Selecta Systems Sales Director, Andy Green, provides his view on some of the potential challenges ahead and the opportunities this generates for fabricators and installers during 2023.
With the mixture of a global pandemic, supply chain and resource issues to tend with over the last couple of years, our industry fared extremely well, remaining resilient and buoyant. As we move in to 2023 and beyond, we now seem to be in, what feels like a never-ending news feed of doom and gloom, but with challenges comes opportunities.
We are hearing of a global recession brought on by what the media cite as crises after crises. Mortgage rates soaring and a possible sharp fall in housing prices. High inflation, elevated fuel prices and soaring energy costs, which all-in-all is having a detrimental impact on the cost of living for many.
Soaring Energy Costs
It appears that 2023 will continue to be fraught by rising energy costs, even with the governments help, there are fears that there may be further increases. When you compare current energy costs to 2020 and 2021, there has been a substantial increase in energy bills. Even if and when they do start to decrease, we are a long way away from the 2020 and 2021 prices. However, with this comes opportunity for the fenestration industry.
There are many looking at ways of reducing their energy consumption and improving their homes energy efficiency levels. As an industry, we have a range of window and door products that can provide a long-term solution to the current “crisis” – increasing their necessity to the consumer.
What this means is that as a window and door fabricator and/or installer you have the ideal platform and opportunity to promote the energy efficiency of your products as one of the main USP’s. Replacing ageing and tired windows and doors with new can be seen as an essential renovation to improve a homes thermal efficiency and reduce energy usage. There is a need to focus on this positive and educate, as there are millions of homes that would benefit from new energy efficient windows and doors, thus possibly saving hundreds of pounds per year on their energy bills.
Combining this with the latest and future planned revisions to Building Regulations Approved Document Part L, it provides you with a legislative platform for promoting the thermal performance of windows and doors within the home.
With many homeowners facing a rise in mortgage repayments over the coming 12 months or so, on top of the previously mentioned cost of living increases, it is envisaged that there may be a dip in house moves. In-turn this could lead to the possibility of a sharp decrease in housing prices, as the demand wanes.
However, falling house prices and rising mortgages may lead to a rethink from homeowners. The “don’t move, but improve” scenario could possibly pan out, with it deemed cheaper to improve or extend their existing home than to move up the housing ladder. Again, with clever marketing, it is an area where we as a sector can take advantage of and open up the vision to the homeowners through our installers – an improve, don’t move campaign!
Supply Chain Issues and Material Costs
Supply chain issues and rising material costs have been the two of the biggest challenges that we have faced as an industry over the last couple of years. As a PVCu systems company, it was as much of a stressful and frustrating period for ourselves as it was for all concerned. As a business we prospered far better than many and managed to resolve supply issues some time back now and far more quickly than others within the industry. Thankfully, as we go in to 2023, I’m happy to say that those frustrations now seem firmly behind us!
PVCu raw material costs now look like they have peaked and levelled out and there are possibilities of a decrease in raw material costs in the coming months. This is very welcome news, after a period where they were increasing day-by-day, making it very difficult to plan and manage. From the outset, it has always been the intention of Selecta to pass on any savings to customers if and when they occur.
Choosing the Right Partnerships
To help you through the challenges ahead, it is vitally important that you choose the right partnerships for you and your business. Why am I telling you this? Putting it quite simply and as you know, your supply chain is an extension of your business. They fail, you fail. Whether that’s product, service or support related, your supplier is a reflection of you and your business. In good and bad times you need to be able to rely on and trust your suppliers. Moving forward, it’s essential that fabricators and installers partner with the right window and door system and supplier. One that can provide future proofed window and door solutions to meet the demands of your customers. One that is looking at long-term innovation and development of its products and services. One that can provide a range of marketing and technical support tools and services. Selecta are ready when you are.