NATFEN Awards Magazine Edition 10

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GENERAL

NFA 2018 NOMINATIONS PHASE EXTENDED

I n what is the biggest National Fenestration Awards campaign to date, the NFAs are announcing that the deadline for nominations have been extended by two weeks. The original date for the end of the nominations phase has now moved from Friday 31st August to Friday 14th September. Co-founder Jason Grafton-Holt explained the move: “we understand that this is the biggest NFA campaign to date, and we thought that an extra fortnight would help make sure that everyone who wanted to submit a nomination in any of their chosen categories could do so in plenty of time. We also recognised that August is a pretty busy month for people with family holidays, with many using this month to go away for a few weeks. So ending the nominations before the new school term starts means some might not be able to participate.” To accommodate the extra nominating time, the rest of the schedule dates have been moved two weeks also. These are the new campaign dates: • Nomination phase ends: 11pm 14th September • Voting phase begins: 10am 20th September • Voting phase ends: 11pm 26th October • Winners Week: W/C 5th December for 5 days

This year’s National Fenestration Awards sees the most categories ever to be made live, running at 24 this year. The awards hope to shine light on as much of the industry as possible. With it’s diversity and ever changing demands, the aim is to show off to the rest of the sector some of the people and companies doing amazing work, but that don’t always get the credit they deserve. You can take part in the campaign this year by submitting your nominations here: www.fenestrationawards.co.uk/2018-categories More information about the awards can be found here: www.fenestrationawards.co.uk/about You can keep in touch with the NFAs in the following places: Twitter: @NatFenAwards Facebook: www.facebook.com/www. fenestrationawards.co.uk Or you can call on 01924 911234

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CONTECH CONSERVATORIES BECOME ONLY STOKE SUPPLIER OF VIRTUOSO ALUMINIUM COMPOSITE DOOR FRAMES

THIS IS A PROMOTED ARTICLE BY CONTECH CONSERVATORIES. C ontech Conservatories is delighted to announce that it is now supplying the new Virtuoso aluminium composite door and frames. As the only supplier of this range in Stoke On Trent the team is advising customers to place their orders early, with aluminium being such a popular choice for new build projects and homeowners looking to modernise their properties.

The new contemporary aluminium frame, which can be turned around in just 3-4 weeks, will give Contech customers greater choice. Black, white, grey and grey on white aluminium frame options complement the composite door range, which can be customised with a variety of glass, hardware, accessories and locking systems to provide customers with complete reassurance. There are 27 styles of composite doors available in the Virtuoso range, which also includes the Virtu- AL option which is comparable to an aluminium door in everything but the price – these are the ultimate contemporary entrance doors, which exude luxurious style. This new design

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is extremely secure and achieves the highest industry PAS 24 standards, providing a stylish appearance on any project. The Virtuoso range is produced using the latest manufacturing methods, being precision built to last. With increased resistance to forced entry this Composite Door system and frame are expected to be a very popular option with Contech customers as homeowners look to add style and performance guarantees. The new aluminium frame is very simple to install and for homeowners it appeals as it requires little maintenance. Gareth Jones, Director, Contech Conservatories comments, “The demand for Composite doors continues to grow for us, as they are engineered to last, have excellent security features and come in a variety of designs that suit most tastes. This new option will prove very attractive to homeowners looking for a product that is easy to install and which requires virtually no maintenance. A front door makes a real statement on any property as it is one of the first things people see when visiting anyone’s home.

This contemporary design will help people to really personalise their home in the knowledge that it is solid and secure. We feel it is a great addition to our range as the quality and aesthetics will give customers more business potential.” For more information on the Virtuoso Composite Door and aluminium frame options please call: 01782 593 968

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CONTECH CONSERVATORIES WARNS CUSTOMERS ABOUT ESSENTIAL LEGISLATION

THIS IS A SPONSORED ARTICLE BY CONTECH CONSERVATORIES C ontech Conservatory Roofing, Stoke’s leading conservatory roofing fabricator is warning customers of the dangers regarding the installation of non-compliant tiled clad over roofs when placed on top of an existing conservatory roof. Currently, there is a growing trend where homeowners want to transform old conservatories in a bid to improve the existing ones with lightweight tiles; but this can be a very expensive lesson to learn for a number of reasons. Conservatories are not subject to building regulations, being classified as a porch, many people think that replacing a glazed or polycarbonate roof is a simple exchange of one product for another. Some people don’t realize that if a glazed or plastic roof is tiled over that it is then classed as a full extension, meaning it is then subject to building regulation approval.

Gareth Jones, Director at Contech Conservatories states “Replacing a polycarbonate or glass conservatory roof with a tiled roof is simply not something that you can do without replacing the entire roof. The new roof must be structurally capable of carrying the additional weight not only of the tiles but the insulation, insulated plasterboards and the plaster, this weight affects the whole structural integrity of the building as well as the insulation values and this could create a fire risk if it’s done incorrectly.” Based at Longton, the company is advising customers to be fully aware of the load bearing weight and to understand the differences between a conservatory and a tiled extension. As a company with an established reputation for excellence, Contech Conservatories has learned via customers, that some people are unaware that a light tiled roof on an existing conservatory has to have building control certification following completion of the project.

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Gareth continues, “Ignoring the suitability of the existing structure and adding a load that is considerably heavier than the existing glass or poly roof is going to create many problems, with this having the potential to collapse.” A glazing bar designed to carry the weight of glass is simply not strong enough to carry double the load, A replacement roof should always be done with a building regulations certificate, If companies quote to do some homework, remind homeowners that they should find out what system they are having installed and they should always ask the question "do you supply a buildings regulations certificate"? Contech Conservatories provides its customers with solid guarantees and also takes the worry out of conforming to Building Regulations by providing certification on their roofing range, for a small fee. This includes a Supalite authenticity certificate, a 10-year guarantee and Building Regulations confirmation for all new and retrofit roofing projects. Gareth states ‘Old glass roofs with the glass removed are simply not designed to take the extra weight of a solid roof. Most of the lightweight tiles coupled with the weight of plasterboard and the plaster will weigh up to three times more than the weight of the original glass roof which may lead to a potential roof collapse, which is obviously a real danger to occupants. We don’t want our customers to be at risk of any potential litigation.”

Always insist on a full replacement roof replacement, a clad over roof can cause real damage to your wallet, local councils are being made aware of these clad overs and homeowners are realising that they have to protect their wallets. Contech customers have been called to the rescue by homeowners, who have discovered that serious issues have arisen when they tried to sell their homes without the necessary certification. In most cases the new roof has to be removed completely and replaced before a sale can be completed. Gareth concludes, “Anyone considering a conservatory renovation project should always check the structural integrity of the roof before beginning a project. Certification is the vital aspect here and if people are worried or need to discuss a project, we will happily advise on this type of renovation job.” Contech Conservatory Roofing Ltd is a trade fabricator and supplier, providing tailored conservatory roofs as well as window, door and bifold solutions to builders and installers.

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INTRODUCING FENESTRATION DIGITAL

Y ou may have seen in the last week or so a brand new fenestration industry digital magazine drop into your inbox. It’s called Fenestration Digital, and it’s yet another signal of the direction that industry and trade media is going. In so many areas of life, we are all consuming our news and information via digital platforms. Be it apps, websites, social media and anything else in between that can be read on a screen. The fenestration media is no different. Each year more and more traffic is sent to digital magazine and news platforms. It’s convenient, it’s far more current (assuming the company updates it’s website on a regular basis), it can be accessed almost anywhere and readers are able to zone in on the news that matter to the them.

To that end, Fenestration Digital has been set up to provide exactly that service. Covering all parts of the industry, from machinery to IGU manufacturers, to fabricators to ancillary companies. A lot of column inches, both digital and print are given to the already well established sectors of UK fenestration. But, it’s a team effort, and all niches in our industry play a part. It will be Fenestration Digital’s aim to help shine a light on the areas of our sector that play a vital role with what they do, but don’t always get the media coverage they should. The Fenestration Digital website is now live: www. fenestrationdigital.co.uk. The site has only been live for a couple of weeks, but there is a decent amount of content from a variety of companies already on the site. Over the coming weeks the site will grow, evolve and be tweaked accordingly as it expands to cover more areas and feedback is taken on board from readers.

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The site also has social media accounts live: Twitter: @FenDigital Facebook: www.facebook.com/fenestrationdigital Linkedin and Instagram accounts will be up and live in the coming weeks. WHY ANOTHER DIGITAL PLATFORM? Some of you may be wondering why another digital platform has been set up for news in the fenestration industry. Well, as is mentioned earlier in the article, more and more media is being consumed in the digital space. There is no getting away from it, the trend in online news readership is shooting north, whilst print-based engagement and circulation is waning. You only need to look at what is happening with the national print media, and it’s rapid cost-cutting and consolidation in an attempt to keep business profitable. You either move forward, or stick your head in the sand and allow stubbornness to take over. Fenestration Digital is the former.

Moreover, after the exit of the successful MyTradeTV from the media marketplace, a new slot presented itself. This is where Fenestration Digital will aim to fill that space and grow it further. Building on that, this will be a truly 100% digital platform. Not only will the Fenestration Digital website become a hub packed full of regularly updated industry content, but a regular monthly digital magazine will go out to the industry as it’s regular circular. This can be read anywhere, at any time, on any device. Surely the most convenient way to consume fenestration industry news and the most environmentally friendly! This is a new service, very much in it’s early stages. But those behind it will ensure that it grows fast and will become a platform you hear much more from in the coming weeks and months.

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EUROCELL ACQUIRES ECOPLAS

A nother acquisition has been made, this next few years as the tide against plastics becomes stronger. Here is the full statement from Eurocell. time in the recycling space, a part of our industry that is set to grow rapidly over the THE STATEMENT One of our five key strategic priorities is to increase the use of recycled materials in our primary extrusion processes. The combination of planned growth in our business and developments in extrusion tooling indicate that our demand for recycled material could be greater than our existing in-house production capability within two years. We have also been keen to develop a larger

presence in the recycling market in the face of increasing competition.

We were therefore very pleased to complete the acquisition of Ecoplas on 1 August 2018. Ecoplas is a recycler of PVC windows, operating from a single site near Selby, North Yorkshire. The operation is similar to our existing facility in Ilkeston. Current output is approximately 7k tonnes of recycled compound per annum, sold into the building trade (including windows). The initial consideration is £5.0 million. Further details on the financial aspects of the transaction are included in the Group Financial Review.

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Significant raw material cost inflation, with average resin prices up by approximately £150 per tonne over the last two years, has resulted in a widening gap between the cost of virgin PVC compound and our recycled compound, making the case for further investment more compelling. As well as driving strong returns, investments in recycling also support the increasing demand for co-extruded profiles and improve the sustainability of our products and our business. As described above, we have made substantial investments in our existing recycling facility in Ilkeston over the last three years, which has increased our planned use of recycled materials for 2018 to approximately 10k tonnes (almost 20% of material consumption). Capital investment will be required to improve the environment and reliability of the Ecoplas plant, to eliminate bottlenecks from production processes and to expand capacity. We will also need to accelerate investment in co-extrusion tooling at our primary manufacturing facility. This will begin immediately and take approximately 18 months to complete. In terms of material usage, following these investments, with increased capacity we expect to consume approximately 2k tonnes of recycled compound from Ecoplas in our primary extrusion processes in 2019 and around 4k tonnes in 2020.

The acquisition of Ecoplas represents a significant step change in our recycling capability and also reduces our dependence on the Ilkeston plant. Recycling now sits demonstrably at the heart of our business and I am delighted to welcome the Ecoplas team into the Eurocell Group. THE RUSH TO RECYCLE Eurocell has been one of the front runners when it comes to the recycling sector within fenestration. They have their own major recycling facilities, have been using more recycled content in their own products, and now they’re on the acquisition trail, buying up businesses in the recycling part of the market. From my own conversations with the company, they have been quick to see the attitudes towards plastic changing. Social media is already filled full of anti-plastic comments and posts. The attitude towards the material is definitely changing, and it’s important for the industry to get in front of the curve and demonstrate that PVCu windows and doors are very much a useful material to continue to make fenestration products from. However, social changes will mean that more of those new windows and doors will have to be made from recycled materials. Public opinion will drive that more than anything else. As we all become more aware of sustainability, our industry will need to adapt it’s who supply chain.

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IS THE WINDOW INDUSTRY ABOUT TO EVOLVE, PAINFULLY?

I think you can actually feel the pain in the industry right now. Rising material costs. Rising wage costs. Ongoing service and quality issues. Highly stringent consumer protection laws. Brand new GDPR data laws. These are just a few of the pains in the sector happening right now, and I think you can look to the industry’s biggest installers as a prime example of the struggles. INDUSTRY IN EVOLUTION Far too much product choice. Over-expectant and unreasonable customers. Pricing pressures. Lack of available skilled workers. All issues we are facing in our own company right now. For a SME like ourselves, these are issues that are just about manageable. For the very biggest, and therefore less agile, such as Everest and Safestyle, these are immense headaches.

We have seen newcomers Safeglaze eat into the market share of Safestyle in recent months, and the two are now in court. Also, the mood music around Safeglaze isn’t great at the moment. To add to the feeling of crisis, a recent Financial Times article features comments from Jon Moulton, the chap who runs Better Capital who owns Everest, says that the plans put into place to turn things around at the company in 2017 were basically not working. He says they were “badly implemented”. The fuel on the fire is that they have had to write their assets down from £38m to just £20m, and are having to invest a further £5m on boosting working capital. I haven’t heard much about Anglian in the past few months, but my guess is if it’s this bad for the likes of Safestyle and Everest, it’s unlikely that in this climate they will be booming.

We have seen the share price of Safestyle fall to less than a tenth of it’s high in recent weeks.

In the past few weeks we have also seen Safestyle and another installation firm fined to using high-

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pressure sales methods deemed illegal by the courts. Personally, I’m hoping that this serves as a warning to all companies that continue to use hard-sell methods that they will at some point be caught and fined. On a wider scale though, I think all of the above are signs that the window industry is going through a rather painful evolution. Home owner knowledge of products and procedure has never been higher thanks to the internet. Prices are on a steep incline. Product portfolios are very rapidly changing. Installers are facing a future of very low pools of skilled workers combined with a battle to become more productive. Frankly, it’s a nightmare, and how I see it right now, we could be about to lose quite a few companies, some of them very well known. COMING OUT OF THE OTHER SIDE If the window industry is going through some sort of natural restructuring, it could be a bit of a bloody one. All the aforementioned problems I have talked about have all landed on our laps at one. And all at a time when Brexit is only months away, business confidence is shaky and consumer spending isn’t growing. I also think that the sector is actually about to go through a bit of an ethical change of direction. There are still

many companies who operate high-pressure sales methods. However, with the two recent high-profile court cases, and Everest owners admittance that they need to rid the company of high-pressure sales tactics, this I think is the first clear sign for a very long time that the industry is finally facing up to the fact that it cannot continue the way it is. The business models of the very biggest appear from an outside perspective to be highly incompatible with today’s purchasing methods of home owners. Some very key figures at the nationals are now (in very businessesy speak) openly admitting that things really do now have to change. I’d say that this was last chance saloon, but I think we’re already passed that moment in time. Once we come out of the other side of this adjustment, evolution, correction, or whatever you want to call it, I think out industry could look very different. I think the chances are very high that at least one, if not more, of the nationals will not be here at least in their current forms in the medium term. I think the stories in the MSM of hard-selling will rise, forcing extra pressure on certain companies.

Strap yourself in. It could be about to get pretty volatile.

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SAFESTYLE UK SHARES PLUMMET OVER 20% AFTER LATEST TRADING UPDATE

E mbattled Safestyle UK issued another

Against a background of weaker consumer spending on higher value home improvement products, exacerbated by the loss of significant numbers of canvass, sales and installation staff to the new competitor, order intake has firmed up in recent weeks, albeit at a lower level than the previous management team had expected. Whilst pricing has been firm, with recent price increases being successfully implemented, gross margins in the current year have been impacted through higher digital marketing costs and sales commissions. At an operational level, the organisation has now been stabilised and the rebuilding of the sales, survey and installation teams is well progressed, both in terms of numbers and capability, albeit the importance of maintaining the quality of recruitment to ensure high customer service levels means this process is likely to extend into 2019. In the short term this has resulted in additional recruitment and some temporary staffing costs.

trading update this morning. The news was not good.

THE TRADING UPDATE

Here is the statement in full from the company:

Safestyle UK plc, the leading retailer and manufacturer of PVCu replacement windows and doors to the UK homeowner market, today issues an update on trading. Since the appointment of Mike Gallacher as CEO on 1 May 2018, the Board and Executive Team have progressed three key priorities – the stabilisation of Safestyle’s organisation, the previously announced legal action against NIAMIC Developments Ltd (trading as SafeGlaze UK) and a comprehensive review of the Group’s current trading and outlook.

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The Board has assessed the market and operational outlook for the remainder of the year and, providing there is no further material deterioration in market conditions, expects Group revenues to be below market expectations and for the Group to report a small underlying loss before tax for the full year, reflecting the impact of reduced gross margin and increased operating costs. The Company expects to report non-recurring exceptional cash costs of c.£6m in the current financial year. These include, amongst other items, the previously-announced fine following the Health & Safety Executive investigation, the costs of the legal action against NIAMAC Developments Ltd and restructuring costs. Over the medium and longer term, the Board remains confident of the Group’s prospects. The Board expects exit momentum from the current year to benefit from the programme of costs and margin improvement actions now in train which are expected to result in material annualised savings benefiting future financial years.

As a result of the loss of profits and exceptional costs in the current financial year, offset by working capital management, the Company expects to report a break-even cash balance at the year-end. The business has put in place suitable borrowing facilities to ensure that it has access to appropriate funding, should it be needed, to cover these changed circumstances and any other contingency. The Company will announce its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2018 on 20 September 2018. The Group will also provide an update on its legal action against NIAMIC Developments Ltd in due course.

SHARE PRICE DIVES

As you would expect, Safestyle’s share price took a nose dive on the news:

Credit: CNBC

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The share price this morning dropped to an intra- day low of 36.8p. Remember, these were shares once worth well over 300p each. They now stand at nearly one tenth of that value. Shareholders have been withdrawing their cash in a rapid and orderly manner for the past year or so now. Perhaps one of the more concerning points in the statement was the “exceptional cash costs” of £6m. This has been blamed on their ongoing legal actions, their recent fine after a worker fall and restructuring costs. In their last statement they did say that they had a relatively healthy cash pile. How much of this remains will now be in question. £6m is a lot to spend for any business, but you have to imagine that most of this will have come from those cash reserves. Overall, they have tried to paint a positive picture, but the fact remains that the company is still in very dicey territory. They are still reeling from losing a lot of their reps, canvassers, surveyors and installers. They say that they have built those teams up partially, but not back to full strength, Could they even afford to bring it back to full strength?

They continue to blame price increases and a challenging consumer market. But their market is the cheaper end, where profit margins have been squeezed so much there is barely any profit there. As many others have done, they needed to switch to a different business model and product offering years ago. The SME installers out there knew how the market was changing, the biggest refused to evolve in the same way. As for their competitors in SafeGlaze, I have been told that things aren’t running smoothly there right now. Whether they continue to be Safestyle’s biggest threat is now in question. I would keep an eye on Love Windows. They were incorporated in April and have already had two adverts which have had people talking. I wrote about them in a post you can catch up on here. The next big announcement will be from their legal action against SafeGlaze. It will be worth watching the share price as the outcome may well send the price one way or another.

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THERE’S A CRISIS IN GLASS, AND IT’S GOING TO GET WORSE

T hose of you in the IGU and fabrication part of our industry will know very well right now that there is a rather serious glass crisis hitting the sector right now. Some companies are reporting huge glass price increases of anywhere from 10-25% and it’s happening right now. So, what is the cause of this current crisis and what might happen next? A PERFECT STORM OF OUR OWN MAKING I have been speaking to a couple of sources who are directly connected to this part of the sector and the explanations and reasoning behind the supply problems are stark. In short, it’s a perfect storm of issues that on the most part are down to the fault of the industry itself. Firstly though, part of the problem can be traced to Europe. Germany and France are going through a strong construction period, the two key drivers of the Eurozone economy. At the same time, two float lines have bee closed in Europe.

When you close a float line, it stays closed. So to close two is a big deal. So why would you close float lines when there is obvious demand for construction products like glass? It creates a shortage of product. It has led some to claim that this shortage has been artificially made in order to justify some quite swingeing price increases. The problem is the UK makes very little glass for domestic consumption. And even by today’s standard it is very little. Operations such as Pilkington in the 80’s and 90’s have since been dramatically scaled back. I was told earlier today that Pilks at one time had over 90 plants in which they made their product in the UK, that now stands in the low single figures. So, due to a severe lack of UK glass-making ability, we have to import a lot of our glass from Europe. When there is a supply shortage from the continent, created deliberately or otherwise, this becomes a rather acute problem. We cannot point the finger solely at Europe however. For years, decades even, the IGU sector, along with the rest of UK fenestration, has

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deliberately undercut itself in order to bring prices down as low as possible. I was told by a friend of mine earlier today that he’s actually paying less for a particular type of product today than in the early 80’s. That is utterly ludicrous. But, that is the effect of an industry that has kept prices so artificially low for so long. So when big price increases like this come along, it means that the IGU suppliers who have sold on price and price only have absolutely no room to manoeuvre and no profit margins to maintain. It is perfectly reasonable to think that either supply chain problems or price increases could close some companies in the coming weeks and months. Europe aside, our industry only has itself to blame for keeping such a long cap on low prices for so long. When you get a big earthquake like this, it means we’re all woefully unprepared for the fallout. That is a very brief overview of the market place according to the sources I have spoken to today. The outlook however is gloomier still. SYSTEMS HOUSES TO MAKE COMMERCIAL DECISIONS The UK isn’t a very profitable market place for the biggest glass makers right now. GDP growth is slow, Sterling isn’t performing well enough and construction growth is far better in key markets such as Germany. The upshot of all of that is the major players are now choosing to focus their supply of glass products to European and other growth markets and not the UK. In short, they’re making a commercial decision and actively focusing on other countries. This is where the supply of any remaining glass materials becomes very important. I have been told that the biggest systems houses are choosing their more loyal IGU customers when it comes to supplying them with glass products. They’re choosing the better payers and those who source only from one supplier and not those who change allegiances on a

regular basis because of price. Again, they’re making a commercial decision. If they’re going to supply to the UK, they want to deal with those who are most reliable and have the better relationships with. I will be approaching the major glass systems companies in the coming days for comment on this developing crisis. If you’re an IGU fabricator who dual-sources, or perhaps doesn’t have the best payment record, this won’t come as good news. Glass seems to be becoming a very valuable commodity right now, and it looks as though those in charge are now deciding who gets to have it. It does put into focus the value of loyalty and strong bilateral B2B relationships. The knock-on effects could be very serious for some. No glass means no IGUs which means installers don’t get their glass to go into window and door frames. Installers will be forced to look elsewhere for their supply, adding to the problems for IGU suppliers who may already be struggling for regular supply or spiralling costs. I don’t think I can underestimate the seriousness of this. A 12% rise is bad enough. Some are reporting 25%, and most of that has to be passed down the rest of the supply chain. I could close the doors of some companies who haven’t invested in their business properly or maintained a decent profit margin.

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GLOOMY OUTLOOK This crisis has been months in the making so I am told. Many suppliers have apparently had a lot of warning about the upcoming supply and price issues. I have written before about cost increases in the glass sector, but this is by far the most acute pinch-point so far, and the most serious. I am told that it’s only going to get worse in the weeks and months to come. As is often the case with scenarios like this, panic can spread and speculation can add fuel to the fire. IGU suppliers will at this point I am sure be seeking to shore up their supply of glass products and to ascertain how much and when price increases are going to hit them. IGU makers can complain all day long, but as is the case for privately run companies, if the biggest decide to close a f loat line or two and focus on other markets, there is very little they can say or do to reverse that. If you want to change that you would need to look at getting rid of the capitalism business model. What this also does is shine a light on the state of glass manufacturing in the UK. A source told me today that the UK market will manage. It may import glass from a little further away, from countries which we don’t always import all that much from. But for me this is the issue. As a country that is separated by a big stretch of water, we need to become far more self- reliant and rapidly increase the production of

major construction materials like glass. That way we can protect ourselves from problems that originate from abroad. We did make a lot of glass here in the UK, perhaps it’s time to look at ourselves again. That’s a very long term change. In the short and medium term this looks like it’s going to be the new norm. The closure of f loat lines are very permanent, so this is a supply shortage, artificial or otherwise, that is going to remain. That means we’re going to have to get used to paying a lot more for our glass. For some, that will be the end of their companies. There will be some IGU makers out there which will simply be unable to handle the increases and supply chain problems. But, in a way I don’t have much sympathy. If you don’t invest in your business or maintain a good profit margin when the times are good, then that’s just bad business management. Perhaps this is a re-balancing of material cost that we have needed for a very long time. Should an IGU maker being paying less for a product now than nearly four decades ago? I would say not. Either way, the disruption has started and is starting to make itself known. Like a hurricane, we’re feeling the outer bands of the storm. I would guess that we’re going to see much worse before it gets any better.

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ANOTHER WINDOW INSTALLER FINED FOR BAD SELLING METHODS

T he reputation of the industry is really taking a battering at the moment. Days after the BBC reported that Safestyle had been fined £120,000 for unlawful selling methods, another Bradford-based company has been fined for the very same thing. This time for the amount of nearly £65,000. And there was a 15 month suspended jail sentence for the person responsible too.

familiar with. It’s reported that his company left home owners with unfinished work, got them to pay up front before the job was finished by taking out their old windows and threatening to not fit the new ones until the balance was paid. It goes on to say that toughened glass wasn’t supplied in the right areas, which is a basic and big balls up, took payments including VAT – despite being NOT VAT registered. The list goes on. If you click the link above you’ll be able to read through the bullet points that smack of good old fashioned industry thuggery. The exact behaviour which has tainted our industry for so long, and has left home owners doubting the professionalism and quality of our industry.

THE MIRROR ARTICLE

You can read the full article on The Mirror website here: www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/no- wonder-double-glazing-salesmen-12940723 In the piece, it explains how the guilty party collected over £1m in sales using typically dirty tactics that far too many in this industry will be

This is also the exact reason why hard-selling of any kind has to be banned outright. It’s worth

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stating from the start that there are plenty of good installers out there who obviously don’t participate in dodgy sales methods, which is only right. However, there remains a stubborn portion of the sector that still think hard-sell of any kind is OK. When it isn’t. And as we have seen in the past week or so, it only takes a handful of companies to step over the line of what is right to bring their companies and the industry into disrepute. If you’ve already read the Mirror article, you’ll see that the nice chap found guilty is pictured with Floyd Mayweather. You many also know that he has been advertising windows for a new company called Love Windows. I’ll let you come up with your own ideas. A BAD COUPLE OF WEEKS There’s no doubting that this has been a bad week or two for the window industry as a whole. It does seem a little while since court cases like this have been in the media about our industry. Many of us have been trying hard to keep our heads low

and do good work for home owners. Personally, I believe that in recent years our sector has earned back a little bit more respect from home owners. I don’t think we’re as hated as we once were. These recent cases though may set us back. Millions of people read both the BBC and Mirror websites, of which the recent Safestyle and this case were reported on. It’s going to ripple through social media and do untold damage. Whether it actually shocks people is another matter. Companies like this don’t have the sort of high- end reputation. Still, it’s been a poor run of news, and it only demonstrates further that pressure selling tactics have to be outlawed. Not just in the window industry, but across business as a whole. It preys on the elderly, the vulnerable and those who are too trusting to question what they are being told. Any decent person would know that to take advantage of those sorts of people with pressure and hard-sell methods is plain old wrong. It does not justify the sales person winning a sale.

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SAINT-GOBAIN BUILDING GLASS LAUNCHES LACQUERED GLASS COLLECTION FOR STYLISH INTERIORS

T he new Saint-Gobain interior walls and furniture now comprises 26 colour choices built around five contemporary trends. SGG PLANILAQUE COLOR-IT can be used in residential and commercial applications such as entrance halls, kitchens and bathrooms, as well as furniture including cupboard and wardrobe doors.Glossy under light, SGG PLANILAQUE COLOR-IT is available in a wide range of colours which collection of highly durable lacquered glass for stylish

co-ordinate well with natural materials such as wood, metal or stone. The five trends include Cocoon, featuring warm neutral shades such as coffee and satin white whilst cool grey’s, black and silver neutrals compliment the Urban collection. The Pop trend offers a high impact, bold palette of reds and greens; while a touch of elegance is achieved with the Lounge collection of sophisticated intense blues and velvety reds.The Dolce Vita trend introduces the new pastel range, which is unique in the market, and draws inspiration from subtle and delicate Scandinavian colours including sea green, petal pink and sky blue. SGG PLANILAQUE COLOR-IT has an opaque, coloured appearance, which is obtained by applying a layer of heat and humidity resistant lacquer on the reverse side of the glass, where it is protected from damage. It is also very easy to clean and maintain. The new SGG PLANILAQUE COLOR-IT collection offers architects and interior designers boundless design possibilities for walls and furniture.For further design opportunities, Saint-Gobain also introduces SGG MASTERSOFT COLOR-IT, a unique combination of the texture of textiles with the finish of lacquered glass.

For more information about Saint-Gobain Building Glass visit: www.saint-gobain-glass.com and the twitter account: @SG_GlassExperts.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

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INDUSTRY NEWS

M orley Glass & Glazing, the UK’s market leader in the manufacture of Uni-Blinds® sealed units with integral blinds inside, has moved to further grow its aftersales and distribution capabilities to support its current growth strategy. To help it deliver on its promise of 10-day delivery for orders received before 11am on Fridays, the business will now enjoy the support of five additional vehicles, supplied by JDS Trucks of Leeds. This brings Morley’s total fleet up to 26 vehicles that will each tot up over 100,000 miles annually as they travel the length and breadth of the UK. Morley’s sales and aftersales services have also received a boost as the business has bolstered its sales with the appointment of Jess Owens as Aftersales Administrator and Estimator. Jess brings with her a wealth of glass knowledge from her previous role at Oaklands Glass and will work as part of the Morley sales team to provide quotes in an industry-leading 60 minutes or less. Ian Short, Morley Glass & Glazing’s managing director, said: “We’ve worked extremely hard to guarantee our customers receive the best service at every step of their journey with us. From initial sales support right through to delivery and aftersales, I’m confident that Morley customers will receive a service that is second to none.” MORLEY GLASS INVESTS IN CUSTOMER JOURNEY

To find out more visit www.morleyglass.co.uk.

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MORLEY MD GETS READY FOR CHARITY JUDGING ROLE

A fter being crowned the winner of the 2017 Variety Strictly Ballroom event, and helping raise over £40k for the charity, Morley Glass & Glazing managing director Ian Short is getting his scoring paddles ready as he joins the judging panel for this year’s event. Among those competing for this year’s title will be Variety Yorkshire board member David Wilson and his wife Gail, Bruce Lightbody; partner at Addleshaw Goddard, Nicola McNally; MD of McNally Electrical Group and Mahmood Mazhar; CEO of Core Telecom. They will be joined by Jilly Johnson, Bev Burrows, Lisa Black, Andy Smith and Stephen Pressley. The ten contestants have already begun tirelessly training with their very own professional dancers, getting ready for the final show, where they will battle it out for this year's glitter ball.

Gethin Jones, semi-finalist on Strictly Come Dancing 2007 and roving reporter on Strictly Come Dancing It Takes Two, will return as host alongside the fabulous judging panel. The event will also benefit from a little expert dance help courtesy of dancing school Wallflower Dance in Buxton, with all choreography being overseen by owner and professional dancer, Victoria Coultas. Judge Ian Short, who individually raised over £10k towards last year’s final overall total, said: “Winning last year’s Strictly Ballroom event was honestly lifechanging for me. Not only did I learn to dance, I also quit smoking and lost over six stones in weight. I’ve continued to dance with my professional partner, Olivia Choi from Freedom2Dance studio, and we’re even entering a competition together later this year.

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