Over the course of the last ten years there has been a steady decline year-on-year in the number of PVCu window and door fabricators operating within the UK. Nevertheless, the number of window, door and conservatory installation businesses has increased over the last few years, with a surge in small installation businesses. Selecta Systems Sales Director, Andy Green, analyses the figures to see where opportunities lie and the potential hidden pitfalls.
I read with great interest the most recent and excellent Industry Report produced by Insight Data. The figures make thought-provoking reading and are certainly in line with what we’ve seen as a profile systems company. However, what is interesting, is that over the last twelve months, we have seen an increase in installers moving in to fabrication, with the clear reasoning being, to ‘take back control’ of their business.
Taking Back Control
The rationale behind this ‘taking back control’ spate has been clear and concise. Installers have recognised that ‘buying in’ manufactured products removes any control over the fabrication, quality and service provided and any supplier failings significantly affects their installation business. Failure to deliver on time, or poorly and incorrectly fabricated products are the main issues raised, with both causing installation headaches of which they have no control over. These have damaging knock on effects to their installation business, not only their reputation, but also on the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations.
There’s nothing worse for installers than booking in a job, their customer having time off work and then having issues where the product hasn’t arrived or damaged during transit or when there are mechanical and fabrication problems, when fitting on site. The majority of these issues may not be able to be resolved by the installation company, whereas if they were fabricating, they could apply their own corrective actions and also have greater control what goes out the door and when. As for delivery timescales, why wait when you can fabricate?
I’m not saying this is the case everywhere for fabrication and installation companies, but there is certainly an increase in installers wanting to be in control of their own destiny, with a number starting to and showing increasing interest in the fabrication of our Advance 70 System of late. Selecta have a strong and successful history of setting up fabricators and fabrication facilities from scratch and assisting in all aspects of the process from layout and floor plan design to full blown training, with your own personal technician making the transition as smooth as possible.
The increase in installation companies represents further opportunities to fabricators, whom may not have considered supplying the trade previously. The prospect of diversifying and expanding your fabrication business to meet installation companies demands is appealing to many, with there now being over 9,000 installers fitting between 1 – 25 windows and doors per week, out of approximately 13,000 installation companies. Provide a quality range of products, backed up with a solid service and support package and this is where there are added business opportunities at your disposal.
Service and Support is Key
Whether you’re a fabricator or installer, our aim at Selecta is to provide a service and support package that suits everyone, from sales to delivery, technical to marketing. We have an extensive range of retail based marketing brochures, literature and sales videos, whilst providing a branding service on all electronic versions for use on your website and social media channels. A series of trade sales and technical information sheets are available to fabricators to provide product specification and promote the window and door range to trade customers and installers.
There is further back up from our four strong team of technical engineers, whom have a wealth of industry fabrication and installation experience, and provide a personal and first-rate technical support service for you and your business.
With the Advance 70 System now firmly recognised as one of the leading and most versatile window and door profile systems, whether you are fabricating, installing or both, you can be sure of a quality and comprehensive range of window and door solutions at your disposal.
It is vitally important whether you’re a fabricator, installer or both that you have, not only the right window and door profile system, but also the right supplier that can service and support you and you’re business. This I believe is essential in building a successful business partnership. Fabricators and installers are firmly recognising the benefits of working with the fastest growing and award winning PVCu System Houses and a versatile window and door profile system in the Advance 70 System.
With the emergence of a number of TV programmes, like Grand Designs, these have whet the appetite of the home improvement customer whilst enhancing the appeal of creating a grand entrance to their homes. Selecta Systems Sales Director, Andy Green, talks about how doors have evolved, from being just a door, as fabricators and installers take advantage and look forward to opening up new doors of opportunity.
The entrance to any home serves three main purposes; to act as a welcome to the homeowner, family and friends, to keep unwanted visitors out and also to protect the property from inclement weather. The latter two have improved considerably over the years, with PAS 24 and Secured by Design standards, whilst energy ratings have set the mould when it comes to thermal performance. Security, thermal performance and weather performance are now a given and are expected, but for the homeowner, expectations have grown as they look about enhancing kerb appeal and providing that wow factor.
Long gone are the days when a panelled PVCu door, available in White, Mahogany or Golden Oak, were suffice to satisfy the market. The number of door options and styles has grown considerably, thus giving the home owner greater choice. This has also created a line of new businesses offering just doors, such is the appeal and consumer demand, as the door market continues to grow.
One of the greatest appeals of modern doors is colour choice, as this now gives homeowners the opportunity to really create a bespoke and grand entrance to their home, their own personal touch, setting them apart from neighbouring properties. Combined with a comprehensive range of door styles, glass designs, hardware and furniture options, entrance doors have become more than just an add-on, they are an in demand commodity driven by the homeowners desire to create an entrance they are proud of and comfortable to live with.
To assist fabricators within this keenly fought market, Selecta have exclusively launched to our fabricators a composite door kit, comprising of a pre-routed slab, TriSys glazing cassette, choice of locks, hardware and furniture with glass options, all packaged up ready for the fabricator to hang in our own standard Advance 70 door frame. This improves delivery, cost effectiveness and stock holding, plus providing greater control over efficiencies and quality. This, we believe, provides fabricators with a far more effective solution to supply both the trade and retail customer and take advantage of a growth market.
The same can be said for panoramic sliding door solutions as homeowners look to create their own grand design. The opportunity to open up their living space and create large glazed walls is appealing, particularly when extending properties. The patio door is going through a renaissance period, whilst the introduction of swing and slide panoramic doors, like the EASi-FOLD Doors, have captured the imagination of the home improvers. The innovative and revolutionary EASi-FOLD Doors are an alternative to a bi-fold door and are appropriately named because of the simplicity of operation, with each sash sliding independently and folding in to place alongside the master door. It’s these kind of innovations that give the home improvement market a new and fresh approach to standard offerings as consumers look for the latest advancements in pioneering product design to improve their home and lifestyle.
Doors are no longer an add-on to a property. They’ve become more than just a door. A chic choice to fit in with their lifestyle. A security option to protect their family and home. A thermally efficient decision to reduce energy bills. They’re a product that the fashion and technical conscious consumer is ready to invest in and create that grand entrance to their home.