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How we helped SIG build on its success

SIG is one of Sheffield’s highest-earning and most profitable companies. It is a leading distributor of specialist building products across Europe, working in core markets including insulation, energy management, interiors and exteriors.

It has grown significantly in recent years through acquisitions and organic development. It works primarily in eleven European countries, though has smaller operations in a further six. 

The challenge

The company’s rapid growth has significant benefits, including new markets, increased profits and enormous future potential. But bringing together a number of different businesses into one organisation has also created challenges, specifically in terms of varying cultures and operational procedures.

That’s one of the reasons that SIG decided to embark on a programme of professional development for its senior managers. We offered a unique approach and a bespoke solution. The company decided that Sheffield Business School was its ideal partner.

What we did

We worked in close collaboration with SIG to develop a tailor-made response to the company’s needs, drawing on the considerable commercial expertise of staff in Sheffield Business School. 

A module-based programme was developed to help managers from across Europe develop their skills in mentoring, communications, finance, leadership, customer relationship marketing, strategy and processes, acquisitions and supply chain management.

The programme addresses key strategic and operational challenges and through group working across and between countries. An emphasis on mentoring and collaboration means delegates are able to share best practice and learn from each other’s experiences.

The results

The results so far have been impressive, achieving improvements in individual skills and collective ways of working, and in hard financial terms. One project emerging from the programme has already saved the organisation £660,000, and others are expected to reduce costs further.

100 senior managers from across the company have already been through the development programme, helping to improve shared leadership and break down organisational barriers. Coaching and mentoring has now become part of the organisational culture, creating a profound effect on how the company operates.

The success of the initial programme has led to the introduction of a further leadership development programme aimed at supporting a geographical restructuring of the company’s UK distribution business. Involving 15 regional directors, the new programme is already helping to develop the cultural and operational changes needed to move the distribution business from a branch focus to a much more regional, coordinated approach.

"Working with Sheffield Business School has helped us to develop a common language to support us in developing and implementing strategy, improving operational effectiveness and providing more focus to marketing and customer relationships"


"We were impressed with the Business School approach from the outset – no other organisation that we met could provide such a bespoke package. Effectively managing a business which has been grown through acquisition and organically, brings its own unique challenges and, working with Sheffield Business School has played a vital role in helping us to meet these challenges head on and with significant success.”

Andrew Mander, group HR director, SIG plc

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