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The Vikings have landed!

posted 6 Jan 2014, 01:24 by RiDO Rotherham
Pictured outside Century Business Centre are, from left, RIDO’s Dean Hughes, Viking’s Rotherham area sales executive Mark Snee, Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce’s Shane Young, Viking director Melanie Bennett, 3M’s area sales representative Glen Matthews, Viking managing director Colin Bennett, and the company’s key account manager Craig Smith
Established company Viking has, in conjunction with 3M Tapes and Abrasives, opened its first branch office in Century Business Centre, Manvers, Rotherham, to coincide with its 25th anniversary year.
Viking, launched in Keighley in 1989, already has a solid commercial footing across West, North and East Yorkshire, and is now mounting an ‘assault’ on neighbouring South Yorkshire, which it regards as one of the fastest-evolving heartlands of the UK manufacturing sector.
The company, one of 3M’s leading tapes, adhesives and abrasives distributors, will be concentrating initial efforts across Rotherham, Doncaster, Barnsley, and Sheffield, with its sights firmly set on further penetration into Lincolnshire and North Derbyshire.
Viking’s managing director Colin Bennett explained: “We have identified a gap in the market in this part of the world for a specialist tapes, adhesive and abrasives distributor and our aim is to provide the region’s rapidly expanding manufacturing industry with quality products and cost-effective solutions.
“Our new South Yorkshire operation is supported by two Viking technical salesmen and two 3M technical specialists. As part of our launch programme, Viking and 3M will be promoting new VHB tapes for signage and metal fabrication, and the new range of 3M industrial sealants.” 
Ian Graham, of Wakefield, has been appointed as branch supervisor. With 30 years’ experience in the industry sector, specialising in tapes and adhesives, he’s returning to the Viking fold after previously working for the company.
Viking has been dealing with 3M since 1989 and remains a strategic partner of the global technology giant, notably in driving forward its growing e-commerce business. The company remains the leading online supplier of 3M products in the UK and ranks among its top three performers overall.
Stuart Fellows, 3M’s sales manager, said: “Viking will provide a real focus for our specialist range of products and I am relishing the challenge of improving our penetration in what is one of the fastest growing areas for manufacturing industry in the country.”
Viking pioneered the use of the internet, tailoring its site to provide a safe passage through the maze of available adhesive products. An online helpline deals with hundreds of enquiries a month. 
Colin, who has over 40 years’ experience in the industry, said: “We already have a significant number of online customers across South Yorkshire, but no matter how comprehensive an internet service may be, there is still a requirement for face-to-face contact – another reason we are taking an on-the-ground presence there.”
He paid tribute to the help and advice received from both Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, and Rotherham Investment & Development Office (RiDO), Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council's regeneration arm.
“They have proved invaluable in helping us to locate our new South Yorkshire premises and in opening up access to a generous business support package,” he said.
Shane Young, membership executive with Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, said: “Viking have been in business for 25 years and it's fantastic to see a successful organisation move in to the Rotherham area. We are delighted to welcome them as a new member of the chamber and are looking forward to creating a strong working relationship and supporting the business.”
Dean Hughes, RIDO’s business investment officer, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Viking to Century Business Centre, as they join the other quality businesses that have been attracted to this area of Rotherham. It is great to have helped Viking to expand their business here and we look forward to helping them grow further in the future.”