Roundup with Stuart Daniels: 2022 in Surface Fabrication
The past year, we have been busy supplying our customers with worksurfaces for new build homes and kitchen projects. Amidst this, Athena has launched Forza, to provide customers with a competitively priced quartz range in consistent supply.
To discuss the past year and look ahead to 2023, we caught up with Stuart Daniels, Sales Director at Athena Surfaces. Here we hear about his year in surface fabrication and installation, supplying the nations housebuilders and kitchen retailers.
How has 2022 been for Athena?
This year has been the best in the history of Athena. Our sales are at record highs and our customer base has expanded.
Highlights of the year include successfully launching Forza Quartz into the housebuilder market, with Persimmon and Avant our biggest users to date. Other housebuilders are tapping into the benefits of Forza, including competitive pricing, fast turnarounds and reliable supply.
What have been the main challenges this year?
As we have expanded so much this year, recruiting new employees has been challenging, as it has in many industries.
We have employed a new National Installation Manager, Rob Williams and Commercial Director, Paul Davis, to help us as we continue our expansion into 2023.
Are there any notable contracts from this year you can tell us about?
Being appointed a supplier to Magnet in the retail market was a fantastic high for us. We have forged further successful partnerships with kitchen retailers, being appointed as a supplier to Benchmarx and Travis Perkins.
Commercially, we have secured a very large prestigious project for Berkely Homes in London which is known as Kings Cross S4. We value engineered this from the original material to our range of ceramic worksurfaces, saving the client a considerable amount of money. We used our own materials, meaning we were also very competitive.
What do you think Athena has done well this year?
Launching Forza Quartz to 300 sites of Persimmon in a short period was challenging but a huge achievement. All sites received samples, POS, and a visit from one of our sales team to train the sales advisers. The same can be said for the launch of Forza, nationally, into Avant Homes.
Have there been any standout trends you’ve noticed this year?
Our Forza colour palette has proven to be very well received with colours such as New Yarra (white with small mirror like particles) and White Pearl (short random veining on a white background) being the most popular. In the retail market, colours with longitudinal veining have been very popular.
What are the plans for Athena in 2023?
Athena will continue to grow through 2023. We will continue to develop our Forza range and will be releasing several new colours specifically for the retail market.
We are also working with new customers in the housebuilder market who will introduce Forza into their portfolio of products.
We will continue our sponsorship of the What House Awards and will attend the Annual Winners’ Awards in April and the Housebuilder Oscars, where we will present an award, in November.
How are the team celebrating Christmas this year?
After such a busy year the team will be taking a well-earned rest and will come back in January 2023 ready to go again.
Are you a housebuilder looking to streamline your worktop supply chain? Talk to us about how the process works.