Caswell’s remain ambitious for growth after nearly 50 years

2022 will see D R Caswell celebrate 50 years in business, with innovative plans to expand and continue its success story…

These are exciting times for D R Caswell, the Billingham-based workplace supplies specialist with a family-run ethos and forward-thinking outlook.

Formed in 1972 by former British Steel senior buyer Derick Robert Caswell, assisted by wife Margaret, D R Caswell began on a small scale, selling welding equipment and flanges to local engineers and tradespeople in the Tees region.

Derick and Margaret welcomed their sons Peter and John into the business shortly before its tenth birthday and since then the family-owned concern has experienced steady growth and several physical moves.

Today the company resides on Cowpen Industrial Estate in Billingham, employs 70 members of staff and has an annual turnover of approximately £15m.

A one-stop-shop for all your workplace needs, Caswells’ product range includes personal protective equipment, janitorial and personal hygiene products and equipment, workplace safety and storage equipment, hand and power tools, lubricants and lubrication equipment, signage, hoses and hydraulic fittings and welding consumables and equipment.

It also offers a range of in-house associated services such as hose pressure testing, workwear and embroidery services.

The personal service and attention to detail given by all at Caswells has attracted a loyal customer base over the years, with clients from industries as diverse as petrochemicals, manufacturing, transport, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, education, management and renewable energy and utilities choosing them as their go-to supplier.

As its premises have grown over time, the increase of storage space, racking, vehicles and equipment has enabled the company to fulfil larger orders, tender for larger contracts and expand its customer base.

Currently Caswells also supports specialist divisions for welding, hose and hydraulics, design, embroidery and signage, plus a trade shop.

The business sees its workforce as integral to its ongoing success.

“We encourage our team to use their skills, knowledge and expertise for the benefit of the company and our customers,” explains managing director Peter Caswell.

“We like all our employees to really get to know what we do and have input on ways we can improve.”

The Covid-19 outbreak didn’t hold back the Caswells workforce.

With a huge increase in demand for their hygiene and cleaning products, Peter praises the efforts of the team who all pulled together and worked tirelessly throughout 2020.

“We have always been a family-run firm and treat our staff like family,” says Peter.

“Many of our employees have been with the organisation for decades.”

He affectionately tells the story of Paul Murphy, who started working for the company as a teenager, some 27 years ago, initially helping out after school and on weekends as a van washer.

Paul has adopted many roles within the company, working his way up to commercial director.

“It’s through our close liaison with customers and staff that we identify new enhancements or innovations that we can investigate to find new ways to meet our customer needs,” explains Peter.

“We may have decades of experience, but we know we could not do what we do without our staff and customer voices.

“Our team approach ensures everyone is heard, and because we listen, we can implement meaningful and sustainable innovations and enhancements.”

With next year marking the company’s 50th birthday, plans are now in place to push forward with investment, conquer fresh ground and explore new markets.

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