A national online building supplies business has been set up by the former owners of MGM Timber and a former executive of Buildbase.

Ken’s Yard (www.kensyard.com) is the idea of Ken McLelland, who held senior posts at independent and national suppliers such as Keyline, Wickes, Wolesley and Buildbase. He believes the building supplies business has yet to fully leverage the advantages of the internet and is targeting serial project builders, self-builders and small building contractors.

“This is something myself and one or two others have been thinking about for the last couple of years,” Mr McLelland said.

“Within traditional construction products the internet has yet to have the impact it has elsewhere. People tend to like face to face and personal contact. While we are aimed at small businesses and we offer advice, there are a lot of people who do want to speak to anyone and just want to order their products at the right time and the right price.”

The business is based near MGM Timber in Grangemouth and includes in the team former MGM owners Charles McLeish and Joe McConville, along with Charles Shaw, former chief executive of Invergordon Distillers and Andrew Sutherland former UK financial controller of Keyline.

Ken’s Yard has an 8,000ft² distribution centre with a small trade counter and offers 30,000 branded products. Stock is held, but the company uses distributors with bulky items sent direct from suppliers. Mr McLelland said 98% of stock is available with two to three days.

Kährs hardwood flooring as well as roof trusses, spandrel panels and Posi-Joist open web engineers flooring are among products being sold, with Jeld-Wen joinery products and Velux windows available soon.

“To keep costs down we are capitalising on distributors. They have suffered in the last few years as the big merchant chains have been going direct to manufacturers. We have put a front end in front of the distributors,” Mr McLelland said.