Sean McNulty, Head of Sales, Blyweert Beaufort Aluminium

Blyweert Beaufort are extremely happy to be associated with Nolan Commercial. From the initial design concept of Maes yr Yrfa to the final installation and completion of the project we were constantly amazed at the technical and commercial skill levels of Nolan Commercial. We are partnering together on a number of projects, and look forward to working with the team at Nolan again.
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Tycroes Primary School Ammanford

A multi-million pound project is underway to extend and remodel Tycroes CP School in Ammanford.
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Nolan Celebrating 20 Years

Celebrating 20 Years in Business

21 October 10

It's Nolan Commercial's 20th anniversary and we've got every reason to celebrate. This past year has seen the opening of a brand new showroom in Cardiff and the introduction of aluminium manufacturing in Carmarthen.

A carpenter by trade, Nolan Nicholas established Nolan Windows with the aim of creating a service-focused business that didn't fit the stereotypical image of double glazing firms.

As the company celebrates its twentieth anniversary, it is a commitment to this original ethos that Nolan believes has led to today's position as one of the largest independently owned uPVC companies in Wales, with an annual turnover in excess of £4.5m.

With its headquarters in Carmarthen and a newly relocated showroom in Cardiff on North Road, Nolan now employs a total of 65 staff across the two sites.

"When I first started the Limited company in 1990, it literally was just me but within six months I had a team of seven staff," says Nolan.

"Of those, four are still with the company and only one out of the seven has actually left - the other two retired. I'm proud of that record and think its testament to the way the company is run and also the way staff are supported and developed."

The company won its first big commercial contract in 1990 with Carmarthenshire Council and this too is still an ongoing partnership – one that has seen numerous projects completed, with a value over the years of in excess of £6m.

In 1994, the company moved from its original WDA premises on the Ponthenri Industrial Estate in Llanelli to the DJK Buildings in Carmarthen which allowed the acquisition of freehold buildings in a more prominent area to grow the business.

Two years ago, further expansion led to another move to the current headquarters at Johnstown in Carmarthen. The new, 52,000 sq ft site has allowed both for operations – manufacturing, administration, sales and distribution - to be centralised under one roof and for the creation of a 4,500 sq ft walk-in design studio.

Nolan's Cardiff showroom was opened in 2002 as the company moved into new geographical areas and eight years on, a larger successor has opened on North Road in the city.

The loss of a major client in 2008 (and with it 25% of the company's turnover) spurred Nolan to take the company in a slightly different direction and diversification into the commercial market has proved extremely successful, with major contracts won in social housing, healthcare and education.

The recent appointment of experienced commercial sales manager, Chris Seward, has confirmed a major focus on developing the company's business further within this sector, specifically in relation to the manufacture and sale of aluminium products.

Nolan continues: "The business has had to evolve in order that we stay at the top of our game and in that way, ignoring new trends or issues affecting the industry simply is not an option.

"The early 1990's saw the birth of the super fabricators – large companies producing in excess of 6000 frames per week that were able to churn out volume product at a fraction of the price.

"But times are changing and I predict a move back towards local companies that can provide the service and quality customers now demand. If anything, the recent recession – one of the toughest challenges we've come through as a business – has only served to make consumers more demanding when it comes to getting what they expect from a supplier and we're happy to live up to that of course."

Another recent challenge came in the form of an accidental fire which tore through the Carmarthen premises last December.

"As with everything I do, I was determined to focus on the positives in this situation – none of my staff were hurt and although there was significant damage, it could have been a lot worse. We were back up and running within two days and I really think the experience made us stronger as a team," says Nolan.

Going forward, big on Nolan's list is a focus on window energy ratings and also a major emphasis on aluminium as the product of choice. With changes to Building Regulations coming into force in October 2010, Nolan will not only offer its customers the required C-Rated windows, but will also be able to offer the choice of A-Rated products from July, all manufactured on site in Wales. "It is one of the biggest changes facing our industry, and we need to make sure our customers are informed and have access to energy-efficient quality products."

The company began manufacturing aluminium products in 2009 and, according to Nolan:

"I certainly see big things happening for us where aluminium is concerned. The decision to introduce aluminium bi-folding doors was one of the best decisions we've made. We are certainly encouraged by the interest this product is receiving from both our trade and retail customers."

As the company celebrates its twentieth anniversary, it's certain that neither Nolan's commitment to or enthusiasm for the business have wavered.

"I didn't come from an academic background but I knew what I needed to achieve and that pushed me harder to make the business a success.

"I have a fantastic team around me and am still as proud to be the figurehead for this company as I was the day I founded it.

"You never stop learning. It's important to welcome change and acquire the knowledge that ensures you continue to be a business leader that influences others – but also one that continues to be shaped by those around them.

"It certainly doesn't feel like this all began as long as twenty years ago but it's been a fantastic ride getting here and I'm very much looking forward to taking the company into the next decade."