Originally from an investment banking background with experience in business development, acquisition and customer service strategy, Simon took up the role of CEO as part of the Management Buyout in October 2015, a journey that started with a conversation with a rugby contact, Mark Smy.
Leading RML’s strategy and development of the last five plus years has been a challenge Simon has relished and the business has tripled in size, despite the ravages of the pandemic.
Further significant growth is planned over the next five years as the company extends its market penetration, develops additional sales channels and expands into the timber frame sector.
Simon’s vision for RML centres around a quality product, differentiated in the market by the best standards of service available in the industry, backed by unrivalled communication.
Mark has worked his way up through the timber engineering sector from the very early days of his career and is very much at home in the manufacturing sector.
Starting off as an estimator and designer at Aspect Roofing, Mark developed entrepreneurial instincts and with that a desire to manage truss factories himself, and moved to Robinson Manufacturing (RML), where he worked for founder Tim Robinson.
As the business grew, Mark instigated the development of RML’s first factory outside the East Midlands, in Essex, which now serves London and the South East.
In 2015, Mark was offered the chance to buy RML from Tim Robinson, who was keen to retire, and accepted the challenge, bringing on board banker Simon Kidney as part of the management buyout.
More than five years later and Mark, now MD, plays a key role in continuing to develop the company.
CEO & Finance Director
Sam Gartside joined RML as Finance Director in April 2020, following a successful period at a Chartered Surveyors where she developed the finance department into the highest performing team in the company.
After qualifying as an accountant in 2003, Sam has worked in various industries within the accounting function. Having started her career with Hays in Newcastle, she moved down to Leicestershire in 2001 to continue working with them. Then going onwards to T-Systems in 2007, Sam managed the finance function for International Contracts, responsible for America, Asia and Europe.
Following this period of working overseas, Sam settled down in the East Midlands as a Financial Controller, but saw an exciting opportunity in working for RML to assist with our growth.
As CEO, Sam leads RML together with General Manager Matt Korny. Her role as Finance Director covers RML as well as its holding group and other group companies, with a strong team supporting her based across multiple sites.
Matt has been a key member of the RML team for a well-established 20 years after beginning his career as a production assistant manufacturing trusses in November 2000.
His career with the company has seen him work in a number of different roles and departments, including Production, Logistics, Design and Sales, experience which has given him an unrivalled understanding of how the business works.
Matt has seen the company develop vastly over the years; from some of its earliest beginnings, branching out into production of joists and more recently becoming a truly national business.
In his current role, Matt has day to day responsibility, oversight and leadership of all things operational and production on a daily basis, ensuring that there is an over-arching view of the most critical part of the business.
Head of Design
Leading our Design Teams across the business, Sarah joined RML in March 2019, bringing with her a wealth of experience from across the timber engineering industry, including stints at National Hickman, Pasquill, Palgrave Brown and Carvers.
Sarah began her career in the timber engineering trade in 1997 as a Timber Contract Sales Administrator for Carvers Building Supplies and worked her way up through the company to become I-Beam Designer.
As her career developed, Sarah progressed from Senior Designer then ETFS Commercial Design Manager in the National Hickman owned business. When RML acquired ETFS is 2019, Sarah joined RML as Head of Joist Design. Sarah has since been promoted to Head of Design, in charge of both joist and truss design.
Sarah has continued her education through her career, studying a range of technical and business subjects, the latter at Cranfield School of Management.
Head of Production
Based at RML West Midlands, Jamie joined the business as part of the acquisition of ETFS, the flooring arm of National Hickman.
After 6 years and a number of roles at National Hickman over a 6-year period from working in production to schedule optimising and managing job yield, Jamie eventually became the Production and Planning Manager.
Although Jamie had worked within warehouse environments and briefly on building sites, he spent most of his early working years in the public-house industry, which helped him develop the people management skills he needed to manage large teams in busy production environments.
Jamie has progressed from managing joist production at RML West Midlands to takin charge of both truss and joist production across the business and around the UK, a role responsible for optimising productivity whilst working with colleagues across the business to ensure customer needs are met.
Head of Technical Operations
Mat joined Robinson Manufacturing in 2006, initially as an estimator and designer.
Now with over 20 years experience in the industry, Mat has built extensive knowledge around all areas of customer service, design, manufacture and delivery.
Having progressed to managing the the Design and Estimating department, during which time he further developed his technical experience, Mat made a slight career change to take on the role of Roof Truss Production Manager in 2013.
As the business grew, truss production in the new South East factory and later in North West, Wales & West were added to his remit.
RML has not stood still in this time, and with the addition of Timber Frame production and a joinery factory, Mat has taken on a new remit, heading up Technical Operations across the business.
Head of Business Development
Joining RML in 2015, Mark brought extensive Business Development, Customer Experience & Commercial experience in a number of industries from Planning & Events, Recruitment and the Banking industry.
Managing the company’s business development team based around the UK, Mark works directly with housebuilders of all sizes.
Developing and managing relationships, Mark and his team build resilient partnerships with customers across the country, and collaborate with key departments across the business to ensure RML meets customer needs now and into the future.
Head of TImber Frame
Head of Timber Frame, James Stanbridge, has 18 years experience in the sector and has personal connections to the business, with his family being neighbours that became lifelong friends with the late Tim Robinson and his family.
James has also previously worked with us before in 2003, helping set up the RML Central head office and factory – supporting in roof design and production amongst other things.
Moving on to a Construction Manager role, he dealt with contract negotiation, design coordination, delivery schedules as well as the actual build and overall execution of the development. This is where James started specialising in Timber Frame and gained a deep understanding of this method of construction. Further timber frame roles saw James working as Sales and Operations Director.
He joined RML in 2021, an exciting time for the company’s timber frame journey as it expands to meet rapidly growing demand from housebuilders across the country.
Head of HR
Anna was introduced to the business as Head of HR in March of 2018 and settled into the business seamlessly, making strong connections within the team.
Anna has always been involved in HR related roles in a variety of industries since leaving university and is CIPD qualified.
Responsible for the HR strategy and management within the group, Anna also supports Senior Leaders and Line Managers around employee-related issues.
She also works on strategies to improve employee engagement across the company and provides daily guidance with anything people related. This covers anything from onboarding, recruitment, employee relations to reward and recognition.
Director of QESH
Matt joined the business in January 2020 with a wealth of experience in Health, Safety and Environmental matters.
Matt has significant knowledge of public sector environments having worked for local councils as a corporate health & safety advisor and as a health and safety inspector.
Matt also has wealth of experience within the rail and aerospace industries.
A key area of focus for Matt is to maintain high quality levels of legal compliance, safety training and accident prevention.
The ability to quickly build rapport with colleagues at all levels is a key attribute in this role and Matt’s people-centred approach has created a strongly positive and highly engaged approach from RML’s teams right across the business.
This is essential in maintaining high health & safety standards.
Head of Production Oversight
Darren joined RML in October 2018 to work in metal web joist production at RML East Midlands, gaining valuable knowledge around our manufacturing processes. Since then, he has worked in numerous roles from Production Supervisor in the start up of our North West site, to Production and People Management across all truss and joist manufacturing respectively.
Drawing on his 25 years of people management experience in a retail background, Darren has now joined the Senior Leadership Team as Head of Production Oversight. Darren has responsibility for people, policies, recruitment, development, processes, and succession for all production staff across joists and trusses.
Darren has formed strong working relationships with our production staff and will be splitting his time across all factories to provide his support. A key responsibility for Darren will be to ensure all sites are working to the same policies, processes and quality standards, as well as receiving consistent communications.
Head of Marketing
Eppie joined Robinson Manufacturing in 2015, shortly after the MBO that saw Simon Kidney and Mark Smy take ownership of the business from founder Tim Robinson.
With a background in corporate marketing across a wide range of industries, including a number of senior roles, she brings a wealth of experience in branding and marketing strategy.
Eppie applies a practical approach to her day to day responsibilities across the business, which include marketing, branding and the customer journey for RML. She also works across a number of other Conspargo brands and is supported by a small team.
“Robinson Manufacturing and the associated businesses are a very exciting place to work for a marketeer,” she noted. “The pace of growth, the open minded approach to ideas and opportunities as well as the family feel of the business combine to make sure there is always the opportunity to excel, and never a chance to get bored!”