Somerset based trade window and door supplier, Trade Frames, have announced that they have started fabricating the Advance 70 Window and Door System and become part of the Selecta ‘family’. Managing Director, Keith Matthews, and General Manager, Paul French, explain the reasons behind the move, future partnership plans and the enthusiasm to join the independently owned and fastest growing PVCu systems company.
With 30 years of trading under our belt, Trade Frames have grown in size and prominence over the years to become one of the South West’s leading trade window and door suppliers. Trade Frames reputation has been built on providing a range of quality products, complimented by a fast and reliable delivery system and unrivalled customer service.
To be able to continue to provide our high level of service and quality, we required a window and door profile system and systems supplier that meets ours and our customers’ expectations. Our previous system supplier of 16 years had been failing on all accounts, from product quality through to service and this was having a damaging effect on the business. It felt like we were just a number to them, passed from pillar to post with no personal touch to their approach. In the end we could not see a future with them.
With many issues not being resolved, we decided to look for an alternative window and door systems company and we were quite intrigued by what Selecta and the Advance 70 System had to offer. We were personally invited by Andy Green, Director at Selecta, to visit their Birmingham extrusion and distribution centre, meet the team and see the whole operation that would be servicing ourselves, first hand. Selecta opened their doors to us from day one and we were highly impressed with the warm welcome we received and the site tour was impressive.
The thing for ourselves was that, when you’ve been with a supplier for over 16 years, you are very apprehensive about change, but I must say it’s been a revelation and total breath of fresh air. So much so, it’s now something I wish we had done some time back!
The transition was smooth and very well organised, with very little or no disruption to our fabrication, something that we feared at first, but it was handled so well by all involved at Selecta and fitted in nicely with our own operations. Our fabricators have been impressed with the ease of fabricating the Advance 70 System, with our trade customers very complimentary in regards to the quality of the window and door solutions provided.
What has impressed my colleagues and myself the most is the personal relationships we have already been able to build with Selecta and the team, the proactive and down to earth approach to building up those relationships and the promptness of those responses. We get to speak directly to those who make the decisions, those that can help and don’t have to wait days or weeks for a reply! The longest I’ve waited is an hour, whereas I was lucky at times to get a response from my previous supplier! It’s very straightforward with Selecta, they will help and bend over backwards, if and when they can, but will be honest and upfront if they can’t. We like the honest approach, at least you can plan around that.
The whole ethos of Selecta is spot on and fits perfectly in to Trade Frames ethos and values. We are really looking forward to a bright and promising future with Selecta, the Advance 70 System and the range of window and door solutions we can offer our trade customers. The addition of flush sash windows is an exciting prospect in itself, for ourselves and our trade customers too, as our previous supplier did not have this as part of their suite of profiles. Our fully fabricated and glazed frames will also be able to benefit from Selecta’s new LINK70 Pre-Glazed Frame Connector System, which will provide a fast fix frame connection solution for installers when on site. We see the partnership with Selecta as one that can go from strength to strength, with expansion plans already well underway.
We are expanding our 23,000 sq/ft premises further, with the addition of new machinery, to set-up a composite and patio door fabrication shop, solely concentrating on manufacturing Selecta’s new composite door kits and MASTERslide patio doors. The composite door kits will provide ourselves with greater opportunities with our trade customers and allow ourselves to have full control over the product leaving our factory, maintain our high standards, whilst remaining competitive within the market.
All the new products will be added to our Trade Frames 24/7 online ordering system, which allows registered trade users to log in, browse through our extensive range of products on offer, choose the style, size and quantity they want – even if it’s a bespoke design – and then retrieve a quote and place on order. The system enables fast and simple tradesman’s access to a quick quote and ordering system, anytime of the day or night, on site or in the office. The new window and door solutions will only improve the system further.
All-in-all, Selecta have delivered on everything that they promised. We now have a relationship with our supplier, something we lost with our previous profile system supplier. We now have a window and door profile system and supplier that meets ours and our trade customer’s expectations. We are so pleased to have made the decision to ‘be part of the family’…
As a business, it’s become imperative to make use of the available advancements in online technology and stay in touch with digital innovations and developments. However, it’s just as significant not to lose the warmth that the personal touch brings and become a faceless, impersonal and almost robotic business. Selecta Systems Marketing Manager, Mark Walker, explains how Selecta have managed to remain connected with their customers and find the right balance between the two.
There have been considerable advancements in online and digital technology and the way we use it to go about our home and business life on a daily basis. It’s reported that 82% of consumers now use their smartphone to research a purchase they are about to make in a store, whilst the average business professional is sending and receiving 121 emails per day! Whether its B2B or B2C, we certainly can’t ignore the online and digital revolution and the need to be part of it. Websites with customer portals, apps, designers and ordering systems, product and social video, and of course social media, are now firmly amongst us and we cannot simply bury our heads in the sand and ignore any of them.
Connect is Selecta’s new online customer support portal, which we have launched to our customer base. Each customer has their own personal log in details, which allows them to access marketing, technical and general information, from brochures to an image library, through to technical test reports and product certifications, price lists and order forms. It is a comprehensive library of everything connected to the customer and Selecta, whilst also allowing them to order hard copy marketing brochures and flyers. Connect is simplistic and easy to navigate, with the intention to expand the support centre with designers and ordering systems.
Connect also features a customer specific news section, with latest news and information for customers and also a quick enquiry function for any requests or questions. A news or update alert system is planned to be introduced as and when any information is added, to ensure customers are informed as quickly as possible and kept up to date. Connect allows us to share and provide information to our customers 24/7, 365 days a year.
Although at Selecta we continue to embrace the technology available to us, with the introduction of online systems, product sales videos, social media etc. we still firmly believe in ensuring that the personal touch does not escape the customer, even when combining the two! For instance we provide our customers with the opportunity to have branded electronic brochures and product sales videos, whilst also giving them the facility to use our bespoke in-house design service.
The design service is used for a whole host of requirements, from helping a customer to rebrand, designing them a new logo, assisting with website and social media content, all the way through to bespoke flyers and adverts, to aid marketing and promotions. This is very popular with newly converted customers, who see the change to Selecta and the Advance 70 System as the ideal opportunity to rebrand and freshen up their approach. This is all done in-house as part of the package that Selecta provides, with customers dealing direct with people at the heart of company.
Life, in all its glory, has become very impersonal with more and more automated and computerised systems, which are introduced to improve efficiencies and speed up processes. Our lives seem to have become busier and more complicated, but with that comes impatience, wanting things quicker. Something that Selecta recognises is that many still prefer the comfort of being able to pick up the phone and speak directly to a person, and one that understands them and their business. They don’t want to call John in customer services one day, then Alice the next day, who have no idea of them or their business and have to go through endless channels to get a simple yes or no answer. It’s about creating relationships, speaking to the ‘doers’, that’s where Selecta excel and it’s what sets us apart from the competition. We want to, and continue to, connect with all of our customers across all channels, in whatever format suits them. It’s what we do.