3 August 2022

The Donaldson Group announces senior appointment

Leading timber expert, Donaldson Group, has appointed Steve Galbraith as Managing Director of two of its merchant retail and distribution subsidiary businesses, in addition to his existing position as Managing Director of Nu-Style Products.

In his new role, Steve will take on the management of Scotland’s leading independent timber merchant, MGM Timber and insulation material and specialist building product supplier, James Donaldson Insulation.

With responsibility for the development of the businesses, Steve will be supported by MGM Timber’s senior leadership team, and James Donaldson Insulation. The teams will play a key role in meeting ambitious growth goals, as well as building on their already prominent reputations.

Well known in the industry, Steve has 23 years of experience in merchanting and distribution. He joined the Donaldson Group in 2018 as commercial director of Nu-Style Products, where he was brought on board to support the company’s UK-wide growth trajectory. A high-quality laminate panel manufacturer, Nu-Style Products is best known for its shower panel brand, Perform Panel, which the business has been manufacturing for over 35 years.

Steve became Managing Director of Nu-Style Products in April 2019, and has been leading the five-year strategy for the business, which has included a £1 million investment to increase both capacity and the opening of its first branch in England. New machinery and an upgraded site has substantially increased production capacity for Perform Panel, enabling Nu-Style Products to grow sales across the UK, while boosting the product range, moving from 16 decors to over 50.

Before joining Nu-Style Products, Steve worked at SIG for 19 years in a number of roles, including internal and external sales, warehouse and stock control, multi-site management and, most recently, for 10 years as branch director of SIG in Aberdeen and Inverness.

Commenting on the appointment, Andrew Donaldson, CEO of Donaldson Group, said: “Steve has proved to be an excellent leader over the last four years with Nu-Style Products. He has taken the business through a transitional period, with a new branch in England and a second to follow before the end of the year. He’s ideally placed to work with the excellent teams at MGM Timber and James Donaldson Insulation to take both businesses to the next level, and I look forward to seeing them develop under his leadership.”

Steve added: “This is a fantastic opportunity and I’m proud to be taking on this new role within Donaldson Group. I’m extremely fortunate to be inheriting such a strong, experienced, market-leading team, and I’m looking forward to working with them to grow the businesses in line with the Donaldson Group strategy. Core to this will be ensuring the teams have even better tools and skills with which to do their jobs – adding value for our staff, which will result in even better service and added value for our customers.”

Currently led by the sixth generation of Donaldson, the 162-year-old Donaldson Group comprises 11 specialist timber and building product businesses, operating throughout the UK from 46 locations employing over 1600 people. The businesses that make up the Group trade and operate independently, sharing best practice, innovation, purchasing synergies, and market analysis.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Holly Russell

Pagoda Public Relations

07850 662849

holly.russell@pagodapr.com

 

Notes to Editors:

About Donaldson Group

The Donaldson Group has been operating in Fife for over 160 years, and over time has grown exponentially through innovation and acquisition, and investment in key businesses that complement the Group’s current capabilities.

The 11 businesses that make up the Group trade and operate independently and are market leaders in their respective fields of timber engineering, saw-milling and distribution, merchanting, roofing and cladding distribution, and laminate manufacturing. As part of the JDG family, they share best practice, innovation, purchasing synergies, and market analysis.

James Donaldson Timber Ltd: forest product importer, further processor and national distributor.

Donaldson Timber Engineering Ltd: leading national manufacturer of roof trusses and flooring systems.

Donaldson Timber Systems: the UK’s market leading offsite timber systems manufacturer.

MGM Timber (Scotland) Ltd: Scotland’s leading independent timber merchant with 14 branches. Open to trade and public.

James Donaldson Insulation Ltd: distributor of insulation products to the trade.

Nu-Style Products Ltd: manufacturer of laminate panels, including Perform Panel brand and furniture.

Rowan Manufacturing Ltd: joinery manufacturer of door sets, stairs and windows.

Smith & Frater Ltd: design and manufacture of kitchens and home office furniture.

Kitchens International Ltd: Scotland’s leading independent kitchen retailer with 6 showrooms across Scotland.

Stonecare: leading supplier of solid worktops to the UK kitchen industry.

Plane & Simple: online DIY marketplace, featuring high quality building materials and home improvement supplies.

www.donaldson-group.co.uk

 

The Donaldson Group took home three awards at this year’s Fife Business Awards – Community Partnership; Creativity & Innovation; and Marketing Award.

The Fife Business Awards took place on Friday 27th May at the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews and recognises the best of Fife Businesses and on this occasion, their resilience over the last 2 years.

Community Partnership Award

This Award recognises a business that has had a successful partnership with a local charity or community project in Fife in the last two years, in which its involvement is contributing to the charity’s success.

Donaldson Group won this award as a result of its charity partnership with Maggie’s which included raising over £53,000 over a 12-18month period, working with Maggie’s to develop a calendar of fundraising events to engage with our colleagues across the UK, and our donations to local foodbanks at Christmas.

Creativity & Innovation

This is awarded to a business that demonstrates a constant focus on innovation to deliver better performance and outcomes. Donaldson Group was awarded this based on its work on Continuous Improvement across the Group – empowering everyone to positively challenge the way we do things, eliminate waste and become as efficient as we can be.

Marketing Award

This award recognises a business who is able to demonstrate tangible marketing successes in the last two years. This was awarded to the Donaldson Group as a result of its successful marketing campaign for its TC4U brand, of which this success has since persuaded other businesses within the Group to invest in pay per click marketing campaigns and has shown that experimenting with new strategies can pay off and bring increased revenue.

Mike Donaldson, Executive Chairman of the Donaldson Group, commented, “It’s an honour to be recognised amongst a strong line-up of successful Fife businesses for these three awards. As a 162-year-old, sixth generation family business, we know that we couldn’t have achieved this without our fantastic family of 1600+ colleagues throughout the Group, especially over the last 2 years. As One Donaldson Family, these awards are a testament to our colleagues’ hard work and their commitment to our values and so I would like to thank them for their continued support and dedication.”

 

Leading timber expert, the Donaldson Group, has announced the launch of online roof truss ordering service, Donaldson Direct.

The new platform provides a simple and fast way to order roof trusses, which will be delivered to site in just five working days.

Available to access online for delivery direct to customers within a 100-mile radius from a dedicated site in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire (AL7 1AD). This service is ideal for self-builders, small developers, independent builders, and architects in need of high-quality, carefully crafted trusses. It is also valuable for timber merchants to quickly and easily source a range of trusses for their customers.

Users input their truss requirements via an instant quote function on the website. The Donaldson Direct team then confirms requirements via telephone within 24 hours and issues drawings for the truss designs. Following approval, confirmation of dimensions and agreement of payment terms, trusses are delivered direct to site within five working days.

Donaldson Direct is the newest part of the Donaldson Group, a family business with over 160 years’ experience in timber importing and distribution, as well as decades of experience in timber engineering and merchanting.

Commenting on the launch of Donaldson Direct, Managing Director, Luke Roberts said: “We’re excited to bring this new online concept to the market. Timber roof trusses are the most widely used roofing solution – they are sustainable, simple to erect and offer a flexible solution to a wide range of roofing projects such as new builds, extensions, and residential developments.

“At Donaldson Direct, we understand that sometimes you just need a price without having to wait for someone to call you back. With this new service you can get an instant online quote any time, day or night. We also understand that you don’t always have the luxury of being able to access lots of storage space so you can’t order materials too far in advance. Equally, you don’t want to put your project on hold waiting for key items to arrive on site. We deliver directly to you within five working days, so there are no delays and no uncertainty. You can really trust Donaldson Direct to deliver.”

Andrew Donaldson, CEO of the Donaldson Group, added: “Donaldson Direct sums up the Donaldson ethos perfectly – an innovative approach to meeting the needs of our customers; with the promise to deliver a high quality, sustainable product. We’ve been experts in manufacturing roof trusses for volume builders for over 30 years, so it’s great to see this expertise now tailored through Donaldson Direct with a dedicated focus on lower-volume builders and self-builders. This is an exciting new addition to the Group, and we look forward to seeing it develop.”

Following on from a busy year in 2021 which saw major growth for the group through multiple acquisitions, the formerly known James Donaldson & Sons has officially rebranded as Donaldson Group.

Led by 6th generation members of the Donaldson family, Andrew and Mike Donaldson, the rebrand has seen an update to the business name, as well as a new logo, new look and branding.

The change in name for the business, which has been known as James Donaldson & Sons since it was founded in 1860, signifies the change in vision for the group as it looks to be a progressive leader in its markets across the UK – celebrating its 162-year legacy while building positive futures for the next generation.

While the Donaldson Group is a family business, it is also a family of businesses, with 11 expert businesses and 6 additional brands now part of the group. Each business is autonomous in its trading, but together they are uniquely positioned to share best practice and manufacturing excellence – working together to offer integrated market leading off-site timber systems, bespoke interiors and ancillary merchanting to provide our customers with unparalleled quality, design and innovation.

Group CEO, Andrew Donaldson, explains, “Since taking over the leadership of the business, Mike and I were keen to develop a clear vision for the future – celebrating our heritage but also working towards positive futures for our colleagues, our communities and our partners, all while staying true to our values.”

“Therefore, we decided to drop the ‘& Sons’ from our business name in order to become a more inclusive business, uniting our family of businesses and taking the group forward into the next 162 years. This is a big change, but I am very excited to lead the business and pave the way for the next generation.”

Following the acquisition in 2021, Donaldson Timber Systems (DTS) is the new brand of the business formerly known as Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS).

Since its acquisition in December 2021, all staff and operations have moved over to the Donaldson Group, with Managing Director, Rod Allan and the former SMTS Board of Directors continuing to drive the business.

Alex Goodfellow, formerly Stewart Milne Group Managing Director – Strategic Development, has a new role in the Donaldson Group, as CEO of Donaldson Off-site.

Donaldson Timber Systems prides itself on being highly sustainable, innovative and efficient. With unrivalled experience and knowledge in timber, DTS has an established history of bringing new commercial and operational innovations to the market. One example is the Sigma® II closed panel system offering near-passivhaus standards of insulation and sustainability. The system is being widely used with housing developers, particularly with those interested in whole life costs and fabric performance, contributing positively to fuel poverty challenges.

Rod Allan, Managing Director, Donaldson Timber Systems said:

“The rebrand to Donaldson Timber Systems is a major milestone in our company history. While the business is moving forward with the same people and operations as before, incorporating the Donaldson name highlights the step-change in our approach. We’re very proud to have joined this long-standing family business, with both timber and people at its heart. The quality of our products and service remains unchanged, but we have many exciting plans and we’re confident that this new venture will prove of great benefit for our customers.”

Andrew Donaldson, CEO of the Donaldson Group added:

“It’s been a fantastic few months integrating the new members of the team into the Donaldson Group, and the response from all involved has been hugely positive. This change of name fully aligns the business with the Group and has included a full rebrand including new logo, new branding and new website.

“Now the rebrand exercise is well underway, we’re looking forward to seeing Donaldson Timber Systems develop and grow, building on the excellent foundations that were created in its almost 50 years of operation.”

Donaldson Group Wins 2022 Best Marketing Campaign Award at STTA Dinner

This award recognises a STTA organisation that has run an exceptional and successful marketing campaign to raise awareness, increase revenue or promote a timber or timber related product or service between Oct 2019 – Oct 2021

March 8, 2022
 

Last week, Donaldson Group took home the Best Marketing Campaign Award at the Scottish Timber Trade Association Dinner 2022.

This award recognises a STTA organisation that has run an exceptional and successful marketing campaign to raise awareness, increase revenue or promote a timber or timber related product or service between Oct 2019 – Oct 2021

Donaldson Group won the award based on the results generated through its integrated digital marketing campaign for its TimberCut4U brand.

As a supplier of quality hardwood, softwood and timber products to the DIY market, TimberCut4U’s digital marketing campaign resulted in a sales increase of over 700% from the previous 5 years.

Donaldson Group’s Head of Marketing, Jean Paul Malum commented: “We are delighted to win this award for our TimberCut4U marketing campaign. It was important for us that throughout the COVID pandemic we were able to fully maximise our e-commerce functionality – by facilitating buying timber on our website through a simplified user experience, we were prepared for, and could therefore capitalise on, the DIY and home renovations boom that the industry experienced.”

The STTA dinner was held on 4th March at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh with a small number of awards being presented – it was a great night enjoyed by all.

The Donaldson Group acquires Stewart Milne Timber Systems

Timber expert, the Donaldson Group, has acquired the UK’s leading timber frame manufacturer, Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS), marking the Donaldson Group’s entry into the timber frame market.

December 16, 2021
 

Timber expert, the Donaldson Group, has acquired the UK’s leading timber frame manufacturer, Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS), marking the Donaldson Group’s entry into the timber frame market.

Established in 1975 as the timber frame arm of the Stewart Milne Group, Aberdeen-based SMTS is a UK pioneer in timber frame technology and manufacturing, operating throughout the country from three manufacturing plants in Aberdeen, Witney and a new facility in Falkirk.

All staff and operations will continue unchanged. Alex Goodfellow (Stewart Milne Group Managing Director – Strategic Development) will transfer with the business into the role of CEO, Donaldson Off-site Manufacturing and join Rod Allan (SMTS Managing Director) and the current Board of Directors in continuing to drive the business. The Donaldson Group is committed to the Board’s growth plans and supporting SMTS achieve its ambition.

With 160 years of expertise in timber importing and distribution, as well as decades of experience in timber engineering and merchanting, this acquisition strategically and operationally complements the Donaldson Group portfolio, allowing the Group to offer a stronger timber package for residential and commercial applications to all their current and future customers.

The move further supports Donaldsons growth strategy and follows a run of acquisitions by the Group, following the additions of Kitchens International, Stonecare, Rowan Manufacturing and Smith and Frater since the start of 2020.

Announcing the acquisition, Andrew Donaldson, CEO of the Donaldson Group, said: “We’re delighted and proud to have successfully acquired this terrific timber frame business. This deal secures the future for a leading UK Business; enabling the growth plans for it to reach its full potential, while providing reliability and stability for its existing and new customers. SMTS is a natural fit for the Donaldson Group; it offers a similar family-owned ethos, and has a strong reputation and track record for investment and innovation. We’re pleased to welcome all 411 employees to our family business and look forward to working closely with Alex and the full team.

“This is an exciting move for the Donaldson Group, as we venture into the timber frame market at a time when interest in the material has never been higher. The use of timber frame is anticipated to double in the next five years as housebuilders turn to modern methods of construction and renewable sources to achieve crucial net-zero carbon targets. This acquisition supports the Donaldson Group’s commitment to sustainability: building a sustainable business and supporting a sustainable industry.”

Alex Goodfellow, CEO, Donaldson Off-site added, “We have secured the perfect partner who is committed to our growth strategy and who will support us to achieve our vision. The Donaldson Group has a strong reputation for partnerships, reliability and integrity and we are clearly aligned both strategically and operationally which can only help strengthen our market-leading position.”

Rod Allan, SMTS Managing Director said, “Through our service, our scale and our capabilities we have focussed on how we can differentiate ourselves in the marketplace. There is no doubt that being part of one of the UK’s leading timber-based group of companies will offer huge opportunities that will benefit our people, our customers and our other key stakeholders.”

SMTS joins the Donaldson Group portfolio of leading independent brands: MGM Timber, Donaldson Timber Engineering, James Donaldson Timber, James Donaldson Insulation, Smith & Frater, Rowan Manufacturing, Nu-Style Products, Kitchens International and Stonecare.

The acquisition of SMTS will further strengthen the Donaldson Group portfolio of businesses and its position as the UK’s leading independent in its markets.

Currently led by the sixth generation of Donaldson, the 160-year-old family business comprises 11 specialist timber and building product businesses, operating throughout the UK from 45 locations employing over 1500 people. The businesses that make up the Group trade and operate independently, sharing best practice, innovation, purchasing synergies, and market analysis.

The TTJ Awards has just released its shortlisted finalists for the 2021 awards, and we are delighted to announce that James Donaldson and Sons owned brand, TimberCut4U has made the shortlist in the ‘Excellence in Marketing’ Judged Category.

The annual TTJ Awards has been held by the Timber Trades Journal (TTJ) since 1997 and has grown into the timber industry’s leading annual awards event. The TTJ awards is celebrating its 25th edition this year and will be a hybrid event: featuring a live in-person lunchtime awards function in London, with livestreaming to an additional audience digitally.

The Excellence in Marketing award recognises businesses that have undertaken a campaign promoting a timber or related product or service between January 2020 and June 2021.  As a supplier of quality hardwood, softwood and timber products to the DIY market, TimberCut4U has been shortlisted for the award based on its successful marketing campaign to refresh the brand and e-commerce website, as well as ongoing digital marketing activities which have been carried out with the help of the brand’s agency partner Three Part Story, all of which have resulted in a sales increase of over 600% from the previous 5 years.

Group Marketing Manager of James Donaldson and Sons, Jean Paul Malum commented: “I am delighted that TimberCut4U has been shortlisted for this award. It was important for us that we were able to fully maximise the e-commerce functionality of the website in order to capitalise on the DIY and home renovations boom that the industry experienced throughout the COVID pandemic.”

He continued, “The success of this campaign has shone a positive light on the potential opportunities available through marketing within the group, and as a result, we are looking to increase our marketing efforts further for TimberCut4U, to maintain momentum as we look to expand the brand operation.”

The winners will be announced at the event in London on 17th September.

Leading timber expert, James Donaldson & Sons Ltd (JDS) has further developed its programme of growth, with the acquisition of leading worktop specialist, Stonecare.

Established in 1999, Glasgow-based Stonecare is one of Scotland’s leading independent suppliers of solid worktops to the UK kitchen industry, and the only kitchen worktop manufacturer in Scotland offering the choice of Granite, Silestone, Marble, Quartz Stone and Corian worktops.

The addition of Stonecare adds to JDS’s expanding kitchens offering and presents strong synergistic opportunities for both businesses. It follows JDS’s acquisition of Kitchens International earlier this month and enhances its growing interiors portfolio, which also includes Optima Kitchens, Smith and Frater, Perform Panel and Buzz Home Offices.

Staff and operations at Stonecare will remain unchanged by this business development, with all 11 employees remaining in position.

Announcing the acquisition, Andrew Donaldson, CEO of James Donaldson & Sons Ltd, said: “We’re proud to add Stonecare to our growing JDS family. Stonecare has an excellent reputation for quality, craftsmanship and service; an extremely high-quality product; and a great team of people. The business perfectly complements our existing portfolio in JDS and aligns well with our strategy to enhance our offering in the market, with a focus on kitchens, bathrooms and home offices.

“Historically a timber specialist, this is an incredibly exciting time for our business, as we continue to grow through sustainable organic growth and by the strategic acquisition of market-leading specialists. We look forward to welcoming the Stonecare team on board and moving forward together as one.”

Andrew Crombie, MD of Stonecare added: “I am delighted that in our 21st anniversary year, Stonecare is joining the JDS group. With our shared family values and strong business synergies I am confident we will provide our great team with opportunities for growth and am looking forward to this next chapter for Stonecare.”

Stonecare will join the JDS portfolio of leading independent brands: MGM Timber, Donaldson Timber Engineering, James Donaldson Timber, James Donaldson Insulation, Smith & Frater, Rowan Manufacturing, Nu-Style Products and Kitchens International.

Family business, JDS celebrated its 160th anniversary last year. The eight businesses that make up the Group trade and operate independently, sharing best practice, innovation, purchasing synergies, and market analysis.

The Boards of James Donaldson & Sons (JDS) Ltd and Kitchens International Ltd are delighted to announce that, following its acquisition, Kitchens International Ltd, has become the latest addition to the JDS brand portfolio.

Kitchens International Ltd, Scotland’s leading independent kitchen retailer, will join the JDS portfolio of leading independent brands which includes MGM Timber, Donaldson Timber Engineering, James Donaldson Timber, James Donaldson Insulation, Smith & Frater, Rowan Manufacturing and Nu-Style Products.

Kitchens International Ltd is Scotland’s most award-winning kitchen brand, popular amongst both consumers and trade, with 6 showrooms across Scotland and a strong contract fitting division. It will strategically and operationally complement the current JDS retail and manufacturing portfolio, working closely with the existing kitchen offering through Smith & Frater and MGM Timber, allowing JDS to offer a full suite of interior options for both trade and retail customers.

Announcing the acquisition, Andrew Donaldson, CEO of James Donaldson & Sons Ltd, said:

“It is a privilege to welcome the Kitchens International Ltd family to our Donaldson family; we anticipate exciting times ahead both within the Kitchen market and its associated interiors including Bathrooms, Bedrooms and Home Offices. Adding the Kitchens International brand to our current portfolio will yield strong synergistic opportunities for both businesses. As always, the most important thing will be People and we are looking forward to working with Kitchens International Ltd across both the Board and full team. Together, as one family, we are well placed to build our Kitchen and Interiors business for the future.”

Gerry Watson, MD of Kitchens International added: “Over the past 27 years we are proud to have grown Kitchens International to become a leading UK Kitchen brand and are excited that our next growth chapter will be as part of the James Donaldson Group. With shared values and vision, together we can provide greater opportunity for all our brand community; our staff, our brand ambassadors and our suppliers.”