Donaldson Group – Building for Future Generations

August 24, 2022

As the Donaldson Group has been around for over 162 years, it’s no surprise that the business has evolved gradually over this time. However, its growth has accelerated massively over the last few years with multiple acquisitions, a business re-organisation and re-brand as well as a change in the business name from James Donaldson & Sons to Donaldson Group.

All of these positive changes point to the forward-thinking vision for the group as the sixth generation of the Donaldson family look to build for the next generation.

For example, one of the aforementioned acquisitions, Stewart Milne Timber Systems (which has now rebranded as Donaldson Timber Systems), saw the group become market leader in the timber frame market and further secure its place within the future of housebuilding, thanks to timber being the sustainable solution for UK House builders.

But future proofing the business doesn’t stop there. The business has also embraced innovation, as it continues to modernise its offering to its customers, through the latest in Continuous Improvement initiatives, as well as expanding its presence in the e-commerce space with the likes of MGM Timber, TimberCut4U and its new online DIY market-place

As such, Donaldson Group has been shortlisted for some upcoming awards, in recognition of its achievements and to also celebrate the direction it’s headed in.

Deals and Dealmakers Awards 2022

The Scottish Business Insider Deals & Dealmakers Awards acknowledge and reward excellence in corporate finance transactions. This year, Donaldson Group has been shortlisted in two categories, as a result of its acquisition of Kitchens International, Stonecare and Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS) which all took place in 2021.

Taking place on Thursday 25th August, Donaldson Group is a finalist in the following categories:

  • Acquisitive Company of the Year
  • Transformational Deal of the Year

Chief Financial Officer, Arlene Cairns, comments on the awards shortlist: “We are delighted that Donaldson Group has been shortlisted for these awards. The acquisitions of Kitchens International, Stonecare and Donaldson Timber Systems (formerly SMTS), have added great skills, experience and leadership expertise in their respective fields to the Group.”

Arlene continues: “SMTS was the biggest acquisition the group has ever made and overnight, we became the market leader for timber frame, further strengthening our plans of building a sustainable business and supporting a sustainable industry. We’re really excited about playing our part in the future of industry.”

The Herald Digital Transformation Awards 2022

The Herald Digital Transformation awards recognise Scottish businesses from across all industries and sectors who are using digital technology in new and innovative ways, as well as recognising those extraordinary individuals who are setting trends, showing passion and creativity, and making a significant contribution to their sector.

Donaldson Group has been shortlisted for two awards, both of which speak to the business embracing innovation and also empowering talent for the future.

3D Design Technician Euan Gibson-Smith has been named as a finalist for the Digital Young Person of the Year Award, thanks to his lead role in designing an online kitchen selector tool which will allow housebuilders and their customers to specify and visualise their kitchen in a high-resolution 3D render.

Euan’s skill, knowledge and attitude towards learning and challenging convention in a somewhat traditional industry, has enabled the business to create an offering that is revolutionary within the industry.

Euan comments: “I feel very privileged to be shortlisted for this award, and I feel that this nomination reflects the hard work of the whole project team. Managing a large project from start to finish has taught me so much, and I want to thank the Donaldson Group for recognising and representing my efforts, putting me forward for Digital Young Person of the Year. I cannot wait to see what my future holds at the company!”

MGM Timber, a Donaldson Group family company, has also been shortlisted for the Digital Marketing Campaign award. After launching a new e-commerce website in November 2020 which enabled it to continue to service customers despite lockdown restrictions, a digital marketing strategy was implemented to help drive sales through the website. Since the launch of campaign in March 2021 until June 2022, the ecommerce website generated a revenue of over £2.2million – with 50% of this revenue being contributed from digital paid channels and thanks to this success, has allowed for a model for forward digital marketing investment.

Managing Director of MGM Timber, Steve Galbraith, comments: “When the pandemic hit and the country went into lockdown, we wanted to ensure we were still able to meet the needs of our customers, even if they couldn’t visit our branches. By transforming our website into an e-commerce platform, not only was the business able to survive during a really challenging time, but it had a massive impact on our revenue and as such it is now a critical channel for future revenue growth as well as optimising our customer’s experience.”

Andrew Donaldson, Group CEO comments: “As the sixth generation of the Donaldson family, my brother Mike and I are caretakers for the next generation, and as such, we need to ensure what we are doing in the business today, is building for tomorrow. Being a 162-year-old timber company, we are in the fortunate position of providing a sustainable resource and we are able to lead the way through timber frame, modern methods of construction and offsite manufacturing.”

He continues, “Not only that, but we want to ensure that we continue to provide a number one customer experience – ensuring we are giving our customers what they want. This is why embracing innovation through initiatives such as our kitchen selector tool and MGM ecommerce website is so important and so we will continue to expand and improve our offering to make sure it matches the needs of our diverse customer base.”