Thorncliffe Building Supply expand fibo Collect across North Wales
Thorncliffe Building Supplies
Thorncliffe Building supplies an independent builders merchant invest in the UK’s first ‘fibo Collect: a self-service batching plant for concrete, mortar, and screed.
Thorncliffe Building Supplies Ltd is amongst the largest independent builder’s merchants in North Wales and the North West of England. With roots dating back to 1987 the company supplies a range of high-quality supplies, including building materials, timber, steel, plumbing and heating equipment, plant hire, and waste management and skip hire services.
The company has strategically placed branches in Dyserth and Ewloe well-equipped to service both trade professionals and the general public.
Thorncliffe is a proud member of NMBS (the National Merchant Buying Society), a centralised buying society for independent builders, timber, hardware, plumbing, and heating merchants.
In February 2023 Thorncliffe BS opened the UK’s first fibo Collect: “a fully automated, self-service batching plant for concrete, mortar and screed” at its Ewloe branch. The new concept helped Thorncliffe establish a new USP and quickly took off with with sales increasing rapidly over the first three months leading to the acquisition of a second machine which was delivered and installed at the Dyserth site (30km away from Ewloe) in June 2023.
The challenge for Thorncliffe customers
Builders, landscapers, groundworkers & DIYers in need of small to medium loads of concrete, mortar or screed typically receive it in one of three ways :
1. They mix themselves on site: This can be an expensive and often time-consuming route
2. Collection from the local ready-mix plant: This brings about problems with waiting times and issues when special mixes are required
3. Delivered to the site by volumetric trucks: Customers are often subject to minimum order charges, issues with waste disposal and problems with waiting times.
The Thorncliffe team saw this as an opportunity to disrupt the market and offer customers a solution to the challenge by investing in a ‘drive-in, drive-out’ solution for concrete, mortar and screed.
Tim Harper (Managing Director) and son Adam Harper (Site Manager) spotted the fibo Collect opportunity late in 2022 and challenged fibo Intercon to develop a solution that allowed their customers the opportunity to collect concrete, screeds and mortar without any cross contamination.
fibo Intercon was able to refine the existing fibo Collect solution to meet their needs. fibo Collect is a versatile batching plant capable of producing 60 recipes accompanied by a 21″ touch screen terminal, bar code generator, and internal washout technology with remote access hosted on an SFTP server.
fibo Collect enables customers to collect exactly the right amount of concrete, mortar and screed exactly when they need it at the push of a button. With orders from as little as 0.25m3. It is specifically designed to help customers save both time and money whilst providing a greener and less wasteful solution.
The customer at Thorncliffe Building Supplies
Thorncliffe customers access the fibo Collect service following a simple 4-step method in the branch :
1. The initial order is placed at the till
2. The customer collects a barcode
3. The customer’s vehicle or tub is positioned under the conveyor belt
4. Finally customers self-serve by scanning their barcode at the fibo Collect touch screen terminal to start mixing
For a small load of concrete under 0.8m3 the entire mixing and pouring process is complete in under 5 minutes. Larger loads vary.
The early succes signals
The fibo Collect concept was launched in February 2023 and was met with a hugely positive response from local Thorncliffe customers.
Highlights include :
- A record of 9.5m³ sold to collect customers in a single day
- Sales increasing steadily to around 5 – 7m³ per day
- An average order size per collection of 0.5m³ to 0.6m³
- Customers collecting 0.5m³ of C20 saving between £60 – £130 versus mixing on site
- Ratio of concrete to mortar sales settles at around 50% : 50%
- New markets emerging with contractors supporting utility companies
- A steady increase in repeat customers
- Top Recipes: Mortar (4:1) Class 2 – 2 Day / Gen 1 C10 Con. S1 10N
“We are delighted to introduce this new technology to our customers as we think it will be a game changer. When we saw the machine in action we immediately thought about our local customers and the many benefits they could gain from having the collect service”.
(Adam Harper, Thorncliffe Building Supplies)
Following the early success at Ewloe the company were quick to order a second machine to be strategically placed at their Dyserth site located around 30km away.
By expanding the number of sites offering the solution Thorncliffe are growing its customer base as more and more local businesses embrace fibo Collect as the preferred solution for small loads across the region. The solution allows them to attract new customers from local competitors whilst offering their existing customers a new ‘blue ocean’ concept.
Mobile Concrete Batching Plant F-model
The F-model is a mobile concrete batching plant with 4 hoppers. It is built on a solid frame, with legs.
The batching plant features different size mixers, very precise dosing, and many options to produce any kind of concrete required. As a result, Fibo Intercon mobile batching plant will precisely produce the required amount of concrete, without waste of time or materials.
The F-model is available in 3 sizes depending on the capacity you need. The capacity varies from 10 to 45 m³/hour.