Bartoline Limited, a privately-owned family business first established in 1876, is Europe’s leading manufacturer of decorating sundries for the home improvement industry. Products include pre-packed paint solvents, fillers, adhesives, sugar soaps, paint strippers, garden wood protection products, paraffin, BBQ lighting fluid, etc.
Originally founded as coal importers/exporters, the company diversified into automotive and industrial lubricant blending at the turn of the 20th century. The mid 1970’s saw a further change of direction into decorating products, where the company sought to capitalise on the burgeoning popularity of home DIY and the proliferation of large multiple DIY retailers.
In 1999, the company acquired wallcovering adhesive and filler manufacturer Modus Products, which enabled product expansion away from traditional solvent products into a wider array of decorating sundries. As a result, the business grew quickly, and together with the in-house development of other product ranges, an increased market share was achieved.
In May 2003, the company suffered a devastating fire which completely destroyed the whole production facility, offices and warehousing. An extensive recovery programme was implemented resulting in the most modern and safe factory in Europe for packing solvents and associated products. The £5m liquid manufacturing plant was officially opened on 16th October 2006 by Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Alistair Darling.
New premises were also acquired adjacent to the liquid filling plant, which was re-engineered for the manufacture of adhesives and fillers. The new facilities allowed the company to embark on an ambitious expansion plan eventually resulting in a five-fold increase in sales within the UK. The increase in capacity has also allowed expansion for exports which are developing at an even faster rate.
The rebuild also enabled investment in highly automated process equipment. Dedicated high volume rotary filling lines ensure costly and time-consuming changeovers are a thing of the past and enable fast moving product ranges to be delivered to customers in full, and within industry leading lead times.
Investment has continued apace with a new £500,000 filler process system being installed recently. Two new silos and a computerised dosing facility, means accurate formulating down to just a few grams of material.
Looking to the future and to enable further growth, the company purchased a parcel of land between the two factory sites with the aim of building a bespoke raw material and packaging warehouse. It is expected this will be complete late 2019.
A fleet of modern delivery vehicles are based at Beverley, and with their striking corporate livery, are a familiar sight on Britain’s roads. These enable deliveries from a few cartons to a maximum of 46 pallets utilising efficient double deck trailer units.
The popular market town of Beverley, East Yorkshire, is an ideal location for the company’s manufacturing sites, head office and warehouses. The central location near the M62 ensures close proximity to all major road networks in the UK. The port of Hull is also just 8 miles away enabling easy access to Europe and beyond.
Products are manufactured and distributed extensively through retail, wholesale and trade outlets, throughout the United Kingdom and an ever-expanding number of countries overseas. As well as traditional export markets such as the Middle East and Africa, recent successes include Australia, Kazakhstan, Chile, Moldova and many others.
Continual investment is being made in overseas markets with attendance at many high-profile trade fairs. In Europe, Heimtextil and Practical World are regularly attended, as is BIG 5 in Dubai. As more markets are explored, further investment at export exhibitions is being planned, with Mosbuild in Moscow and The National Hardware Show in Las Vegas being the most recent.
Bartoline has established a strong brand identity that has become instantly recognisable on retailers’ shelves. This has recently been enhanced further with a complete redesign of the whole range to provide a more modern and streamlined look, and a powerful and formidable alternative to competitors.
Customer’s private label requirements represent a significant part of the company’s business, with most of the UK’s leading multiple DIY retailers being supplied, as well as supermarkets, trade outlets, wholesalers, etc. A service is provided which can include everything from the original design concept to finished product. Toll manufacturing is also a growing specialty with many blue chip companies taking advantage of the superior facilities on offer.
New products are always being developed in-house. Clean Spirit, a new safer alternative to White Spirt and other traditional paint solvents was recently introduced and has become an instant sales success, whilst at the same time contributing to a reduction in VOCs.
The company strives to meet the exacting standards demanded by the industry. Not only does ISO 9001 certification ensure customers can rely on first class quality and consistency, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 guarantees that safety and the environment are always at the forefront of operations. Regular audits by the world’s largest retailers also ensures compliance with some of the most stringent ethical requirements.