP; new products being launched, existing services being improved and extended and an appearance of a large crane was seemingly a regular occurrence!
So without further ado, here's a quick recap of some of the things that happened at HPP in 2018!
At the beginning of the year, we launched the latest version of our trade catalogue, 50% bigger than before and showcasing more than 6,000 products compared with 4,500 contained in our previous catalogue. At the same time we introduced a handles brochure, designed to be used in conjunction with our A Unique Choice brochures, giving end-customers a clear picture of our extensive range.
In February we introduced a new sample service for our Aspire vinyl-wrapped door range, allowing trade customers to order 320 x 280mm sample doors and A4 vinyl swatches for same-day collection or next-day nationwide delivery. With these samples referencing our A Unique Choice brand, they can be sent direct to end-consumers, further reinforcing the selling process.
In April we extended our flatpack cabinet offerings with the EasyCab range. Using the tried-and-tested cam & dowel construction, there's a whole host of options of wall and base units in either
white or light grey. Fully pre-drilled and flat packed for ease of transportation, there's everything required to build a solid and dependable unit on which to hang some of our fabulous doors!
August brought about a significant change to our Aspects range of PVC doors. Due to the ever-growing demand for more variety, Aspects Optima was developed to allow every single one of our range of 18mm MFC decors to be available as PVC edged doors for the first time. It also heralded a new real-time optimisation engine and ordering system, allowing customers to see precisely the cutting pattern for every sheet within their order.
With our newest warehouse finally fitted out and fully operational, it was time to fill it. It's become our worktop storage facility, and with the extra space (alongside our Egger and Wilsonart ranges) we welcomed Bushboard into the fold, offering their 'Options' range of worktops.
Aside from new product ranges and marketing support, we made great strides in promoting both Oldham and manufacturing in several keys areas. We were shortlisted for the
'Made In The North West' Awards, and towards the end of the year, were extremely proud to be selected as finalists at the Manchester Evening News Business of the Year Awards. We didn't win but we certainly put our local manufacturing skills firmly on the UK map, raising our profile in the process. We also joined the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the largest in the UK with over 5000 members, giving us the opportunity to share our knowledge and raise our profile with the region's business community.
Once again, 2018 wasn't short of cranes and assorted heavy machinery. As the business continued to grow and develop throughout the year, there was always a requirement for more storage space or adapting existing buildings for a new purpose. Some of the cranes were quite small - a little extension here and there - whilst a major development throughout 2018 was the building of our biggest 'all new' warehouse to date, our previously mentioned worktop storage facility.
HPP would be nothing without its staff, and once again, 2018 was a busy year on the personnel front. Notable additions in 2018 to the administrative side of the business included Josh in Production Planning, Damon in Accounts and Henley to the Marketing team.
As well as HPP continuing as proud Premier Patrons of Mahdlo, a state-of-the-art Youth Zone in the heart of Oldham, delivering high quality, innovative activities and experiences for young people, we also took in several charity fundraisers throughout the year. We joined forces with several other KBB partners to support KBB Review magazine in their quest across Europe for the Vado Rally; a team from our office staff took part in the 'Pretty Muddy' challenge for Cancer Research UK; as a business we took part in the 'Wear It Pink Day for Breast Cancer Now and just before we finished for the festive break we participated in the Christmas Jumper Day, raising funds for Save The Children.
As well as catering for our trade customers with an extensive range of products and services, we'd like to think we can look after them too if they visit our Oldham site. At the start of 2018 we announced the installation of a workplace defibrillator. We're hoping we never have to use it on any of our 200+ staff, guests or visitors but in case of such an incident occurring somewhere across the Oldham site, we're confident we'll give someone a fighting chance of surviving a cardiac arrest.
Towards the end of the year, our assembly of First Aid-trained staff grew to take into account the increased staff numbers and additional shifts we've introduced in certain production areas, and ongoing Health and Safety developments and legislative requirements, including respiratory protective measures ensured our Health and Safety team's training programme was a busy yet productive one.
We've got lots more planned for 2019 too, with new products, developments and enhancements to our service and facilities, so keep up to date with our progress. Sign up to our newsletter below, and follow HPP on Facebook and Twitter.