Flex-R is a UK based supplier of EPDM materials and cold-applied roofing systems. This year the company celebrates reaching a significant milestone in its history, marking 20 years of supply to the roofing industry. Trading Director Duncan Winter discusses Flex-R has changed over the years.
Q. How did it all start?
To put it simply, it all began with EPDM. The company started 20 years ago with the plan to launch a rubber roofing system into the UK market. Although an established product in America, back in 2000 EPDM products were relatively unknown here.
Launching an unknown system into the market could only work by supplying a trusted and reliable world leading product. Flex-R worked with Carlisle SynTec, the pioneers of rubber roofing, to exclusively distribute Rubberbond Fleeceback. In fact, we believe in the product so much we still supply it today.
Q. Getting customers to use a new product is never easy, how did you manage it?
It’s taken a lot of hard work! To start with installers weren’t comfortable about moving away from their usual systems. Flex-R knew the benefits of EPDM – a strong, flexible system which is quick to install.
Merchants play a vital role in getting any product direct to market. So about 10 years ago Flex-R recognised that we could support sales of EPDM by supplying our own brand products, ClassicBond and DuoPly.
Q. What can you offer merchants?
We believe the merchants deserve a supply partner who works with and offers unique product to them and not direct to their customers.
Flex-R created an exclusive range of own brand products for the merchant market which offers flexibility to their customers. We supply two distinct EPDM products, ClassicBond an economical membrane which is easy to install and ClassicBond Pro, a high-performance polyester reinforced EPDM which offers greater tear and puncture resistance.
When we supply a product, you can be confident that we’ve done the research to launch a system which solves problems for your customers. For example, our ClassicBond EPDM is available in a range of large sheet formats with rolls up to 15m. This flexibility means a lot of smaller projects can be completed in one piece and merchants can cut the membrane to size.
Q. So do you only supply EPDM products?
No, Flex-R has always believed in working closely with merchants and their customers, listening to the issues they face on the roof. We supply a range of cold applied systems for most applications.
ClassicLiquid is a strong, rapid curing, one component liquid membrane for application over existing roofing systems. ClassicRepair is a cost effective, all year-round, patch & repair waterproofing solution. Finally, we have Sure Edge, a fast-fit, PVC-u edge trim system designed around a high-quality finish and the durability to offer an extra-long life.
Q. What else can you offer merchants?
We are all about building the relationship with merchants. We achieve this by getting out and visiting the merchants to showcase our range of products. It is our ability to be hands-on with merchants and their customers that is a real point of difference for us. We provide in-store training to their staff so they fully understand the benefits of our systems. We also hold demonstration events for their customers and demonstrate the simplicity of installing Flex-R systems.
Most importantly for merchants we also carry enough stock at any one time available for next day delivery.
Q. What next for Flex-R?
The industry is facing big challenges in the future through a lack of labour. By working with Flex-R and offering training through the merchants we hope that contractors can see the benefits of this busy and rewarding industry. Keeping the working environment safe is also a constant consideration. We want to find the safest and cleanest products available for the contractor which is why we are now looking to launch a self-adhered membrane.