The future is bright for Stuga

Ed Williams
Ed Williams

Following its acquisition by Stürtz, Great Yarmouth based machinery Stuga has appointed a new commercial & sales director, Ed Williams, to spearhead ambitious growth plans. We catch up with Ed as he takes over from Steve Haines, who retires in December this year after a lifetime of service in the fenestration industry.

To say that Steve Haines’ influence in the adoption of automated machinery for the fenestration industry in the UK is massive would be an understatement.

Steve was destined for a career in sales very early on: having started his career as an apprentice for aerospace giant Rolls Royce (Engine Division) in the 1960s and a role in general management at a large multi-national, Steve moved into sales in the 1970s.

In 1982, Steve began a machinery agency in the fenestration industry (Wegoma UK) and was MD until 1992. As he grew the agency to one of the biggest in the UK he also sold Sturtz cleaning equipment and eventually, welding machines.

In 1992, Steve took over the running of Actual UK and sold its welding and cleaning machines until eventually beginning his career-defining relationship with Stuga in 1999, joining initially as a consultant.

“Steve’s efforts single handedly put Stuga on the map and built our brand over the years that followed,” says Gareth Green, Stuga’s technical director, son of the founder and previous owner. “He made the name Stuga synonymous in the industry – customers didn’t buy a machining centre, they bought a Stuga.”

Pioneering vision

Steve is recognised as being the first to bring entry-level, cost-effective automated machining solutions to the UK fenestration industry, at a time when many factories were using aged semi-automatic machines in very labour-intensive processes.

Steve became a shareholder in Stuga in 2009 and has since steered the company to greater and greater successes, culminating in the recent acquisition from German-giant, Stürtz.

A window to the future

With over 20 years’ experience in senior sales, project and product management roles, new commercial & sales director, Ed Williams brings a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Having been responsible for the strategic direction, enhancement and financial performance of a range of products and services in previous roles within the packaging industry, Williams’ says his track-record will provide a sound base on which to meet the growth demands set out by Stürtz Group.

“The chance to join the team at Stuga and lead the growth of the business – in particular the re-introduction to the UK & ROI markets of the excellent portfolio of Stürtz machines – was too great an opportunity to miss,” says Williams.

“The bringing together of Stuga’s well-trusted sawing and machine capability alongside the range of automated systems from Stürtz is a match made in heaven – there is nobody else in the fenestration industry who offers turnkey solutions of this magnitude and scope and it’s a perfect time to apply my 20+ years of experience, as the industry seeks to overcome labour-market challenges and invest more in automated solutions, energy efficiency and predictive maintenance.”

Making Headway

When asked to comment on how Stuga and Stürtz will realise their ambitious growth targets, Williams points out: “Stürtz Group has a very simple approach – we have products and services that the industry trusts, coupled with a reputation and service structure on which to support that growth.

“Acquisitions like this can often create doubt in the minds of customers who’ve come to know the Stuga brand over years of working together, he continues. “But UK customers can be assured by the fact that Gareth has invested his future in becoming a Stürtz shareholder, and my appointment to ensure local commercial activity is focussed in the right areas of customer satisfaction and reliability.”