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Palace Chemicals builds up to big anniversary

Palace Chemicals is an independent manufacturer of tiling, building, construction and DIY products, which was established in 1978 in Speke, Liverpool. The company has grown consistently year-on-year for 45 years and next month the Palace team is celebrating a big anniversary!

Its people have been a key driver of the company’s growth and success, the company says. Members of the Palace customer service team, for example, have an average length of service of 27 years. The company says it’s not just training and investment which has made it successful, but also that all staff are valued by senior management. That is a key ingredient to increasing productivity and helping the business grow.

It’s also about doing things well, Palace says. Since the early 1980s, the business has been on the path of accreditation, ensuring all its activities are externally recognised for quality, safety and environmental health – as accredited and audited by the British Standards Institute (BSI ISO 45001, 14001 & 9001).

Following a devastating fire 23 years ago, the company has invested substantially in its production capabilities, including robotics and automation with the aim of ensuring consistency and quality in everything it manufactures.

The growth of the business can be seen at its 15-acre site, where the vast majority of its team work and live locally. The multi-warehouse operation at Speke features not only modern manufacturing and packing systems, but also computerised warehouse and distribution facilities.

The company has also consistently focused on sustainability. Having gained its ISO 14001 BSI accreditation for environmental management systems nearly 20 years ago, the team continually searches for ways to reduce its carbon footprint and create superior manufacturing systems, better working conditions and a healthier planet. The recent installation of a closed-loop dust extraction and recycling system is one such investment by the company.

Airborne dust emissions are contained and collected within extraction ducting around all powder manufacturing and packing processes on site. The collected emissions are monitored, stored and automatically re-processed back into the manufacturing plant under refined dosing arrangements.
Technical director Jim Percival says the system represents a huge step forward compared with previously available technologies. “It is a first-class system,” he says, “and a unique example of how investment in sustainable technology can have tangible and long-lasting benefits”.

The company has also reportedly moved to more environmetally friendly formulations, such as its EXTRA-LITE range of tile adhesives, which contains more than 40% recycled materials. The products provide the same performance while doubling the coverage capability, meaning that users can transport smaller volumes to each job in a lighter and smaller packaged bag of adhesive.

Palace has also worked with its packaging suppliers to convert over two million containers to post-consumer recycled plastic (PCR). It has also removed more than 80,000 composite paper sacks from its waste system, with almost 100% of its raw materials now handled via an automated bulk transfer system. This has resulted in a huge reduction in waste, the company says, as well as reducing the volume and frequency of transportation to and from the plant.

Simon Clough, Palace’s sales director and one of the firm’s longest-serving employees, says: “The future looks very bright indeed for Palace Chemicals. I’ve been part of the Palace family for more than 40 years, and I’m proud to say that we’ve never been in a stronger position. Our products and service are second to none and this is the result of building a fantastic team around us. We have many long serving staff, which is something of a rarity these days, so the customer always feels that they are talking to the same person, which is key to building long term relationships with our customers.”

Look out for the next issue of TSJ, where the achievements of Palace Chemicals’ impressive 45 years will be explored more.

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