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Sometimes the decision is not that black and white, but changing your business model can be critical.

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Never an easy decision for a small business who have many years of experience, but times change and we have to make decisions for the survival of our business.

Go on fabricating or start buying in and concentrate on installing? It may be a dilemma for many companies, but not for CJR Glass & Glazing – the Southampton based company decided on a strategic plan to do both and now, with the help of trade fabricator Glazerite Windows Ltd, the strategy is paying dividends.

CJR is still manufacturing white casements as well as resi and French doors but now turns to Glazerite for all other coloured foils and window styles, including Vertical Sliders and Residence 9 as well as composite doors and bi-folds and is enjoying the best of both worlds, as founder Clive Ret explained:
“I didn’t want to get out of fabricating altogether. For one thing, we get a lot of council emergency work such as break-ins. So now, I can still make and install a white window or door in 24 hours but at the same time, offer customers a wider range than ever.”

The move was part of a consolidation overhaul that also saw the company change over to the Veka system and move from two separate factories into a single, much bigger premises. Also the new unit includes a showroom, which means CJR can show its newly expanded range of products at their best, especially with support from Glazerite on showroom display materials.

Glazerite Director Jason Thompson said: “Getting out of fabricating is still the best option for many but we realise it’s a big decision to make. CJR has shown how it is possible to make the best of both. Fabricating white frames in core designs gives them a simple in-house process with low stock levels and no complications, while buying in coloured foils and the premium and specialist systems gives them a large and varied offering that no business this size could ever dream of fabricating cost-effectively.

“CJR has shown the way here and if it has given anyone else any ideas, we would be very happy to help them to develop it.”

Jason also comments: We have encouraged many small fabricator-installers to shut the factory and concentrate on what they do best – selling and installing. And now here is a company that has found its own twist on that philosophy and it is doing very nicely as a result.
 

 

Recent Case Studies

Window replacement delights Hatcham College
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  |   Tags: Commercial, Installers
Mill renovation for University
K2 Aluminium Systems, an installer of the Glazerite UK Group recently completed a redevelopment project in Halifax for Leeds Beckett University Business Centre.  The project consisted of 125 windows as part of the larger multi-million pound transformation programme on the old weaving mill located on Horton Street in Halifax.  The architectural aluminium specialist installed VEKA’s M70 frames in grey, which were manufactured by Glazerite’s Bolton Division. Sales Manager for Glazerite, Pete Smith, explains: “The Matrix 70 system, characterised by its 5 chambers and clean chamfered lines, provides a modern, energy efficient solution that looks equally at home when used for new build projects or refurbishment projects such as this one. The required styles looked complex in design but were easy to manufacture thanks to our state-of-the-art multi-headed welding and cleaning facilities.  “K2 needed a quick turnaround to fulfil their tight fitting schedule, installing a floor per week to meet the completion deadline, and our nationwide coverage meant we could deliver as and when required.  “The frames themselves were matched to the original timber window style to keep in touch with its period façade, and this project is another great example of thermally efficient, modern materials being used to allow a historic building to live on for many years to come.”  As part of its partnership with Calderdale Council, Leeds Beckett University is launching a new initiative to drive growth amongst early-stage and growing businesses. The University Business Centre will be based at Piece Mill in Halifax, next to historic Piece Hall, and will re-open later this year.  Piece Mill is an impressive converted mill providing open plan, affordable office and meeting space plus a range of business support in the centre of Halifax. The centre is part of a network of Leeds Beckett University Business Centres that have been operating for more than 15 years. Over 200 businesses across the region are currently located in Leeds Beckett’s private, shared and co-working spaces which to date have supported over 800 businesses to accelerate their growth. Support from Leeds Beckett has been proven to almost double business sustainability, with a 95% business survival rate in the first year of trading. To find out more please visit www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/halifaxbusinesscentre. The Glazerite UK Group is one of VEKA’s leading trade fabricators in the UK and a long-standing Network VEKA and Independent Network member. It offers a fully nationwide service based on manufacturing units in Northants, Peterborough and Greater Manchester. South Wales and the West of England are served through the South West distribution hub in Bristol. 
  |   Tags: Glazerite, Commercial, Installers
Colour-coding Windows at New Build Special School
When the specification for a new-build special school called for a colour coding of windows with unusual bespoke reveals and cills, the solution came in a combination of PVC-U windows set in made-to-order aluminium surrounds.  Birkenhead-based K2 Aluminium Systems Ltd, despite its name, is also an established PVC-U installer, so it was ideally placed to come up with the solution based on pressed aluminium cills and exterior reveals around VEKA frames from the Glazerite UK Group. Palmerston School, Liverpool, is a special school for pupils aged 11 to 19 with multiple learning difficulties, and is now housed in the new-built premises replacing an original building nearby. The windows are colour coded in red, blue ywllo and green to help pupils to navigate around the school and to identify different areas. The work, for main contractor Kier Construction, entailed 55 windows, each with four top-openers, in RAL 7012 Basalt Grey foil on white. The aluminium elements were pressed and powder coated to order for K2 and also included an upright panel between each frame and cill to allow additonal ventilation space beneath the lower openers. Also in the contract were five glazed doors fabricated in Schueco aluminium.  The bespoke elements required careful planning and drawing, as K2 commercial manager Liam Bird explained: "It was quite an ususual specification but one where our background in both PVC-U and aluminiun paid dividends. Working with Glazerite on the PVC-U fabrication and with our own experience of aluminium, we were able to complete the work to specification and without problems and the result speaks for itself." The Glazerite UK Group is VEKA's largest trade fabricator in the UK and a long-standing member of the Independent Network and its predecessor Network VEKA. It offers a fully nationwide service based on manufacturing units in Northants, Peterborough and Greater Manchester as well as its South West distribution hub in Bristol serving South Wales and The West of England.
  |   Tags: VEKA, Commercial

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