Recognising the importance of the Masonry sector within the SIG group, Ben Williams was appointed Strategic Masonry Director in June. We talked to Ben about the unique service his team offers the market which gives impartial specification advice to a range of customers and projects….
Ben Williams has been working in the construction market for 23 years. He is a great example of someone whose built a successful career having gone into work straight from school and he has built his wealth of technical knowledge from working in the industry.
Plotted Career history
His first job was in administration with Cemex at the age of 16, a producer and supplier of cement, aggregates and read-mix concrete. He was there for 3 years and then moved to Ancon for the next 11 years as an Area Sales Manager selling construction fixings for masonry and concrete. This was followed by a few years at Velux selling roof windows to the commercial market. Then at Duco who provide natural ventilation and solar shading to the construction industry. He joined SIG Construction Accessories in December 2020 as Divisional Brickwork Manager.
Masonry Design Team Function within SIG CA
Bens key responsibility now within the masonry category is on the technical design of masonry solutions. His team help SIG customers, be they architects or contractors at all levels, by providing impartial advice when specifying products within the masonry wall.
To those not involved in this industry, the role he and his colleagues have is a difficult one to explain. As a brickwork specialist, one would assume they get involved in the supply of bricks but they actually get involved in everything that goes into a cavity wall of a building, with the exception of bricks, blocks and mortar.
There are around 7 different products ranges that are specified within a masonry wall of a building and there are 5-6 manufacturers for each product range. The beauty and unique offer from Ben and his team is that SIG, as a distributor, deals with and stocks many different manufacturer products and can therefore provide impartial technical advice on the best solution for a specific project.
“The earlier we are involved, the more value we can add for our customer.”
Ben stresses the importance of getting his team involved at the very early stages of a project. They often engage early with architects, main contractors and national accounts, offering them a service to help them win the project work. He quoted a typical example would be where one of their contract customers quote for a job and it comes in above budget. Bens team get involved to identify where the project needs alternative solutions to help engineer costs whilst still adhering to the technical requirements, working with relevant manufacturer suppliers and saving them thousands of pounds on the cost of the package, to help their contractor customer get it over the line.
“Challenging the design intent is what we do best.” Said Ben. “Our design team work with our many manufacturing suppliers with a focus on adding value for the customer, not just on masonry but the complete SIG service package.”
The masonry design team, who are a growing team of four at present, are part of the Construction Accessories division at SIG. They work closely with the SIG CA Team within the branch network; Lyndsay Tonge, Oli Jex, Harry Bhachu and Jaz Chana who focus on standard masonry items (brickwork sundries) stocked and supplied from branch. Ben and his team also draw on the expertise of the SIG 360 team for U-Value Calculations and they include other products from the group like Structural Insulation, Fire Protection and Fixings in their recommendations and proposals. All this is to add a specialism and provide a solution for the SIG customer so that they don’t have to go to multiple different manufacturing suppliers to pull a project together.
So what would a Day in the Life of Ben Williams actually look like?
“It would be very varied. I could be in early project engagement with an architect or main contractor or brickwork subcontractor to advise on a future job. I could be liaising with manufacturer suppliers on the design or discussing how different manufacturer products can work together.
We continue to work with the customer throughout the complete process which takes time, so tracking all projects is an important part of the job. Even after the order is confirmed, we’re still involved through the design and approval process and managing the order through to the delivery of materials, which could be 6-12 months later.”
“We may have many plates to spin, but the service offered by the SIG team devoted to this service is pretty unique and we are very proud of the impartial advice and positive feedback we receive from the customers we have worked with.”
For more information on what the Masonry Design Team can offer your business, please get in touch at [email protected] or contact Ben directly: