Q&A with Norman Bell, Business Development Manager at Brockhouse

We recently sat down with Norman Bell, Business Development Manager at Brockhouse to learn more about him, Brockhouse, and his journey.

Q: Norman thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. How long have you been with Brockhouse? And please tell us a little bit about you and your past experience?

Having qualified and worked in engineering, I have enjoyed a diverse business development career including at Corus Steels and latterly the giant German forging company Otto Fuchs.  I joined Brockhouse in July 2015, tasked with using my 40 years’ experience in sales of ferrous and nonferrous products to increase sales, broaden the customer base, and diversify the business into new sectors.

Q: What types of forgings do you offer?

Brockhouse manufactures closed die forgings and upset forgings up to 150kgs and 1.4 metres in length fully machined if required and in all grades of steel including Low Carbon Alloys, Case Hardening Grades, Stainless Steels, Inconel and Duplex materials, and more.

Q: Brockhouse has a fantastic reputation and has been established for over 135 years, in your opinion what is the key to Brockhouse’s success and its growth?

Over a period of several decades Brockhouse made a number of shrewd acquisitions of forging companies and rail assembly businesses, swiftly adding substantial additional turnover and new customers to the company. In more recent years, the capabilities to forge the largest closed die forgings in the UK has been more widely marketed. This, along with a significantly more proactive approach to sales & marketing have been the key growth factors with the company’s well-established market position in the mining and rail sectors, now extending into Earth Moving, Agricultural, Oil & Gas, Automotive, Lifting Equipment, Electric Vehicles, Powertrain, Nuclear, and many more.

Q: Brockhouse understands quality assurance is key to their customers. What impact do you think quality has for Brockhouse? As Business Development Manager how do you make your clients feel confident in your work?

Honesty is the best policy when seeking to develop a partnership with a new customer, the impact of not handling a quality problem with the utmost integrity and clarity can be catastrophic in the early stages of a new relationship. Working together to find the most economical solution to a problem or a challenge is a certain method of building confidence. Quality, Service and Flexibility are the single most important factors to long term business development success. Gaining a clear understanding of the customers precise needs and expectations in the early stages is critical to the success of any new project, discussing this honestly and openly from the onset instils confidence in the customer. Building relationships between technical, production and quality departments creates clarity, trust and understanding which are vital components in developing a successful business relationship.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your role and working at Brockhouse?

Working closely with my technical, production, and quality colleagues to expand our customer base, diversifying into new sectors building a more balanced mix of customers offering repeat business, helping us to achieve a more stable position moving forwards.