“The foundations of the modern business were set out in 2003 with a clear ambition to be the best niche manufacturer of technically superior nonwovens,” says Andrew Brownlow, managing director of BFF. “With more than 10 years of successes, we’ve now achieved that and are number one in our chosen markets.”
BFF saw an opportunity in the market to create tailor-made solutions for customers, where other companies simply competed on cost and offered little or no flexibility, according to Brownlow. “Through offering bespoke, innovative solutions, value for money and the best customer care available, we’ve established ourselves as leaders in the sector. As such, it was vital to include a strong focus on customer needs and a ‘customer care’ element to our offer,” he adds.
Among the company’s products and services are chemical bonding, thermal bonding, scatter and paste dot coating, dye house, a full pilot facility, access to carbon loading, needlepunching and lamination, as well as slitting, cutting and punching.
“We produce a range of quality fabrics, often bespokely designed and developed in conjunction with our customers,” says Brownlow. “We like to say, ‘If you can think it, we can produce it.’ Through this principal, we’ve made a name for ourselves as trusted innovators.”
BFF serves sectors including packaging, medical, food, filtration, automotive and electrical insulation/cable wrap, and Brownlow and his team are seeing growth in many markets, particularly in demanding and technical applications.
The company puts a strong emphasis on service, and customers are encouraged to be involved in the process from start to finish. By ensuring this, Brownlow says the end result is more likely to fit the customer’s requirements and deliver value.
“Our successes in niche areas all come down to our CARE principal, and because of our unique difference, we’re performing very strongly as are our customers,” he notes.
BFF’s close attention to fulfilling customers’ specific requirements and needs sets the company apart. To achieve expectations, the company doesn’t presume to know its customers’ businesses better than the customers themselves. The team strives to find out how each customer can be a step ahead of their competitor by first asking, “What properties do you need in a product to make it better than that of your competitor?”
BFF also differentiates itself because of its niche capabilities, providing truly customizable, creative solutions. “Economy of scale can be a double-edged sword in the world of nonwoven fabrics, as it can often stifle creativity,” Brownlow explains. “Products made in high volumes are invariably sold to customers in an inflexible way. We sought to do things differently, by ensuring that findings from our R&D process fed into each customer brief. We ensure the customer is at the heart of what we do, which helps us consistently deliver a nonwoven solution that perfectly fits the customer brief.”
As the company evolves and looks to the future, it won’t only invest in the necessary tools to grow as a business, it will also continue to invest in the right people. In fact, BFF has recently added to its technical business development and innovations teams.
“Our ethos of CARE is very important and runs right throughout the business. This brings together the right people, attitudes and expertise to do the job, with focus and determination,” Brownlow concludes.