Standing the test of time

MD Bevis North shares the history of crocodile

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18th Jun 2021

MD Bevis North shares the history of crocodile

Crocodile products make your life at home more enjoyable. Socialise, enjoy your garden and share quality time with your family. 

But how did Crocodile products come to be? 

What’s the story behind the brand and what are the key milestones that make us Britain’s favourite designer, manufacturer and installer of verandas, stowaways, blinds, awnings and winter gardens? 

We caught up with visionary Managing Director, Bevis North, to find out more. 

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Hi Bevis, great to meet you, where did it all start?

Great to meet you too. Well, Crocodile began in 2003. It was a trading name of a garage door company called Continental Installations Limited. We would fit roller shutters and such. We were buying kits and we had engineers installing shutters to shop fronts, home garages and farm hangars. Things like that. As business grew, as markets changed, and as we became more successful, we started to think about our next step.

And what was the next big step for Crocodile?

Well, of course there were many big steps along the way in those early years. But a really big one came when we started to import a German-made glass veranda system. In the UK at that time, people had been installing PVC conservatories. But we brought these glass veranda systems over here and it was clear that there was a real market for them. They were far more stylish and contemporary, they were installed quickly and people loved them. We found a really good niche.

After bringing verandas to the UK, what was the next step?

Europe works a little differently to the UK and we found their holiday season hard to manage. Mainland manufacture literally stops for two months through the summer and it was impacting our ability to service customers effectively. We took another bold step and we bought a 32,000 square foot manufacturing site. This meant we could take control of lead times, costs and we could deliver on the promises we made to our customers.

So now Crocodile manufactures all of its own steel?

Yes. We also have a sister company where we manufacture all of our glass for the verandas, awnings and winter gardens too. We’re in complete control.

So what’s happened in the more recent history of Crocodile?

Since 2017 we’ve been investing heavily in infrastructure and fleet. Part of that was bringing glass manufacture in-house. We’ve also expanded to running twenty vans and four eighteen-ton wagons. That’s a lot of verandas all over the UK. And we still have plans for six more vans this year and more engineers too. Things are going brilliantly. It seems lots of people are taking the opportunity now to invest in their homes and their lifestyle.

And how was the response to your TV advertisements?

Perfect. As we expanded, we took the opportunity to try TV adverts and it’s really paid off. At a time when a lot of people were changing the way they advertise, TV worked for us and we’re grateful for that. This is one of the reasons we’re in the fortunate position to be employing more and more people across the country.

What would you say to anyone considering Crocodile products?

As the world changes, we’re seeing more and more people socialise at home. People want to extend their living space and enjoy their garden a lot more. What I will say is that we build to last. Our warranties and finance options are really good and hopefully we’re helping people to spend better quality time with their families and making the whole home experience more enjoyable.

Thank you, Bevis.

It’s my pleasure. Thank you.

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