The last 12 months have made up quite a year for Norbar. Each month was busy, exciting and had a significant highlight which contributed to what was overall, a fantastic year in Norbar’s history.
We came back to work in January to the news that the total sales from 2010 had completely recovered to their pre-Global Financial Crisis level. There was a big order book and plenty to be getting on with – not a bad start!
In February we launched our Norbar India project – if you’ve read any of our latest blogs or follow us on Twitter you’ll know that Norbar India is up and running under the management of Narendra Borse. We’re very excited about this expansion into what is a rapidly growing economy with huge potential for UK manufacturers.
Speaking of rapidly growing economies, March saw the 5th Anniversary of Norbar Shanghai. 300 guests from our distributors, customers and hardware associations joined Norbar Shanghai for a fabulous event to end Q1.
Now well in to the spring season, April saw us proudly announce that Catherine Rohll, the granddaughter of Norbar’s founder Bill Brodey, was to join the company in September as Commercial Director.
Progress with our Indian venture continued in to May when Norbar India received approval for our company name – Norbar Torque Tools India Pvt. Ltd. The month was topped however when Siemens Wind power approved Norbar’s global companies to provide service and calibration to Siemens Wind Facilities worldwide.
The halfway point of 2011 was marked with outstanding sales in June and the launch of weekend shifts in July with the objective of increasing capacity. It was clear at this point between Q2 and Q3 that we were really growing in 2011.
On the back of that it now seems less of a surprise that we saw our busiest August ever, with the first shipments of our new insulated torque wrenches contributing to record numbers of orders in and out – not bad for a traditionally quieter, holiday month.
September saw developments online and offline. We took our first steps in to the realm of social media and began a 6th month trial whilst attending two fantastic exhibitions – AIMEX in Sydney, well organised by Norbar Australia, and Offshore Europe in Aberdeen. It was of course only fitting that we then tweeted and blogged about both events!
Pace didn’t break in the final quarter of the year either. We held the Global Marketing Meeting in Banbury where representatives from Norbar UK, USA, Australia, China and India. As if to reinforce our Global expansion we also welcomed 9 visitors from our distributors across Latin America for training – there was considerable positive feedback!
November was an excellent month for Norbar Torque Tools Inc. in particular as they achieved record annual sales and reported great progress on their building extension in Willoughby, Ohio. It’s also worth noting that the Norbar ‘MoBros’ raised £624 for testicular and prostate cancer in what was a fantastic moustache growing season for the charity month of ‘Movember’.
Finally, we finished the year and embarked upon the Yuletide Season with sales figures showing 19% growth over 2010 and finally answering the question we’d been asking ourselves all year – how were we going to find the space to expand the company? The answer came as we signed the ‘Heads of Terms’ to purchase a 170,000 sq.ft building in Banbury, marking the end of 2011 in superb fashion.
2011 was a fantastic year for all involved at Norbar and on the back of these highlights we’ve clearly got everything to look forward to in 2012. Thank you to all involved! Perhaps this is yet again, more evidence of a two-speed economy?
By Philip Brodey, Sales and Marketing Director