Today, we’re going behind the curtain at our brand new Kent-based IGU-making facility, Clayton Glass Canterbury, with long-term Site Lead, Shaun Harris. Shaun tells us all about the family and community spirit that resonates throughout the Canterbury site, as well as the capabilities of the site itself, and the reasons he’s excited for the future.
Shaun has worked in the glass industry dating back to 1987, giving him a wealth of experience in all aspects of IGU manufacturing. Shaun has been operating as the Site Lead at the Canterbury Facility since 2020, following around 30 years involvement with the site.
The first things Shaun discusses surround the strengths of the facility, in particular the people that work there, highlighting the positive reputation the Canterbury site has built up for quality and service over the years.
“Everyone gets stuck in. There’s no black and white lines” says Shaun, “I’ve got a Transport Manager and Planners that will jump in and help with whatever needs doing, whether that be customer service or something on the shop floor. Everyone chips in, everyone supports each other.”
It is in this way, that Shaun likens the Canterbury team to that of a family dynamic. A quality that is synergistic with that of the Clayton Glass company ethos: The Clayton difference. Shaun believes that this support is what allows all job roles to be performed to a high standard, and that the effect of this can be felt in the Canterbury customer service department.
“Our customer service team doesn’t spend a lot of time on the phone… and that’s a good thing.”, Begins Shaun, “What this means is that customers don’t need to talk to us because they have everything that they need. Of course when they do need us, we’re here, but by pre-empting their needs with efficient service, we create a smoother operation.”
Switching attention to the Canterbury site itself, Shaun discusses the numbers at his disposal, both from a staffing point of view and regarding the facilities’ manufacturing capabilities.
“All together we have about 50 staff here in Canterbury” Shaun explains, “this is made up of a mixture of shop floor operatives, office staff, engineers and drivers. All together we produce 6,000 plus units a week, specialising in double and triple glazing, whilst we also make a lot of Georgian bar units.”
Looking forward, Shaun tells us about the reasons he is optimistic for the future with Clayton Glass.
“It feels like the beginning of a new era”, says Shaun, “I think it’s normal for people to be a bit concerned about a change of this nature, but I can see the benefits of it.”
Shaun expands on this point by suggesting that the Canterbury site being run by an owner-managed, growth-oriented business such as Clayton Glass will be a good thing for the site in the long run, due to the fact that Clayton Glass’ primary focus is the manufacturing of insulating glass units, rather than this being a secondary focus to something else.
“I think this will allow us to increase our offering to customers in the south east, which stands us in good stead for growth in the future!”