Fenestration Digital Magazine Febuary 2019

 @FenDigital www.fenestrationdigital.co.uk

ISSUE 8: FENESTRATION DIGITAL MAGAZINE

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APP CREATION CAN IMPROVE YOUR PROFIT MARGIN

Apps are a superb invention giving companies excellent access to a bigger audience reach. Never before has it been easier to interact and gain the attention of potential new customers and all via the convenience of simple app innovation. For this sector being able to provide quotes, designs and technical specifications while out on-site is invaluable. This type of technology is not just a small addition for a business, as it can really simplify connectivity with customers making it an excellent marketing tool. The simplicity to adopt them into a business makes apps an attractive addition to marketing campaigns as they are a fast and simple method of staying up to date in a world that increasingly demands we combine aesthetics, quality and technology. Whether it’s mobile showrooms as created by Infinity or construction management apps such as PlanGrid - business life is becoming so much easier through this type of technology. By using and adapting smartphone technology, mobile apps give great added value as online support to a business, giving those who use them a richer experience of the companies who develop them. It’s a fast and simple additional customer

service. Checking out the competition is always a wise idea so that any apps created do not replicate something that may already be on the market. Keeping things unique is essential in this sector with many new marketing apps created daily. Discussions with customers about the purpose and usefulness of a new app may be helpful in the concept stage, to ensure that it has the right purpose as it is developed. Consolidating data and evaluating the market will be important before budget is set aside to create the new ’sales tool’ Getting expert advice on coding and development will be vital once the decision has been made to progress with new app technology. With many online guides, YouTube tutorials or even short courses, it may be possible to create a shiny new app inhouse. If the thought of coding is a terrifying prospect, there are freelance sites such as Upwork, PeoplePerHour. com or toptal.com who can help companies tailor ideas and create a completely individual new app.

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Once all things have been checked, and double checked, it will be necessary to try things out. For those with an established business then this is probably best done with existing customers, to see how well it is received and how much of a benefit it will be to their business too. Most people today use digital technology to simplify many areas of business, so asking a few trusted customers for feedback prior to main launch might be a good idea.

Once any potential issues have been ironed out the marketing to support the launch of the app can then be rolled out to the wider customer base and potential target market.

Promotion for apps can be achieved effectively via all main social media channels and online support avenues, such as publishers and promotional online portals. People can quickly pick up on adverts and this can all tie into corporate websites and branding programmes. App promotion does not have to cost vast amounts money with boost options available on most of the well known social feeds to help promote the launch. If selling products or services to the consumer market then it is probably best to get rid of any potential technical glitches or bugs before going all out on an app marketing campaign. Once the app has been tried, tested and achieved the standard required, a launch programme should take place in all relevant trade sectors. Here it may be worth tying into online publishing options who can help to promote things for quicker awareness and faster uptake. Keep on creating a buzz about the new technology and ensure that the app is regularly checked by the original developers in order to optimise its benefits for customers. Customer feedback and applying any suggestions given will help to keep a company ahead of its competition.

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MAKE YOUR MARKETING VIDEOS PAY For many businesses the use of videos has been something created to help give a company a personal touch via sound and vision. It’s a voice that is a welcoming tool that can help improve both short and longer term business strategies. Voice-overs, interviews and good photography including drone video if relevant, will help to demonstrate differences to the competition. A website with a video can house all that is great

about a business and its team, which will inspire the best people to want to join it and will help to show why a company is better than others in the same field. This type of video can also inspire people to invest in a company or group. Building on that theme, companies can also create product videos for specific customer investment. Highlighting qualities or new developments on a regular basis will extend the vision of a company and show a forward thinking approach to market developments. Stronger, faster, better quality, whatever advantages are offered, making life better is what this type of video is all about. businesses an app video can explain a lot in a really short space of time. They give a clear and concise message exceedingly quickly and are very easy to create. These can focus on key features and drive viewers to explore more about a company they can be a light, fun and highly visual tool that will quickly engage users. Apps are a topic of this month’s discussions but they are such a technological revolution! For

After being convinced to spend a few thousand pounds, videos are then parked on websites and corporate youtube channels. Once the initial flurry of excitement and interest regarding the latest custom video has been achieved what happens then? It depends on why you commissioned it in the first place. Customised corporate videos are an excellent marketing tool that can help to drive traffic to a website or inform customers about the latest updates on products or services. Via online portals they are a great way to spread a modern message to potential new customers who prefer to be tech savvy and watch moving pictures. Yet what types of videos are right for a particular business? Corporate messages that give an up to date view of the strength behind a company’s brand are an engaging way to communicate and there are many types out there that reinforce corporate qualities.

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YouTube is now a mighty device to drive people to invest in a company. Stars have been born here and companies created that would have foundered were they not able to demonstrate their merits via a YouTube video. It can demonstrate changes, explain how to use a new product or it can give access to corporate events in a way that has never before been achievable on screen.

Whether you love them or hate them short online commercials before, during and after virtually every video on the global channel mean it’s a go-to arena for marketers.

Capturing interest is vital here if people are going to stay watching a corporate video for more than 30 seconds. 10 Seconds in, if interest has not been captured here then forget it. Fun and exciting - two key attributes that every YouTube video should include to keep an audience focused.

Streamlining videos captures a moment there and then. People like this - it is an honest way to speak to an audience but content is absolutely key here.

Company marketers wanting to expand or market their business potential have a wealth of choice when it comes to video content. There are plenty out there looking to help highlight the advantages of any company videos are extremely versatile, but knowing which type of video to produce and the audience it will reach is critical to its success.

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IS WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY MAKING WORK LIFE EASIER?

We can now dash through train stations and airports with tickets and boarding passes on our phones or for more an even simpler life, on our wrists! The battery charge on an electric BMW can be checked and charged with a quick tap on a screen. Daily fitness nudges and our heartbeats can be included in our technological diaries with subtle buzzes pushing us as reminders that we need to move away from our desks in order to stay in peak physical fitness or to ensure our blood circulates regularly. For those with disabilities Apple has been working hard to create gadgets and apps that will simplify life, helping people to maintain independence. Those with sight and hearing difficulties can still be part of the evolving digital world. For example, communication is everything for those with sight or

With smartwatches, Fitbits and VR becoming as much much a part of our wardrobes as shirts, shoes and coats it is taking no time at all for wearable technology to be adapted into our lives to make them a lot more simple. It would seem that opportunities abound for the business sector too as increasingly companies are evaluating and introducing new ways to improve services and working methods via inventive smart technology. Headsets, smart tokens and the good old VR headsets all being evaluated and adapted to create a better service for customers or patients. Looking at Apple, as a company we have seen revolution and evolution turn into a meteoric rise as regards to innovation, that most of us cannot live without today in our every day lives.

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hearing impairment with digital technology that has been designed to communicate specifically at the touch of a screen as it helps people to be part of the digital revolution. Take a look at Molly Watt such an inspiring woman who has worked with Apple on just this type of technological development. The team is so inspired by her that we will be supporting The Molly Watt Trust as one of our Champion Charities.www.molly-watt-trust.org It is not just Apple that has been progressing technologically as Android Wear has provided superb alternative options for those who use Samsung, Sony or LG smartwatches that offer similar technical features. Google Wear also is keeping pace by offering up solutions to keep us in touch with the ever fluctuating communications cloud. For our personal lives we can track our pulses, plan our diets, schedule meetings, protect our homes and organise health regimes with a quick scan of our wrists. One thing that flickers through my mind is the guarantees regarding security with software now so readily available and open to attack, do we have more cyber vulnerabilities? Linking that into business it would seem that there is huge scope for growth with VR, headsets and smart tokens being incorporated into everyday business life. Email messages, meeting notifications and regular message updates that are sent directly to a gadget on your wrist will save a substantial amount of time wasting during office hours. This type of investment would appear to be extremely attractive in relation to business and business expenses with everything becoming traceable at the touch of a button. Being completely confident with online and offline security will become so important, particularly given the cyber attacks that have occurred during the last 18th months. Can information be safely stored for individuals? How much protection is provided by encryption and passwords? Is all our highly personal and sensitive data easily accessible to hackers?

Yet wearable technology is exciting and there are numerous business sectors already that can benefit from wearable technology investment which will be a joy to explore in future editions. Hands-free headsets with associated display technology could be perfect for emergency crews, search-and-rescue teams or surgeons with VR headsets. Those in the field could access locations, carry out life-saving procedures, or even inspect terrain without having to actually carry a device. Looking closer to home at the architectural and construction industries, this type of technology is all ready beginning to revolutionise these sectors. Creating rooms with a view is just part of the service being offered by some estate agents for example, with VR platforms being introduced to allow potential buyers the opportunity to view properties from their own homes. This takes 360 degree tours to a whole new level with the possibility of being able to walk through a house using VR headsets - an idea that has the potential to eliminate first time viewing. www.jeffreyross.co.uk/jrvr It is obvious that there are many advantages to explore through wearable technology and by adopting this into our everyday lives it will make us all so much more productive. For example Tesco has used wearable technology since 2004 to track movements of staff and adapted some of its procedures accordingly. In the future, wearable technology will become a huge factor in business development undoubtedly it is a successful product in the making; one that provides security, health benefits and statistics that will combine well with Industry 4.0, even if that does leave a slight chill under the skin. At the moment we can all sleep safe in our beds certain that wearable technology is a prompt for you or your body to wake or move according to your own schedule for now. It can also tell the time.

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THE PROBLEMS WITH ONLINE REVIEWS

The online review is the digital interpretation of word of mouth recommendations. Google and Facebook are perhaps the most influential review platforms out there, and everyone who runs a business wants as many positive reviews from customers as possible. That is the desired scenario. Real life of course is very different, and people being people is something you can absolutely count on to slap you a dose of reality. Modern day business thrives on positive reviews, but the review system itself is massively flawed. It has great points, but the problems are pretty stark as well.

The 5 star ones are great of course, always nice to read those. But it’s the 1 star reviews which give us something to think about. Not because they’re addressing some serious issues that we have to address, but because for the most part they’re complete and utter tosh. For example, we have had a negative review from a customer who intended to buy a single replacement double glazed unit. After being told that we don’t survey or install on a Sunday they cancelled and proceeded to leave what I would call a hysterical review on a couple of platforms. Another example I can give is where we turned down the business of a potential customer because of their conduct towards us only at the quotation stage, before an order was even placed. We decided not to deal with that person. In retaliation they threatened to leave a negative review. This was months ago, and only now has that review been left. The difficulty we have had with reviews like this is that those people have been free to write what they want, whilst not reflecting the true nature of what actually happened. Naturally we respond to negative reviews in a constructive way, any reviews which we think go beyond a line we challenge with the platform they are left on.

This is my quick look at the problems with online reviews. FAKE NEWS

Fake. False. Use whatever word you wish. But we all know that a significant number of reviews are out there, both positive and negative. Our industry, as with any other industry, wants to get as many 5 star reviews as it can. At our place reviews are something we should have spent more time on. During this year we aim to put that right. But if you were to look at the reviews we have at the moment they’re all either 5 stars or 1 star. No middle ground. Just polar opposites.

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This sort of thing I know goes on a lot in the window industry, but the problem is that it’s now very easy for an upset home owner to go online and leave a poor review for that supplier, even if it’s not even their fault. That supplier then has to deal with the mess, when it really should be the installer copping for it. You can see that sort of thing on most suppliers and fabricator’s reviews online. Fabricators have nothing to do when it comes to installation. Yet, the review system we have online leaves them completely open to unwanted abuse. Personally, the current review platforms are weighed far too heavily in favour of those writing the review and does not give enough protection for the company being written about. So, what could be done about it? I would like to see a couple of things be done which would help give those being written about some tools to combat the false information, but whilst keeping the platforms open and unrestricted. First, I would like to see a much improved challenge policy from the likes of Google and Facebook. When a company challenges a review that they believe to be false, it needs to be dealt with quickly but in detail too. Perhaps contacting both the company and reviewer to get a picture of what happened to cause that review, and then produce a more amicable way to settle the challenged review. Second, I would like to see either a pop-up warning or a more detailed “false review” policy enforced on all sites that host review services. This is to challenge both positive and negative fake or false reviews. Something which clearly says to that person before leaving the review that if what they are posting is found to be rubbish, then that review would be removed and they risk not being able to post on that platform for a certain amount of time. Say 3 months for example. The online review system is a good thing when it works. It’s generally been a good thing for the window and door industry. But at the moment there seems to be a growing number of people with very active fingers who are unfairly taking aim at companies, and with it, reducing the credibility of the whole system.

The reality is, with online reviews, those leaving the review are able to pretty much write what they want with impunity, whether what they write is true or not. That, by the way, also goes for fake positive reviews as well. Poor validity of reviews undermine the whole review process itself. Then again, I think we know that ourselves. I think most of us can spot a dodgy review when we see one. A good example I can use is when I was researching where to go on holiday a couple of years ago. We were on TripAdvisor looking at a hotel in Jamaica. We were scrolling down the reviews, most of which were 4 or 5 out of 5. Then we found a couple of negative reviews in a row. The first one I read was from a woman who was complaining that their bed was rustling too much when she was trying to sleep. The second was a complaint about the speed at which their drinks were served. Consider that this was an all-inclusive resort with 14 bars and ten restaurants, the drink was never going to run out. So, of these two absolutely menial complaints, did these people downgrade their 5 star reviews to a 4? No. They gave flat 1 star reviews. Not quite proportional feedback is it? This is the absurdity of the review system. A FABRICATOR’S STICKY POINT Thanks to the internet and social media, home owners have much better access to the upper parts of our supply chain, namely fabricators and suppliers. No longer do home owners know of installers of windows and doors anymore. They are now very much connected to fabricators and suppliers of windows and doors too. Whilst that brings a positive for those fabricators, in which they can generate leads, it also leaves them exposed to poor reviews that ultimately may not be their fault at all. Fabricators supply to installer who then do the actual work for the home owner. If that installer does a bad job and the home owner has a complaint, it is very easy for the installer to cover their own backs and quickly blame the supplier. The home owner, face to face with the installer, is inclined to believe them and then takes aim at the supplier of the poorly fitted products instead.

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Tel: 0113 277 8722 Email: info@morleyglass.co.uk Direct fax for quotations: 0113 277 8723 Morley Glass & Glazing Ltd, Unit 3, Leeds 27 Industrial Estate, Bruntclie Way, Leeds LS27 0HH

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F E N E S T R A T I O N D I G I T A L

OUR INDUSTRY HAS TO TAKE LEADERSHIP IN HOME SECURITY

Unfortunately burglaries and car theft have reared their head in the media, both press and social, in recent days in what looks like a raising of the bar in the brazenness of home break-ins. This morning I saw on Facebook a post where a home had been broken into by burglars, confronted the home owner for their keys whilst still in their home and drove off with their car. The fear and panic those poor people must have felt. Put yourselves in their position for a moment. I know we all think that we’d be brave and stupid enough to fight them off, but the reality is that we probably wouldn’t. The method of break-in that is being used in this current wave is also concerning. BLOW TORCH In that particular Facebook post the doors to this person’s home had been attacked with a blow torch. You could see the charred profile of the door, the handles snapped. Their aim is to get past the sacrificial snap point on the cylinder. You can figure out what they do next.

I have had this with a customer of my own recently. They tried to blow torch the door profile around the handle in the same way they did to the person’s doors in the Facebook post. They failed to get in to my own customer’s home which was good news. But it still resulted in a claim on their home insurance and them having to invest in even more home security measures. It seems as though blow torching doors is now becoming a mainstream method of forced entry. It’s now appearing in the papers nationally. This Mirror article being a good example: www.mirror.co.uk As with all things national media, industry folk know what’s been happening in the real world before it makes it’s way to mainstream media. So stories about the rise of blow torch attacks is nothing new to me and probably nothing new to you guys either. But with MSM now covering the story, this is going to be picked up by the general public much more quickly now.

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Reinforce the frames of new windows and doors. Steel being the preferred material of choice. If you’re an installer genuinely serious about security and build quality of your windows and doors you’ll be offering this to home owners. Yes it will make your windows a few quid more expensive, but, if it means the home owner is safer and more secure at home then it has to be worth it. A bit of moral foresight costs nothing. Composite doors. There are plenty of timber slab options out there, use them. There is no comparison between a foam slab and a timber slab when it comes to weight, strength and build quality. If a burglar is going to attack a composite door slab I know which one they will prefer. Locking mechanisms for windows and doors. Actually put the better ones on. Don’t shave a few quid off here and there if you want to provide the home owner with a secure option, because you won’t get it. Those are the obvious ones. A couple of left-field options would be to offer toughened or laminated glass throughout the house, not just the areas that might need it. This would be useful for home owners who are particularly keen on covering as many bases as possible. Toughened glass to every window wouldn’t be so much of a cost uplift, but laminated glass would. That being said, if a customer is anxious about break-ins, and lets face it the current trend is more than enough to do that, then they will go for it. We have to own this and understand that no one else is going to be able to stop them. It’s going to get worse. Burglars are primarily after one thing and that is car keys. They will target any home with a half decent motor on the drive. They know the Police won’t come after them. Our industry however has a uniquely large connection to people’s homes as the products we make and install are the very first barriers to stop burglars in their tracks. We’re the ones who have to rally for the home owner. The products are there, we just have to use them.

This latest blitz of home break-ins, mainly to steal car keys, follows a more sustained upward trend of burglary which shows no signs of receding any time soon. I maintain that it was a major mistake by the Police to admit in public that they have very little in terms of resources to seek out these criminals and prosecute them. This was basically an open goal for thieves. Here’s the sad thing. If you read that Mirror article it tells you that the person affected had been advised to leave the keys on the stairs so they don’t come in and threaten them. This is not the first I have heard of it, and plenty have said to me that they now leave the keys downstairs so that they don’t have to be confronted by the burglars. That is the current state of affairs, home owners practically presenting their keys on a night to potential criminals for fear of their own safety. A shameful situation. The Police aren’t going to be able to do much. I’m not slating them, but we have to face facts. They know, we know, the public knows that there is very little chance of burglars actually being caught. That leaves it to industry, our industry, to take the bull by the horns and say it loud and clear to home owners that we can help them make the burglar’s life harder. The obvious first step is to make sure that the very best door cylinders are installed as standard on all new doors. But not only that, home owners should be offered to upgrade any existing door cylinders in their home even if they’re only looking at one door at that time. At least upgrading any current cylinders would be better than nothing. Next, wipe off anything externally glazed. Bugger glazing tapes, clips or anything else. If scum bags see something they can try to prise off from the outside they will have a go. Don’t give them the chance, always do everything internally glazed. So, what to do. INDUSTRY INITIATIVE

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INSTALLERS SHOULD BE ABLE TO REVIEW HOME OWNERS

Last week I wrote about the pitfalls of online review systems and the damage they can do to companies when false reviews, both negative and positive, are published online. You can catch up with that one here. In the article I explored how the online review system could be better vetted and monitored to try to keep the whole thing relevant and of a high quality. That got me to thinking of other ways in which our own industry could better navigate the world of online reviews. I then remembered something that I wrote a while ago when on a similar topic. REVIEW THE HOME OWNER The idea actually stems from taxi company Uber. Online you are able to review the driver, so as you are choosing your next Uber home, you can see who your drivers are in the area and pick the one you prefer.

In return however drivers can rate their passengers. That alerts other Uber drivers as to who is hailing them and whether they want to pick up that passenger or not. Not sure many drivers would want to pick up a 2-star passenger. So would a window and door installers want to sell to a 2-star home owner? My guess is not. Most good installers I imagine do their most to accommodate home owners and do their best for them. Most home owners I imagine appreciate the effort made by good people and are accommodating in return. There is however a proportion of the buying public that we all know that no matter what a company does for them they will never be happy. It’s my own personal opinion that the proportion is rising. Unfortunately when a good company stumbles upon a consumer like that there is often very little they can do, but they get the thick end of the shit stick too. Often, negative reviews of the company end up online, despite that account not being accurate and the company having to suffer a negative review.

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the exact opposite can happen as well. As I talked about on my previous post on this subject, it is all too easy for home owners to go online and leave a falsely negative review of a company. It is all too easy for a home owner to threaten a business with a bad review if they don’t get what they want. So I would argue that if that threat exists from home owner to business, then it’s fair that it exists the other way round too. Online reviews, ratings etc need to be much more balanced between company and consumer. At the moment companies hold very little power to prevent false reviews being posted online. This could be one way in which home owners apply common sense before leaving reviews and comments on companies. This is a big idea that I have only seen used by one company. But I think if more big ticket industries got behind the idea, it could start to change the way consumers and businesses interacted, hopefully for the better.

This is where the ability to review the home owner could make a big difference. Going back to the Uber model for a moment. I know someone who uses Uber often enough for them to care about their rating. Which to me says that it works. They don’t want their rating to slip low enough that Uber drivers will stop picking them up. The model actually works. Why not have something like this for home owners or consumers in general? If such a site existed where businesses could review home owners after big ticket purchases, like cars, kitchens, bathrooms etc companies would be able to check the rating of the home owner before they decided to take on that lead. The lower the rating the more likely they are to be a problem. Companies would naturally fight for the better rates home owners, and in return, home owners, just as with Uber, would be more likely to be less of a problem to companies in the hope that their ratings won’t suffer. A CHANCE TO RE-BALANCE Some would say that idea could become a stick to beat home owners with, as in a threat to rate them poorly just so the company can get what it wants from the home owner. The same is said about the Uber system. And I would agree. But it works because

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· 70mm sash and 80mm frame · Double rebated for extreme weather · Discreet external seal · Fully foiled for authenticity · Welded or mechanically jointed

A new generation of flush sash windows…

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IN A NO-DEAL BREXIT, THE FENESTRATION INDUSTRY COULD SEE SUPPLY PROBLEMS

There’s just 50 days left until Brexit day, March 29th, and as it stands right now it still looks as though the UK is going to leave the EU without a divorce settlement in place. I’m not going to go into the political debate as to how we ended up here, it’s too late for that now anyway. Would be wasted pixels. What I am going to explore however is the material problems our industry could face in the days and weeks afterwards. And when I mean material, I mean material. SUPPLY OF RAWMATERIALS An issue that seems only now to be talked about is the supply of the very raw materials our industry needs to actually produce what we all sell and install. I’m talking about the resin made to make PVCu extrusion. The glass that does in every window and door. The timber that goes into timber windows and doors as well s some composite doors. Should the UK leave the EU without a deal in place, that is going to throw up some serious question marks as to the guarantee of supply of our raw

materials. A lot of the resin for PVCu comes from Germany. A lot of the raw glass comes from various regions of Europe. A lot of timber comes from Scandinavia. Should things get messy between the UK and EU on a trading basis after March 29th, it’s not clear as of now that the UK industry will continue to have good supply of these products. It is within the realms of possibility that we could go weeks without supply if solutions, even only temporary, aren’t found. The question then turns to how much stock extrusion companies can hold. For example, how much can our systems companies based in the UK hold? I have been told that in some cases it’s only a weeks worth of supply. Maybe a bit more, but not enough to keep production going. The same goes for glass and timber supplies. Say it’s two weeks at best. If we have disruption for as long as the US Government shutdown, which last for about 36 days or so, we could be weeks without supply of these vital materials. In the worst case scenario, we could actually start to run out of resin, glass and timber. That is a scenario neither the UK or EU exporting countries wish to see.

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We should have always had more float lines in the UK. We should have had more resin production facilities. We should have had more sustainable forests in which to grow quality trees for timber use. But we haven’t, and the infrastructure we have now wouldn’t be enough to cope with all domestic demand if the supply from Europe ground to a halt. That being said, whilst there is a sliver of time left, companies who can seek out UK supply of the goods they need should be doing it now. Try and put into place supply deals that start around Brexit day and last for a good 3-6 months. It may not be a permanent solution, but anything that could help reduce the disruption to the supply chain would be helpful. On a wider point though, should this not serve as a lesson and also an opportunity to expand domestic product of the materials our industry needs anyway? It would give us a chance to protect our own supply chains as well as have a chance at exporting to other countries around the world as well as the EU area. It would be a job creator, help boost local economies, raise product standards through quality British manufacturing. Although the news around this is all a bit doom and gloom, there are always opportunities to make the most of and this is it.

That might sound dramatic, but there is a distinct possibility of that happening. Remember, with no-deal there is no transition period. During the transition period existing trade agreements would remain in place until a new trade agreement could be formed. But we won’t have that come March 29th if we leave without a deal being passed in Parliament, which right now looks about as likely as the DFS sale actually ending this Sunday. What I would hope is that the companies that can have started to stock up on materials to help them see the first couple of weeks through. Just as some hedged just before the EU vote in 2016, hopefully the same has been happening now. But, you can only stock so much. Space isn’t infinite. If you are a company who might be affected by this, it would be good to know via the comments section below what plans you have put in place to try and combat this potential worst case scenario. FIND UK SUPPLY My personal take on all of this is that this is a lesson in which not to put all your eggs in one basket. You never know when the status quo might change, and it can leave you looking very vulnerable. In this case, we source much of what we use from the EU and make very little of it here. Great whilst that paradigm remains. But when change occurs, as it is doing here, it exposes massive vulnerabilities in having to rely on other countries and not being able to sustain your own domestic economy yourself.

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EIFFEL TOWER IN TOP SHAPE FOR 130TH BIRTHDAY THANKS TO EDGETECH’S TRISEAL

It’s one of the world’s most famous structures and an instantly recognisable symbol not just of Paris, but France itself. This year, the Eiffel Tower will mark its 130th birthday – and state-of-the-art Edgetech innovation is helping ensure it’ll still be delighting visitors for decades to come. When esteemed architects Moatti & Rivière produced highly complex designs for renovating the Tower’s 57.6m viewing platform, their plans called for glass units that excelled on all fronts. They envisaged a 130-square foot glass floor, offering spectacular views of the Champs de Mars below, fringed with a 2.5m glass balustrade, and, most ambitiously of all, a double-kinked glass façade, 8m high and 20m wide. Both concave and convex in parts, the façade was far too intricate to be manufactured in one piece and was therefore made from a mosaic of cylindrically bent rectangular panels, all incorporating Edgetech’s Super Spacer Triseal Premium Plus.

With its unique triple-seal design, Triseal offers extreme durability and the structural strength to excel in even the most demanding architectural conditions. It’s been used in some of the world’s most striking and iconic new buildings, including Zaha Hadid’s The Opus tower in Dubai. “It’s immensely gratifying to see Edgetech technology used in one of history’s most famous buildings,” comments Managing Director Chris Alderson. “Most people on the planet can recognise the Eiffel Tower, and it’s the most visited pay-to-enter monument in the world, attracting over seven million tourists every year. “For us, having our products chosen to help safeguard the Tower for the future is a huge honour – and a testament to the incredible strength and versatility Super Spacer Triseal can offer.”

For more information please visit www.edgetechig.co.uk

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GQA QUALIFICATIONS SOLE PROVIDER OF CSCS CARDS FOR THE FENESTRATION AND GLAZING SECTORS

GQA is the sole provider of CSCS cards for the fenestration and glazing sectors following lengthy discussions with the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS). It is a major development for GQA, the fenestration industry’s qualifications writing and awarding body and is recognition of the relevance of the qualifications they issue to industry. nationally recognised qualifications are in place for all construction related occupations. Speaking for GQA, CEO Mick Clayton commented it was a lengthy process with CSCS to ensure – jointly – that we had everything in place to enable a smooth transition for the issuing of these most important skills certification cards. The arrangement comes following the Construction Leadership Council’s requirement of ensuring

“The number of contractors and employers who will allow a person on site without proof of competence is virtually nil. When you consider that the basis of getting a CSCS card is a formal industry related qualification based on National Occupational Standards, then it gives the whole scheme a real quality base”. this agreement with CSCS. It demonstrates the industry’s belief that the qualifications we have are entirely relevant to those who want to work on sites surveying or installing fenestration products, and it will help us to make the industry even more aware of how it can deliver even better quality to its customers through qualifications”. “GQA qualifications are all wholly industry relevant and that is why we are so delighted to have reached

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“Our team are already incredibly busy issuing new GQA Q-Cards, including the CSCS logo to those who need them, and explaining to new applicants what they need to do to achieve one”. GQA has been writing industry qualifications for over 25 years and this new partnership with CSCS is a major step in GQAs push to provide the fenestration and related industries with real quality learning and assessment opportunities. “Achieving this partnership with CSCS has been a great case study in how a collaborative approach, to achieving Quality through Qualifications can deliver benefits for all parties”. GQA’s existing Q-Card is now a partner card to CSCS with the only change being the addition of the CSCS logo. The Q-Card contains all the qualifications held by the card holder and is updated electronically when they achieve something else. In terms of CSCS, GQA will issue temporary, trainee or full cards dependent on the status of the qualification held by the individual applicant.

Temporary cards are issued to experienced workers on proof that they have registered to undertake a relevant GQA qualification and completion of either the GQA Health and Safety test, or the CITB touch-screen test. The applicant has 12 months to complete their qualification. A full card can be requested on completion of the GQA qualification and is then valid for 5 years. For those already holding a relevant GQA qualification it is a simple transition to the new card design. For apprentices or new entrants to the industry, the same requirements apply but the card is valid for 2 years to enable the achievement of qualifications. The new cards cost £30, and assessment and Health and Safety testing can be discussed with our UK- wide network of centres.

The new GQA CSCS Q-Card covers all fenestration and glazing related occupations

All new applications should be applied for by calling GQA on 0114 2720033 www.gqaqualifications.com

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Morley Glass & Glazing is getting ready to wow customers at the FIT Show in May with a 36m² exhibition stand complete with interactive tools to showcase its range of high quality Uni-Blind sealed units with ScreenLine integral blinds inside. As expected, Morley Glass & Glazing will also be proudly exhibiting its tried and trusted Uni-Blinds® options, alongside something a little different and entirely new for the business. Visitors will have the opportunity to take part in demonstrations of a new virtual reality experience that will help them gain more tangible information about the products Morley offers. MORLEY PREPARES FOR FIT SHOW SHOW-STOPPER

By donning a pair of VR goggles, users will find themselves in an interactive virtual home setting, where they can see demonstrations of the Morley product range, as well as find out a little more in-depth information.

Ian Short, Morley Glass & Glazing managing director said: “As a forward-thinking business, it is our responsibility to make sure we are always on the forefront of innovations in our industry. What is great about the FIT Show is that a lot of manufacturers and component suppliers now schedule their product development cycles around it, so you’re always guaranteed to see some really exciting advances in products and technology.”

Morley Glass & Glazing will be appearing on stand H35 of the 2019 FIT Show 2019 when the doors to Birmingham’s NEC open from 21st to 23rd May. For more information, visit www.morleyglass.co.uk

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HEGLA - TAKING CUSTOMERS FORWARD WITH SMART TECHNOLOGY

Customers of the Bystronic glass HEGLA Preferred Partnership have made investments to stay ahead of an ever changing market. Whilst innovation and technological advances continue to be priorities for both companies, the design engineers are skilled at simplifying manufacturing processes to improve profit margins for customers.

Automation combined with process optimisation have for a long time placed Bystronic glass and HEGLA as leaders in the glass processing field. With decades experience in adapting to developing markets the team is adept at evaluating rapid change in the sector and producing a full range of products that can cater to future market demands.

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AGVs can easily be integrated into the production software and will perform logistical tasks, between the cutting lines and downstream processing on the production line. Currently the AGVs have a load capacity of up to 2.5 tons and can be integrated into a manufacturing control system or a guidance system. These help to organise the production flow in a facility and are synchronised with the production cycles. Customers individual requirements are evaluated to transport glass safely between different stations for processing. Steve Goble, HEGLA UK comments, “With the HEGLA AVGs forming an integral part of the control system routes and orders can easily be adapted – either via system control or by the operator.”

The new high-output cutting system for laminated safety glass, known as StreamLam, is one such product with its triple positioning system and a double-decker principle. This machine can cut up to three sheets of glass simultaneously and comprises two cutting machines. Designed for both commercial applications and domestic the StreamLam can achieve up to 30% more output than standard alternatives. By integrating one or two Remaster residual sheet storage units, this system is ideal for processors looking to expand. Whether as a new installation or as a replacement for an existing line the StreamLam can provides substantial cost saving benefits for those looking to develop their product range. The vision of a Smart Factory is very much a new reality with next generation production floor logistics at the heart of new innovations. Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) from HEGLA provide a simple transport solution for mobile storage racks, including A and L-frames.

As with all new potential investments, the HEGLA team evaluates customer needs and prepares tailored solutions to optimise manufacturing methods.

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HITTING NEW HEIGHTS WITH LINIAR

When James Stuart, Technical Director for Abbey Windows (Thames Valley) Ltd, received the tender for a multi-storey student accommodation building in Leicester he knew Liniar windows would be the ideal solution for the seven-storey building – even in the face of challenges like wind load and vast expanses of glass at height. Having used Liniar products since 2015, Abbey Windows installs the full range of Liniar windows and Alumina bi-folds. Abbey Windows, located in Reading, has a well-known reputation for outstanding service and quality, and with nearly four decades’ experience in the fenestration industry, when it comes to quality, the team at Abbey Windows knows what they’re talking about. The client for the Leicester project required windows which met strict World Health Organisation’s (WHO) requirements for thermal efficiency and acoustics. Initially, the customer wanted to go with aluminium windows – but James knew if they saw a Liniar window, they’d change their minds. First, James got in touch with Liniar’s Design and Development Director, Adrian Redshaw– he needed Liniar to provide results for the Tilt and

Turn EnergyPlus window that would pass the WHO’s standards for acoustic performance and thermal efficiency. The team at Liniar set to doing simulations and running tests, in order to provide James with what he needed to show the client. James explains, “We were approached by a longstanding commercial customer of ours to tender for the supply and installation of windows in a large student development in Leicester. Liniar was very helpful during the tender process, providing acoustic simulations and wind load calculations to ensure the windows would meet with the WHO standards required by our client. “Once we had ensured that we could meet the standards required, we were provided with a sample window for the client’s approval. The window was well received, and the client was pleased that we could not only provide a window which met their specifications but which also offered cost savings compared to the aluminium alternative. The project was an overwhelming success, and we completed the installation both on time and on budget.

“We secured this project in part thanks to the technical support Adrian and the rest of Liniar’s

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