Ryan Green on Evolving to Meet Increasing Demand

Part 2 of our 4-part behind-the-scenes interview with our Managing Director, Ryan Green. This week we’re discussing how Clayton Glass has adapted to increasing demand over the years, and how we’ll continue to evolve in the future.

The journey a company takes from small-time business to national corporation can be rocky and filled with setbacks. Often, the transition can be somewhat ‘two steps forward, one step back’. The way a business overcomes these forks in the road is much simpler in concept than it is in practice.

One word – Evolution.

An animal that has evolved and adapted to its surroundings will outlast its competitors in the food chain, the same applies to businesses. To become a successful business in 2019, more than ever before, a company must be willing to take calculated risks. There are key moments in a company’s lifespan where a decision must be made to go in one direction or another. Making more correct decisions than poor ones is indicative of a company’s ability to adapt and evolve, and subsequently its ability to thrive.

Being privately owned, we don’t need to put profit ahead of service so we can afford to do this. Unlike others suppliers who have commercial investors or parent companies to please. I believe this has allowed us to evolve faster.

Ryan Green on keeping firepower in reserve


I pose the question to Ryan: “how has Clayton Glass evolved during your tenure?” “Transformational in some ways!” Ryan begins, “We’ve gone from a local northeast-based glass manufacturer, to a business able to offer UK-wide supply, operating with state-of-the-art machinery, but still with our roots firmly placed in County Durham.”

It can be seen that the evolution of Clayton Glass is an interesting one in terms of pure growth. Ryan expands on this point by telling me how, once upon a time, despatching 6000 products a week would be classed as a good week for the company. “Nowadays, we more often than not see this amount leaving our facility in a single day.” Says Ryan. It stands to reason that a factory capable of despatching 6000 products a week, would not be capable of despatching 6000 products a day. So, Ryan tells me, that to keep up with a consistently increasing demand, clever decisions have to be made.

“There’s no specific secret to adaptation, it’s about making a lot of good decisions over a long period of time” Ryan begins, “At Clayton, we’ve always invested ahead of the curve. We have a simple belief that if we’re having to run a machine around the clock, then we need another one, and always have at least two of everything. We plan to operate at 65% capacity so we always have capacity available.”

We’ve gone from a local northeast-based glass manufacturer, to a business able to offer UK-wide supply, operating with state-of-the-art machinery, but still with our roots firmly placed in County Durham.

Ryan Green

This has been a stance that Clayton Glass has always taken, to be prepared for a best-case scenario by keeping firepower in reserve. “Being privately owned we don’t need to put profit ahead of service so we can afford to do this.” Says Ryan. “Unlike others suppliers who have commercial investors or parent companies to please. I believe this has allowed us to evolve faster.”

Focusing on times to come, Ryan tells me that the mantra for the future evolution of Clayton Glass is a simple one – more of the same. “We’re always evolving, no one will ever accuse us of standing still.” Adds Ryan. “As always, we’ve got a lot going on, development of our new glassTRACK app for customers to track their orders – the first of its kind. Plus, the additional 40,000 square feet of manufacturing space we’ve just acquired. Our latest appointment is Health & Safety Manager, John, who strengthens our senior management team, and of course the latest wave of investment in machinery – another million pounds committed this year.”

So it appears Clayton Glass is in good hands to continue evolving well into the future.


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