Family-run Alan Counsell Sand & Stone have been established for over 40 years and have maintained impressive growth in this time. The firm recently moved from their premises in Caerleon to a much bigger site in Pontypool which has allowed them to expand their operation once more.
Alan Counsell founded the organisation in 1974 as an aggregate supplier to merchants, trade and the public in the South of Wales. The company has a range of decorative and construction sand and stone products available from loose to 850kg bulk bags. As the business has expanded, so has the areas they supply to, which now includes Bristol, Avonmouth, Cotswolds and Mid and West Wales.
Over the last 12 months, Alan Counsell Sand & Stone has successfully moved into new premises in Pontypool which is 20 times bigger than their previous location. This has enabled them to stock more decorative products – giving them the space to expand their fleet when necessary. The workshop facilities at their new site are also a vast improvement on the ones they had previously. The firm has managed to overcome downturns in the economic environment and only faced a dip in turnover during heavy snowfall in the Winter of 2010. Since then, they have experienced an increased turnover every year, continuing to grow at a staggering rate.
A mixed fleet of 16 tippers and a flatbed are utilised by Alan Counsell Sand & Stone, catering to a range of different delivery requirements. The fleet is predominantly made up of DAF vehicles – 10 in total, while the rest is made up of a mix of Mercedes-Benz, MAN, Renault and Iveco. These vehicles meet a range of Euro legislations from Euro IV to VI. Vehicles are renewed on a rolling yearly programme where two new trucks are purchased in exchange for their older ones. Although, recently they have started to keep older ones instead of trading them in, so they could increase the size of their fleet.
In terms of technology, Alan Counsell Sand & Stone uses a variety of products to track their fleet, measure loads and make the overall process easier. Trackers are fitted to every vehicle in the fleet and can be monitored from their office. Director, Stephen Counsell, is very happy with them, stating, “Trackers are a godsend because we can give customers real-time updates on when they can expect their loads”. Electric sheets, weigh loaders and automatic tailboards are also fitted to every truck from 2013 onwards.
In the coming months, Alan Counsell Sand & Stone are going to be settling into their new premises, as Stephen explains, “when you spend 40 years in one place and then up and leave, it’s quite a shock to the system. But so far it’s been a fairly smooth transition”. As for the future, the firm plans to gradually expand as it heads towards its 50th anniversary.