NFA MAGAZINE - APRIL

DIGITAL MAGAZINE

INSIDE:

I n n o v a t i o n c o m e s b u i l t - i n

FENEX VIDEO UPDATES

WINREM NEW PARTNERSHIPS

Building our skills

MORLEY GLASS’ GREENVISION FUND

Quotes available in 60 minutes 60

ONSITE 7 SOFTWARE

SHORT LEAD- TIMES OVER?

LIGHT AND SHADE MADE EASY Choose ScreenLine integral blinds: unrivalled performance and the most stylish option for controlling light in all window and door applications including bi-folding and sliding doors.

MASTERFRAME’S BBA CERTIFICATION

Morley Glass & Glazing Ltd Unit 3 Leeds 27 Industrial Estate Bruntcliffe Way Leeds LS27 0HH

LENG LEAVES CUSTOMADE

LASER GLASS FINISHING FROM HEGLA

morleyglass.co.uk 0113 277 8722 sales@morleyglass.co.uk

E D I T I O N 2 5

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CONTENTS

THIS MONTHS KEY ARTICLES

PAGE 14 LINIAR LEADS THE WAY WITH INVESTORS Liniar has strengthened its community focus and commitment to ‘doing the right thing’ by joining the Investors in Community platform. PAGE 18 KOLORSEAL ENHANCES BUSINESS POTENTIAL For Kolorseal, one of the UK’s leading colour coating companies, there has been a recent surge in orders for striking new colours in the range.

PAGE 46 COULD FENESTRATION BE HIT BY A LABOUR CRISIS? We have for the past decade just about managed the situation, although it gradually gets worse as each year passes.

PAGE 49

COMMIT TO INSPIRING THE FUTURE Building Our Skills – Making Fenestration A Career of Choice (BOS) has embarked on a recruitment drive with a difference

PAGE 34 DAVID LENG LEAVES CUSTOMADE GROUP In a statement on Linkedin, Customade CEO David Leng has announced that he has left the business. PAGE 22 THE GREAT PRICE READJUSTMENT We know until the last year or so the prices in UK fenestration to the general public have not kept pace.

PAGE 50 GM FUNDRAISING LAUNCHES ‘GMF 100’ CHALLENGE Industry charity fundraiser GM Fundraising has just launched a new team cycling challenge, which will be held on Sunday 8th August 2021.

PAGE 54

LET FENEX REALISE YOUR COMPANY’S POTENTIAL Many are now realising the potential and advantages virtual exhibitions offer and that they will be the way forward as a key marketing tool. ..

APRIL EDITION 03

CLIPPINGS & MUSINGS

What a rollercoaster these last few weeks have been.

Religious observances have dominated the month, with Easter, Holi, Ramadan and Yom HaShoah all featuring in the calendar. The country and Royal Family is now in mourning with the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. His life and public service covered over 70 years of our history, so he will naturally be a national loss. From traumatic childhood, to his naval service in WWII and subsequent encouragement to younger generations with schemes such as the introduction of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, he has led an extraordinary life. As a support for the Queen during both national and personal crises, demonstrates he had a life much less ordinary than most but a selfless one. Beyond this sad news, the country has now taken a huge step towards unlocking restrictions this month as pubs, restaurants and hairdressers once again re- opened. Thanks to a very successful vaccine rollout, this has enabled a faster shift towards ‘normality’ despite doubts about the safety of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. So, we are now emerging from one of the toughest lockdowns this country has ever seen, and I am sure we are all hopeful that we really are beginning to see the permanent end of virus restrictions. Although the UK suffered a near-vertical rise in

Covid cases at the end of last year, people have been prioritised dependent on age and existing medical conditions, and it has had very positive results. Despite the nay-sayers and fear-mongers, the vaccinations have caused a significant drop in cases. It can’t be ignored that the lockdowns have caused the darkest recession in 300 years, but we are resilient and new businesses are rising through the ashes. As a country we have amassed over £180 bn in savings, so there is hope that we can get the economy heading back towards previous levels by the beginning of 2022. CHANGES AHEAD Looking to the rest of the year there are still plenty of positive things to consider. Technology and digitisation are growing in various industries at a phenomenal rate. It is interesting to see that what began as entertainment with computer games, is now evolving into technical methods that help our everyday lives. Drones, for example, are being used in a variety of industries. Incredibly, they are working alongside bees in detecting hidden landmines. The bees can locate the scent of explosives with

NATIONAL FENESTRATION AWARDS MAGAZINE 04

FROM HELEN DUVAL 2021

their antennae. After many years of research, teams from Croatia as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina have discovered a way to monitor bees and use them as landmine locators. Using drones, footage is captured of the bees and later analysed to show where landmines may be hidden. So, a force for good there I think. Also, drone racing caught my attention. This niche sport is growing into big business, with ‘pilots’ wearing headsets that show a live stream from the drone. Organisations and governing bodies now organise FPV drone racing events across the globe at premium stadiums, with the most high-profile being the Drone Racing League. How does this affect business? Well, things that start as hobbies or sports tend to become big business arenas. So now consider drone usage within large storage areas for suppliers of multiple, small products. Also, local small deliveries - the technology will no doubt be adapted to improve working lives. HELP YOURSELF In Sweden, mini supermarkets are now being opened without staff, for people in hard to reach locations. These can be accessed 24/7 and bring a whole new

meaning to the term ‘Self-service’. They offer a broad range of groceries including fresh fruit and vegetables to everyday items such as bread, butter and milk. However, there are no staff or checkouts. Doors are opened via the shop’s app which works together with a Bank identity. (In Sweden a national identification app is used by all banks). Food barcode labels can be scanned with a smartphone with the amount automatically charged to a registered bank card. The Stockholm-based company launched in 2018 to provide remote communities with shopping options. Already in Asia a number of companies are testing staff-less stores in quieter, urban areas. Amazon has opened a number of similar supermarkets in the US, with the first UK version opening in Ealing, London this month. The company is looking to provide a more “frictionless” shopping experience. Entry is gained by scanning a smartphone then shoppers simply place goods into a bag, or carry it out and sensors will work out what has been purchased. Even self-scanning has been removed here.

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CLIPPINGS & MUSINGS CONTINUED

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQ_A3v-iJuo

California-based self-driving truck business, has prototypes in Arizona and New Mexico. Delivery runs are handled by automated trucks, that have human supervision, which run between depots. Similarly, Waymo, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, is now testing autonomous technology and has announced a partnership with Daimler to deploy fully driverless trucks. According to recent research data, the autonomous truck market should reach $88bn which translates to £64bn by 2027. Digitisation is certainly changing the world for the better.

During lockdown we have all been encouraged to limit social contact, so this makes an ideal, technological solution for the future. Looking closer still to this sector and logistics, we may yet be on course for a seismic change. Around 12 companies globally are looking at developing autonomous trucking. Already companies including HEGLA, are providing small remote vehicles for transporting goods around a manufacturing facility (insert HEGLA AGV link here). These companies have seen very positive signs with larger trucks now in their sights. Tu-Simple, a

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NATIONAL FENESTRATION AWARDS MAGAZINE

WINREM LAUNCHES NEW FABRICATION PARTNERSHIPS

WinRem already manufactures leading fenestration brands such as Liniar, Rehau and Alutech, and the VELFAC & Rationel brands perfectly complement their existing profiles. As a leading fenestration manufacturer in the South East, WinRem is constantly looking for new ways to deliver an excellent range of products, and services to its customers. Tony Milsom, Business Manager for Dovista says of the partnership: “We are delighted to welcome WinRem Ltd to the distribution network. We look forward to working with the team to develop a strong working relationship and delivering some exciting projects for customers in the South East requesting our Rationel and VELFAC brands.” For further information please contact helen@ marketing-manager.co.uk or telephone the team on 01634 264 490.

WinRem has announced a new partnership with Velfac and Rationel, both brands under the Dovista group of companies. Jake Stephens of WinRem says of the partnership “We’re really pleased to be working with Velfac & Rationel, to deliver another exceptional suite of products to Kent & the South East. This helps us to meet the need for the more Grand Designs style ‘scandinavian’ and industrial architecture in the housebuilding and renovations market. The VELFAC & Rationel brands will be manufactured at our Gillingham Factory and are available to order now.

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E D I T I O N 2 5

YOUR KENT-BASED TRADE SPECIALISTS

Our trade sales team is proudly made up of time-served industry experts. We're your local one-stop-shop for competitively priced, quality assured fenestration supply across Kent and the South East.

WinRem.com/trade

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sales@winrem.co.uk

01634 264 490

GREEN FINGERED CHILDREN ‘HOP TO IT’ THANKS TO MORLEY GLASS’ GREENVISION FUND

The students of Longroyde Primary School in West Yorkshire have been busy creating and cultivating green spaces as part of their ‘Easter Garden Project’, thanks to a £500 donation from Morley Glass & Glazing’s GreenVision Fund.

Children have planned the garden and spent weeks digging out weeds, filling beds with compost and planting seeds. They have also thought of the other creatures that may enjoy the space: building pea and sunflower wigwams and a bug hotel. Leanne Geddes from Longroyde Primary School said: “A big thank you (Morley Glass) for your kind donation. Gardening has proved so popular that we are going to be running an after-school gardening club after the Easter holidays.” The GreenVision Fund will be making a second donation of £500 to Longroyde School, enabling

Fund. Donations of £500 each are available to sustainable projects, charities and community groups. In one month alone Morley Glass’ CRUSH cullet return scheme saw 52 bags/37.28 tonnes of post-consumer glass returned to be recycled. This provided the fund with £1835 to support green initiatives. It also preserved 31688kg of raw virgin sand and reduced CO2 emissions at Saint-Gobain Glass’ float glass plant at Eggborough by 11184kg. For more information about the glass recycling scheme and GreenVision Fund visit morleyglass. co.uk/glass-recycling-leeds/

them to buy a mini greenhouse, more planters, larger established plants, log seating and create a mindfulness area. The GreenVision Fund is available as a result of Morley Glass & Glazing’s glass recycling scheme it operates in conjunction with Saint-Gobain Glass. Morley encourages its customers to return glass from old windows and doors (post-consumer glass), which it then crushes and returns to Saint-Gobain Glass, who use it to manufacture new float glass. The money Morley Glass receives for the cullet creates the GreenVision

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NATIONAL FENESTRATION AWARDS MAGAZINE

I n n o v a t i o n c o m e s b u i l t - i n

Quotes available in 60 minutes 60

LIGHT AND SHADE MADE EASY Choose ScreenLine integral blinds: unrivalled performance and the most stylish option for controlling light in all window and door applications including bi-folding and sliding doors.

Morley Glass & Glazing Ltd Unit 3 Leeds 27 Industrial Estate Bruntcliffe Way Leeds LS27 0HH

morleyglass.co.uk 0113 277 8722 sales@morleyglass.co.uk

FENEX VIDEO UPDATES

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT FENEX2021 - The Virtual Expo: www.fenex.co.uk enquiries@fenex.co.uk @FENEX_2021

FENEX VIRTUAL PUB WITH OUR SPECIAL GUESTS LEE MARRIOTT & CALUM WILLIAMS! Join us with our special guests Lee Marriott from Anglo European and Calum Williams from Consort!

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E D I T I O N 2 5

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LINIARLEADSTHEWAY WITH INVESTORS IN COMMUNITYPARTNERSHIP

Industry-leading PVCu systems company Liniar has strengthened its community focus and commitment to ‘doing the right thing’ by joining the Investors in Community platform. Designed to connect businesses with charities and good causes in their local areas, Investors in Community has helped facilitate hundreds of measurable volunteering hours, donations, and fundraising projects by firms across the country. The platform already supports the likes of Specsavers, Balfour Beatty and the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce with their CSR activity. Liniar is part of the global Quanex group of companies, and ‘Communities’ is one of the four key pillars of its business, alongside Employees, Customers and Shareholders. With 500+ local employees and a strong presence within the Amber Valley District, Liniar has always been committed to supporting local causes. During the pandemic, it began the mass production of protective visors, and has so far donated more than 35,000 to key workers across the UK. The team at Liniar will be using the Investors in Community platform to find charities and organisations to jointly support while also offering volunteering help to good causes. Group Managing Director Martin Thurley explains why Investors in Community appealed to the management team: “During the last 12 months, Liniar has made a positive difference to many lives – you could say it’s in our DNA to do the right thing, and COVID-19 really highlighted this to us all. We see the Investors in Community platform as a streamlined way to expand the support we can offer as a business – we were particularly drawn to the way the charities receive 100% of any fundraising money. Our team will be able to find volunteering opportunities and other ways to ‘give back’ and the platform also offers the means for us all to measure and track the impact of our CSR activity.” Group Marketing Director Sue Davenport continues: “Investors in Community has been straightforward to implement and the team there have been very supportive

in helping us to roll it out. We’ve already provided financial donations and support to two smaller charities who have seen a reduction in fundraising activities, as well as collecting items for food banks – our latest initiative is collecting Easter eggs for children who may not otherwise receive one – and it’s great to see the results of our efforts going straight to those who need our support.” Philip Webb, managing director of Investors in Community, is thrilled to welcome Liniar to the platform: “We love the ethos and values of Liniar and Quanex and their focus on local community connections. “The reality is that there are thousands of charities and community groups across the country doing amazing work in places like Derbyshire. However, there’s still the tendency for corporate giving to be focused on the bigger charities that get a lot of media attention. “It is great to be working with Martin, Sue and the team, and to hear that they want to extend the work they have done in the past to make a real difference in their local community and to make connections that have a lasting impact. For us, Liniar is leading the way with a focus on purpose being at the forefront of their business. We look forward to all of the staff engaging with local causes in a variety of ways.” For more information about Investors in Community, visit www.investorsincommunity.org. For more information about Liniar, visit www.liniar.co.uk.

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Visit www.liniar.co.uk/patio for more information

E D I T I O N 2 5

32 YEARS OF SASH WINDOW EXPERIENCE – AND WE’RE READY FOR ANOTHER

This might be the very first time you are considering changing your sash window supplier. Or, perhaps you just want to try an alternative award winning sash window specialist to offer your customers a wider choice. Either way, we would like to help you to increase your VS sales. With 32 years focussed on manufacturing high quality timber alternative sash windows, we are true specialists and confident that our products will impress your customers. We have also earned a sound reputation for always providing an exceptional level of personal service and our entire team are committed to delivering this. Our new specification launched in 2019 featuring exclusive new Masterframe Systems, standard with patented Timberweld ® technology and we would welcome the opportunity to take you through the improved product offering and delighted to quote. No matter the size or design of a home or project, if sash windows are required then we can help. If a specialist solution is needed for a conservation area, modern development, school or historic building our sash windows add the right amount of authentic styling to either fit seamlessly into original settings or set the property apart from other new developments.

Designed for those who appreciate authentic detailing

To see the choices, including patented Timberweld ® corner design, download our new brochures here. Some of the advantages we offer as standard: 10 year guarantee for peace of mind Made in Britain for continuity BBA Approval on standard window sizes for longevity Energy Savings Trust recommended for energy efficiency Specialist solutions for challenging projects that require matching new to original designs Free and safe UK mainland delivery Quotes with non-priced customer proposal CAD drawings where required Expert technical support Free 47 page professional conservation guide Free product training Call our friendly sales team on 01376 510410 or email for a quote here.

Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US ANY TIME! Tel: 01376 510410 email: sales@masterframe.co.uk Join us on LinkedIn

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MASTERFRAME’S BBA CERTIFICATION CONTINUES WITH A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH

Masterframe Windows is one of the very few vertical slider manufacturers to have achieved the British Board of Agrément “Whole of Life” performance tested status for all the sash windows it produces. The onerous 20, 000 cycle endurance test simulates a “whole of life” test to prove longevity and guarantees a full BBA approval. This means that every single component, even the balances and window furniture is subject to this third party scrutiny. To explain what their certification stands for and the considerable weight it carries in the industry, the BBA website describes it as follows “BBA Agrément Certificate is a mark of excellence based on rigorous national and European standards that validate a construction product’s specialist formulation, capability and uniqueness. Certification is an achievement that delivers the power of product confidence, industry satisfaction and market leadership.” Read more about the BBA here www.bbacerts.co.uk. However, the most important thing about this certification is that once it is achieved, it does not end there. The company must consistently prove, at BBA audits twice annually, that the product is being manufactured to the same quality standard as originally specified and agreed. Ray Rabett, Technical & Compliance Director for Masterframe Windows says “We were very pleased to receive a clean bill of health as a result of our recent BBA audit on 12 April 2021. The audit was carried out remotely, but with the same detailed checking processes in place to ensure that we had not dropped our quality standards in any way. This includes checking that windows are being made to the same size and specification as originally

tested with the correct reinforcement, using the same materials as documented and agreed, with all the same checks and balances in place for quality control. Factory conditions, storage conditions, processes and records are all checked in great detail and even the position of screws are tested for conformance to the original Quality Plan. The outstanding advantage for our trade and commercial customers is that they are assured of a consistent quality product that has been scrutinised by a third party from start to finish. They can therefore return to Masterframe time and time again with great confidence, knowing that the high standards of quality will not alter.” Masterframe Windows is committed to product and service excellence and have several other accreditations which can be viewed here: www.masterframetrade.co.uk/about-us/ accreditations/. If you are looking for a specialist, award-winning sash window manufacturer, please speak to our knowledgeable sales team on 01376 510410 or e-mail sales@masterframe.co.uk.

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KOLORSEAL ENHANCES BUSINESS POTENTIAL FOR CUSTOMERS

the coloured coatings are applied in a strict and controlled environment. As a company that has led the way in window and door colour painting for over 15 years, the diversity of the range sets Kolorseal apart. With multiple options including a complete Far-row and Ball colour chart as well as a new, bespoke colour range, the company has gone on to build a loyal customer base that relies upon breadth of choice and the quality standards provided. Colour is on-trend currently and its popularity is growing quickly. Accreditations and industry awards substantiate the Kolorseal quality assurance and customer service. Deborah Hendry concludes, “There are very encouraging signs for the sector with some excellent developments taking place regarding colour and paint technology. As a customer focused business it is very satisfying to see how the worlds of colour and fenestration

For Kolorseal, one of the UK’s leading colour coating companies, there has been a recent surge in orders for striking new colours in the range. Despite tough market conditions over the last 12 months, homeowners have continued to invest in their houses and drive the market forward. For Deborah Hendry, Managing Director at Kolorseal, it has been noticeable that there is a growing trend to personalise property with colour. With the ability to paint PVCu, aluminium and composite materials using premium spray finishes, the range is proving attractive to end-users who want to make a statement that will enhance their homes. Everything from windows, doors and garage doors through to roofline and coloured splashbacks can all be colour coordinated to make a striking, lasting impression, that will help to add value to a property. For fabricators and installers, colour is bringing a new dimension to their business, with diversity and stunning finished visuals bringing them regular referrals. Homeowners are keen to maximise the potential of their properties as many installers are discovering. Being able to colour match all aspects of a home from windows and doors through to soffits and guttering is very appealing. For fabricators, Kolorseal makes life easy as large colour stocks and lengthy delivery times are eliminated, with a 5-day turnaround guaranteed on all orders. Deborah Hendry comments, “It makes perfect sense to simplify processes for our customers – why keep large volumes of coloured stock, which take up so much space, when we can paint and deliver products in a 5 day turnaround?” Consistent Quality and Reliability In-house quality control, with extensive checks made from production to application, ensures consistently high standards on all Kolorseal products. With 4 enclosed spray booths,

are evolving to give customers greater growth potential and to bring end-users better choice.” For more information on the colour painting choices available in the Kolorseal range please call: 01924 454856 or visit the website www.kolorseal. co.uk

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

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GQA Qualifications is a multi-industry awarding body writing vocational based qualifications to support a wide range of career paths.

Accredited training leading to qualifications

If you are looking to retrain for a new career, or looking to develop your skills to open up opportunities why not consider practical training in window and door installation Learn about Building Regulations, working safely on site, how to remove windows and doors from buildings and replace with new ones All courses fully accredited and could contribute towards NVQ Qualifications With further assessment and achievement, successful candidates can go forward to achieve CSCS Cards to enable them to work safely on site Training delivered in Sheffield in a fully Covid secure environment For more information on training contact sayhello@buildingourskills.co.uk For more information on vocational qualifications and CSCS cards contact info@gqaqualifications.com

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TRAINING FUND UNAFFECTED BY GREEN HOMES CANCELLATION

Training fund unaffected by Green Homes cancellation Building Our Skills has had confirmation from the Midlands Energy Hub and BEIS that the funding provided for skills training is unaffected by the cancellation of the Green Homes Voucher Scheme. Speaking about the announcement and the funding, Building Our Skills Ambassador John Ogilvie commented “I think there had been a feeling for some time that the Green Homes Scheme was not delivering as had been originally hoped, and it was a concern to hear it had been cancelled as a big part of it was a commitment from BEIS to upskill the nation’s trades people on the back of it”. “We were therefore delighted to receive immediate confirmation that the funding element for skills training is unaffected, and in fact that there is the potential for further commitment to training and raising standards to follow”. “Building Our Skills has been proactively promoting practical installer training since its appointment in January. All training is fully accredited by GQA Qualifications the Fenestration Industry’s leading awarding body, and they share our delight that opportunity to continue to provide funded training to help raise skills is going to continue”.

“The number of applicants already received, even against the background of the lockdown clearly demonstrates there is a desire in the industry for upskilling at installer level. The training is 100% fully funded and represents a great opportunity for younger installers, those newer to the industry, and those who are fitter’s mates to expand their practical knowledge”. “We are delighted that we will be able to offer further places on the back of this announcement, and interested parties should visit www.buildingourskills.co.uk or email sayhello@buildingourskills.co.uk for more information.

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THE GREAT PRICE READJUSTMENT

For as long as I have been in this sector, the discussion around the prices at which we sell our wares to the general public is that they have been too low for too long. We often compare ourselves to other sectors such as kitchens, vacations and automotive sectors and we often comment about how prices in those sectors have risen with the cost of living over the years. We know full well up until the last year or so the prices in UK fenestration to the general public have not kept pace. Indeed, in some pockets the prices of some materials were lower than they were decades ago.

Weekly emails about price increases. Product delays. Quality problems. Lead times extending longer and longer with no end in sight. Deliveries delayed or cancelled. The simple truth of the matter is that in almost all parts of the sector, more is being bought than can actually be made. There is no sign of that pattern changing any time soon. This is our new normal. The result has been rapidly rising prices. The situation around the world is not helping either. Transport costs are out of control. The situation with global shipping is now well documented, with container prices rising more than eleven-fold in some cases. This has been a particular problem in the composite door sector. There is also a very tight squeeze on raw materials and rising costs. The chemical compounds to produce resin simply cannot keep pace with demand. And as more parts of the world start to open up in the weeks and months to come, that strain is going to get worse. Steel and aluminium prices are shooting skywards, as are prices for almost all other materials. Oh, and two major glass production facilities are about to go to sleep for a while whilst they go through planned maintenance. As an industry, we are used to the odd price rise here and there. One a year maybe. At the moment they seem to be coming in every week, perhaps more depending on the type of business you run. So the rapid nature of these increases, implemented with only a few weeks notice, is something we are going to have to get used to as the environment we’re all working in isn’t going to change. Indeed as more of the country and the world opens up and demand for raw materials goes higher, it could get worse.

That however has been firmly reversed. A major market correction

The race to the bottom in our sector, especially the residential market, has kept prices artificially low for too long. Rather than selling on price, much of the early days of PVCu was sold on volume at thin margins. Once you start that it’s very hard to work your way back up to more profitable and stable levels of pricing. Therefore much of what happened afterwards has kept our prices lower than they should have been. Then COVID came and changed everything. From lockdowns to unprecedented levels of demand, the industry has been turned on its head. As we reopened last year we were welcomed by demand from the public way higher than anyone could have thought. This has been great news of course, after all the turmoil we have had to endure since the start of 2020. However, it has been clear that our supply chain cannot cope.

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So what should we do as an industry? Adapt, again

happy to spend it, and I would also wager fully accepting of the fact that the normal process is taking a lot longer than usual. So whilst suppliers say that these surcharges are temporary whilst the current situation remains and will be removed, I’m not sure that will be the case in the end. Yes, the surcharges might go, but more general and permanent increases may take their place. And if so, then so be it. So long as we all do the correct thing and pass those increases on to the spending public who appear fully capable of affording it, we’ll be fine. There is naturally a lot of noise when prices go up. We only used to get them once in a while, and then there would be the usual price increase vs customer service argument. But our industry has long needed a huge price adjustment to bring us in line with other sectors, and the pandemic has been the catalyst for this change. We just need to run our companies sensibly for the time being. Be honest about lead times across the supply chain, and pass the increases down. We have been fine for a full year selling at higher prices. We have proven that to ourselves.

Well, I’m not sure there’s much to be done. Installers will keep selling, orders will keep being placed up the supply chain and that is how the wheel turns. The vital point that we all have to be making with the people we’re buying from is that things are going to take a lot longer than normal, there will be hiccups and there is very little that can be done about it until demand drops or there is a sudden surge in raw material capacity which looks unlikely to appear. We’re going to have to adapt, as we have been doing for over a year. And let’s remember, we’re in a fortunate position. Imagine being a theatre or cinema business right now. The other point I would make is that as a sector we have to pass on the price increases that are coming down to the end-user, the homeowner. It has been quite clear that over the past year the public is fully capable of stomaching the higher prices. Prices which arguably should have been higher many years ago, but what the industry is now being forced to accept. The public still isn’t fully able to spend their spare cash with regular normality, and restrictions remain in place in many sectors. It makes home improvement works a more attractive option to homeowners looking to spend their disposable cash on something. According to reporting from Bloomberg, the public in the UK are sat on £150bn in spare cash. That’s nearly an average £8000 per family of spending power. (£150bn divided by 19.2m families in the UK). The public can afford it and are clearly

Jason Grafton-Holt www.doubleglazingblogger.co.uk info@doubleglazingblogger.co.uk @glazingblogge r

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CUSTOM LASER GLASS FINISHING FROM HEGLABORAIDENT

For information on the HEGLABoraident range please call Paul Gibbs on 07802 655 214 or visit the website www.hegla.de

Laser finishing can be used to produce custom, functional and decorative glass products. The trend towards new applications has great deal to do with changes in customer demand and the feasible options for creating greater added value. Laser processing of custom glass products Until recently, laser-assisted finishing in glass processing was primarily considered an aesthetic tool for creating custom glass designs. The laser printing process is used to apply a wafer-thin, scratch-resistant pattern to the glass that matches a specific template. Additionally, when working with coated glass, the physical properties of the coating can also be used to turn it into a sample or another motif via the laser. The developed the patented Laserbird system that can be used for single-glazed panes, laminated glass and insulated glass units (IGUs). Sophisticated technology For processors, another advantage of the HEGLABoraident range is the HST checkmarker® pen. This uses thermocromic and UV active ink to demonstrate that the Heat Soak Test has taken place. Applied directly onto the tin side of the glass surface and during the production process, the colour will

change from blue to white with a permanent invisible UV mark made on the glass. The white surface coat is visible to the naked eye after testing but is easily removed leaving the UV, resistant fluorescent mark inside the glass. This is only visible under 254 nm UV light and this fluorescent marking remains on the product for the duration of its lifetime. Laser decoating for a crystal-clear surface with no scratches As demands become increasingly strict for structural glazing and edge decoating the laser is fast becoming a popular tool. Decoating with laser technology is extremely precise and causes zero damage to the surface. HEGLABoraident customers use laser decoating for example, on controls for machines or to create lighting effects behind mirrors. Crystal-clear results with no scratches are guaranteed. High-functionality smart glass Smart glass is another area with much potential for the future. Glass products can now be produced using laser techniques including glass needed for increased permeability such as mobile communication radio waves - this is perfect for use in areas such as conference rooms and offices.

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NATIONAL FENESTRATION AWARDS MAGAZINE

The technology can also be used to finish bird protection glass, apply site-specific sun protection or increase radar dampening in areas close to airports. There is also the option of using laser prints or coating conversion to turn glass panes into conductors, which can then be used for technical applications. Clear markings for traceable glass and product identification Laser technology is becoming more important for use in the identification of glass processes. In order to simplify production management and product traceability, the panes are marked with a unique, machine-readable QR or data matrix code (and often a logo) before being cut to size. Marking the glass using the UniColor laser printing process, for example, leaves the surface undamaged and permanently bonds the marking to the pane without scratching it. Individual marking allows the entire production process to be monitored in real time and optimised using special software. Should there be any queries, the HEGLABoraident laser system makes it possible to track down the production company that made the IGU, as well as the company that installed it for end users if required. In construction projects with multiple pane suppliers, production is greatly simplified.

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GUARANTEED SAVINGS WITH ONSITE 7 MANAGEMENTSOFTWARE

Onsite 7, the new cloud-based job management software designed for the trade by the trade can deliver considerable savings for installers. In fact, the company is so confident in the software’s ability to save installation businesses money, it is now offering six months free of charge, if savings haven’t been made in the first year of use. Rhys Hoddinott, CEO at Onsite 7, explains: “An installation company with 10-15 employees could make potential savings of approximately £45,000 per annum by investing in Onsite 7. Similarly, installation businesses with employees of 1-5 are likely to save approximately £15,000 per annum. With savings on this scale, there has never been a better time for installers to sign up to the software.” The savings are a result of eliminating multiple site visits to rectify complaints, double entry of data, payment refunds and non-payments, which all adds up to a reduction in overall job profit, not to mention a damaged reputation. It’s because by using the Onsite 7 app, installers are able to upload completion evidence at the end of each stage of a job, ensuring all matters between the business and the consumer are accurately recorded in a single place, thus eliminating any dispute about what was agreed. Rhys says: “Disputes with customers are something every installation business wants to avoid and with Onsite 7 you can. The software allows you to manage every stage of the job from sales, survey, installation and service with all details accurately

recorded at a glance. Data is securely stored in the cloud so it can be accessed anywhere, any time and eradicates customer dispute and objection saving both time and money.” Every element of Onsite 7 has been carefully considered to work with installers’ businesses. There’s a team calendar where installers can schedule their jobs to ensure a smooth-running schedule, including efficient team management, preventing clashes and gaps in workflows. Onsite 7 costs £20 + VAT per month per licence and as the savings show, it delivers impressive return on investment. Rhys concludes: “There is no doubt that Onsite 7 will make a big difference to any installation company, regardless of business size. And with our commitment to saving them money, installers have nothing to lose but everything to gain.” For a free demonstration on how Onsite 7 can add value to your business visit and start saving you money visit www.onsite7.co.uk for details.

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I n n o v a t i o n c o m e s b u i l t - i n

Quotes available in 60 minutes 60

INTEGRAL BLINDS ARE NOT JUST FOR BI-FOLDS

Our bespoke integral blinds are made to measure to suit all window and door applications (including bi-folding and sliding doors).

Morley Glass & Glazing Ltd Unit 3 Leeds 27 Industrial Estate Bruntcliffe Way Leeds LS27 0HH

morleyglass.co.uk 0113 277 8722 sales@morleyglass.co.uk

THE DAYS OF SUPER-SHOR LEADTIMES ARE OVER

Of the many lessons we are learning and have learned during this pandemic and the consequences of it, I would hope that one of them is that we do not go back to the days of super-short lead times. I can understand why we got there. In the age of the internet and next-day delivery, it seemed the natural evolutionary point. But this is a very different sector compared to others and perhaps as we look on at quite extraordinary demand and lead times that are only getting longer, we decide that there is no longer a need to put ourselves under such pressure. Sold as a USP For as long as I can remember, most installers, good or bad, have had at least a few weeks lead time when it comes to fitting. In pre-pandemic times lead times for installation companies would vary from 4-8 weeks. As a result, lead time from suppliers for windows and doors was at least a few weeks. It worked. Installers had decent order books, it gave fabricators enough time to make their products without rushing, with plenty of time to plan ahead. Then lead times became a USP. A tool for companies to win new business. It was around the same time when society was getting used to the idea of quick delivery times for other goods and services thanks to the internet transforming consumer spending. It wasn’t introduced to get installers out of a pickle, although it was useful for that if the installer was in need of help. But it was introduced to speed the entire process along, to entice installers with faster turnaround times on products. Brand new factories were even built around that idea. So for the best part of a decade, we have been used to having composite door delivered in a matter of days. Shiny White windows inside five days. Even certain aluminium products, such as that from Origin, in two days. It revolutionised the residential part of our market in terms of production. It did also heap the

pressure on the people on the factory floor to make sure everything got out to customers on time. The just-in-time manufacturing process was what helped to make this happen. There was, however, the concern that by shortening lead times to such lengths quality would be compromised. For those factories built specifically to manufacture in such a way, this perhaps wasn’t so much of a problem. But there has been undoubtedly periods within the last ten years where general product quality has not been anywhere near as good as we would have liked it to have been as a sector. Personally, I would have been happy to sacrifice a few more days, or a week or two, to ensure

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RT

Jason Grafton-Holt www.doubleglazingblogger.co.uk info@doubleglazingblogger.co.uk @glazingblogge r

up the supply chain. Welcome to the new status quo! What I think we have also learned is that the need for super-short lead times on the supply side is no longer needed. I can understand the lure of them in the pre-pandemic era. When installer lead times were measured in weeks and not months. When product supply was plentiful. When homeowner demand was steady. But we’re in a new era (for how long, who knows) where home improvements are at the top of people’s lists and investing in homes is a priority. Demand is going to remain very high for perhaps another 12-18 months. The idea of turning a composite door round in a few days is simply not on the radar any longer. It may not return for a long while. I don’t think there has ever been a pressing need to have a bespoke, made-to-measure, customised product that fits into the fabric of a building produced and delivered so quickly. It takes 12 weeks for a new sofa because it has to be made to specific requirements. Kitchens are the same. Cars too. These are big-ticket items you wait a period of time for. To many, it’s a reassuring factor. Knowing that enough time is going to have passed for you to have confidence that the product has been made right. We should be looking at this for windows and doors. It would also reduce the pressure on the manufacturing supply chain. Allowing just days for what is becoming a rapidly expensive product set to be made and delivered is a very high-pressure atmosphere to operate in. Mistakes are made. There is no additional time to put things right without it impacting delivery schedules. Personally, I cannot see super-short lead times coming back. We don’t actually need them. Let’s spend more time perfecting manufacturing processes. Seek to ensure better product supply across the board. Employ more workers to spread the workload. We are in a unique set of circumstances here where incredibly long lead times do give us the opportunity to look at these areas and make investments in which will pay off in the future.

that more products arrived on time, in full and in the best quality possible. That makes life easier for the installer and ensures the end-user is happy with what is being fitted. Pandemic perspective During this last year, we have all been doing a lot of analysing and reviewing. Looking at our processes. Assessing what we sell, how we sell it and whether we need to offer more or less choice. We have also been learning how to navigate a sector that is overselling and not being able to produce enough to meet that demand. In short, we’re still learning. We keep selling, keep ordering, but cannot keep up the pace further

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E D I T I O N 2 5

32 YEARS OF SASH WINDOW EXPERIENCE – AND WE’RE READY FOR ANOTHER

This might be the very first time you are considering changing your sash window supplier. Or, perhaps you just want to try an alternative award winning sash window specialist to offer your customers a wider choice. Either way, we would like to help you to increase your VS sales. With 32 years focussed on manufacturing high quality timber alternative sash windows, we are true specialists and confident that our products will impress your customers. We have also earned a sound reputation for always providing an exceptional level of personal service and our entire team are committed to delivering this. Our new specification launched in 2019 featuring exclusive new Masterframe Systems, standard with patented Timberweld ® technology and we would welcome the opportunity to take you through the improved product offering and delighted to quote. No matter the size or design of a home or project, if sash windows are required then we can help. If a specialist solution is needed for a conservation area, modern development, school or historic building our sash windows add the right amount of authentic styling to either fit seamlessly into original settings or set the property apart from other new developments.

Designed for those who appreciate authentic detailing

To see the choices, including patented Timberweld ® corner design, download our new brochures here. Some of the advantages we offer as standard: 10 year guarantee for peace of mind Made in Britain for continuity BBA Approval on standard window sizes for longevity Energy Savings Trust recommended for energy efficiency Specialist solutions for challenging projects that require matching new to original designs Free and safe UK mainland delivery Quotes with non-priced customer proposal CAD drawings where required Expert technical support Free 47 page professional conservation guide Free product training Call our friendly sales team on 01376 510410 or email for a quote here.

Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US ANY TIME! Tel: 01376 510410 email: sales@masterframe.co.uk Join us on LinkedIn

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The only double rebated PVCu timber alternative window - meaning no visible gaskets!

01332 883900 sales@liniar.co.uk www.liniar.co.uk/resurgence

E D I T I O N 2 5

I n n o v a t i o n c o m e s b u i l t - i n

SEE 2021 DIFFERENTLY THROUGH SCREENLINE INTEGRAL BLINDS

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

www.morleyglass.co.uk

Tel: 0113 277 8722 E: info@morleyglass.co.uk

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SAFE. SECURE. FENEX OFFERS MORE POTENTIAL

It is evident that most in-person events have now changed. Whether these alter to become a hybrid form in the future is, of course, a possibility once person-to-person events are safe to visit. However, in the current climate, online exhibitions have many advantages being convenient and safe virtual events where anyone can attend.

It is now recognised that building brand awareness and developing new products via virtual exhibitions are excellent ways to gain leads. Although face-to- face sales are the main aim of trade shows, virtual exhibitions provide a safer way for people to interact. In the current climate no-one knows how long it will be before things revert to the way they once were - if they ever do. Will we need vaccine passports to attend exhibitions or seminars in the future? One thing is certain - it is vital to safely keep the economy growing and encouraging business potential. At the moment the safest route for this is online. FENEX helps to generate interaction between manufacturers, suppliers and those all important customers. Brand hype online has longer life with greater digital options to make a stand, When it comes to glass and glazing, there has been a boom in digitisation and interest in this communication field is growing rapidly. Business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators on a global level can use the digital reach to spread their message. Showcasing new developments in the fenestration field is now much easier and far less costly via the FENEX online platform. Seminars, speaker sessions,

exhibiting and networking are all possible in a completely safe environment. Likewise, exchanging ideas and news on product innovation is important for many company CEOs. Trade shows have always been an important show ground for B2B connections and placing a business on a new investor’s radar. FENEX allows all this and more, with companies able to highlight the latest developments and technologies that will be launched. Exhibitors can focus on new areas of interest and build a profile via a safe and trouble-free exhibition. The possibilities with virtual exhibitions are endless and with uncertainty over when we will all be able to meet safely in the same way as before, they make the ideal solution. The FENEX online platform is modern and technologically very sophisticated. The virtual technology provides a whole host of easy to use features that will enhance the exhibition experience all round. Call Lee or Jason to book a demo to discover how online will help your business 01924 911234. To find out more about FENEX please visit - www.fenex.co.uk

HELEN DUVAL 2021

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