CFPro Ventures case study: Tarmac Topblock

GeographyUK & Ireland
ActivityTarmac Topblock is a national provider of concrete blocks and aircrete blocks for the building industry.
Services OfferedThe business manufactures and distributes concrete and aircrete blocks from 16 sites across the UK. It also offers technical advice to architects, designers and builders, particularly in relation to its revolutionary Durox System building method, offering enhanced thermal and acoustic properties. One of its aircrete factories, based in Essex, is the largest in Europe. It had a turnover of £120m and employed 700 people.
BriefTarmac Topblock was a business in distress. Although it was the market leader in terms of market share, it had suffered a five-year decline in performance that resulted in a forecast of £4 million loss in 2005.
DeliveredHardy Giesler was appointed as MD to deliver a performance transformation. A strategic review identified the need for a revised commercial strategy (which delivered real price increases for the first time in eight years), increase in management capability, unit cost reduction in manufacturing and a change in transport sourcing strategy.

A site consolidation programme reduced capacity, increased utilisation levels and achieved targeted unit cost reductions. This helped to fund a £25m investment programme to address product quality issues and client services requirements. He also established the Manufacturing Excellence programme, improving production management capability and knowledge sharing across all 16 sites.

One of the biggest challenges was addressing poor morale on the biggest site (and the largest of its type in Europe) – this was the result of poor post-acquisition integration. Representing 30% of the company’s turnover, this was the source of a substantial proportion of losses and many customer complaints. Personal commitments and an investment programme convinced the workforce of his intentions – their buy-in resulted in a turn-around being achieved.

He was also a Board member of the Tarmac Building Products group, a £500 million turnover organisation and 4,000 employees.

These studies demonstrate the track record of the co-founders and directors of CFPro Ventures and were not performed under the CFPro Ventures trading entity.