The Middle East’s continuing progress on infrastructure developments is excellent news for companies supplying materials for the construction industry. One of the products most used, but perhaps overlooked, is piping – and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of this vital product is Corys Building Materials.
Corys Building Materials is the holding company for Hepworth PME, the Middle East’s premier manufacturer and supplier of a wide range of high quality plastic pipes, fittings and accessories used for the distribution and transmission of water, wastewater and gas.
The company has a long and proud history in the Middle East and has distributed its product range from Dubai for over 35 years. Corys Building Materials operates manufacturing units in Rashidiya (Dubai), Dubai Investment Park and Qatar and runs exclusive retail outlets (Corys Build Centre) at various locations but with a particular focus in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Sharjah, Doha, Bahrain and Muscat.
Hepworth PME offers a range of PVC-U pressure pipes as well as non-pressure pipes and fittings, PVC and ABS fittings and PP, PP-R, ABS and PE pipes in imperial and metric sizes. Its engineered fittings have been installed on sewerage, water supply, irrigation, fire mains, soil and waste contracts throughout the Middle East. Grease traps, end caps, land drain slotted pipes, long radius bends for street lighting bends, road gulleys, catch basins and sealed dry manholes are just some of the fabricated products from Hepworth PME.
Excellent reputation and stringent Quality Management Systems, including ISO 9001: 2008 accreditation, has seen Hepworth PME work on some of the most iconic projects in the region, including Atlantis The Palm Jumeirah, Burj Khalifa, Dubai International Airport extension, the new DWC Al Maktoum Airport, Muscat International Airport, Salalah International Airport, Doha’s new Port, Doha International Airport and the extensive Doha Metro project. The company is one of only 3 approved suppliers to the Dubai Municipality.
Jeremy Rowson, CEO, has been with the group for the past couple of years and is currently overseeing exciting new developments as the business looks to expand its existing facility in the Dubai Investment Park whilst building 2 new factories elsewhere in the GCC.
“The culture first and foremost is one of a family-owned, local manufacturing company based in Dubai. The cultural values are what inspires us but we also see ourselves as a refined and professional company bringing in global best practices for our management and operations.”
“We manufacture on 3 sites in Dubai as well as Qatar but we are currently in the process of consolidating our existing manufacturing in Dubai to one facility and are securing land elsewhere in the GCC in order to build 2 new factories. We will also be expanding our Qatar manufacturing facility, which we opened around 10 years ago. In all we hope that the expansion may eventually create up to 120 new jobs.”
Rowson says that the expansion is further evidence of Corys Building Materials’ continued success, which has gone hand in hand with the remarkable transformation of the region.
“Most of our work is project based and we work with Government and the private sector alike. Our pipes and fittings business is split into 4 divisions, with our Buildings Channel and Utilities & Infrastructure Channel at the forefront, supplying MEP contractors and civil engineers.
“We also operate an Irrigation and Agriculture Channel and an Industrial Channel which supplies the marine industry and water treatment sector.”
Partnership plays an important role in the company’s success and the organisation has forged valuable joint manufacturing ventures with Wavin and Georg Fischer, 2 of the world’s leading companies in this market sector.
The joint venture with George Fischer, a global corporation operating over 130 companies worldwide with 50 production sites, came to fruition in March 2009.
Another recent joint venture is with MDS Meyer GmbH, a German specialist in the production of rubber seals and gaskets. The new company formed under this agreement, Corys MDS LLC, is responsible for manufacturing a range of MDS branded rubber gaskets in Dubai.
The construction industry has changed significantly since Hepworth PME first came to Dubai and nowhere is this more evident than in production processes, with the company keeping its finger on the pulse with technological advances.
“We have placed orders for new extrusion lines for our PVC and PE products and typically we rely on European suppliers for state-of-the-art machinery. The upgraded Dubai facility (which will increase to around 27,000 square metres) along with the 2 new factories represent a significant investment and will give us enhanced efficiency as we concentrate on different technologies on different sites. There will also be reduced operating costs and the factories will be closer to our customers”.
“The consolidation of our Dubai operations should be completed in Quarter 1 of 2015 and we are aiming to have the 2 new factories opened during 2016. We already operate using lean manufacturing principles but these developments will give us the opportunity for a state-of-the-art layout.”
With a diverse customer base and over 5,000 SKUs, supply chain management is of paramount importance for a company with a great need to deliver on time. Investment in technology and equipment, as well as staff training, helps to ensure operations run smoothly.
“The construction business is time sensitive and if the supply of building materials is held up then there are delays in the project. Undoubtedly our biggest challenge is giving customers the right products and delivering these in full and on time. We operate an Oracle based inventory management system to ensure that stock levels are able to meet orders and this technology plays an essential role in our daily operations,” states Rowson.
“As well as improving the customer experience we are also concentrating on our employees. We have around 620 employees from around 20 different nationalities. We have a drive to recruit local people in the countries in which we operate and we run a substantial training programme making use of internal and external trainers,” he continues.
“With operations expanding in Qatar and the recent opening of a new site in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the next couple of years is set to be very busy for Corys Building Materials.
“The market is becoming increasingly competitive but we differentiate ourselves in terms of quality, service and reputation. In addition to the construction already taking place, we will be looking to grow our Geomembrane business (Corys Geosynthetics) through exports – these products are used to line artificial lakes and in land fill sites. We also hope to expand our retail business arm (Corys Build Centre) as well as our geographical reach,” Rowson concludes.