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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

Wimbledon Park Estate Refurbishment
It's a tough decision for any SME - risk stepping up to your biggest contract ever or to play safe and lose out on a big chunk of business. But it was less of a dilemma for Kent-based Adeva Home Improvements because, as Director Geoff Dwyer explained, the backing of the Glazerite UK Group, as well as VEKA, was crucial in tackling the job. We might otherwise have had serious doubts about taking it on". he said after completing the installation of nearly 3,000 windows and doors as part of a £2.2 million refurbishment of Wandworth's Wimbledon Park Estate. "But Glazerite was with us all the way. We've been working with them for about six years, and VEKA much longer. We knew the product and the customer service. Glazerite were very supportive; they were up to speed on manufacture and delivery and, just as important, if any problem arosem, they would be there to rectify straight away." The job was not without challenges, he continued, firstly in removing the original Crittal steel frames, which were not only set into concrete but many had to be taken out in a single three metre by two-metre piece.  Also, the new frames were an unusual combination of side-hung casement and tilt/turns which might have been a problem for some fabricators, though Glazerite took them in its stride. Adeva installed the A-Rated, SBD specification windows and doors based on the VEKA M70 system in white, for main contractor Mulalley and Company Ltd of Woodford Green on behalf of the London Borough of Wandsworth. VEKA also carried out the wind load calculations for the design specification.  Geoff Dwyer concluded: "This was a very substantial piece of work, and by far our biggest contract to date. But we may well have had to think twice about going for it had it not been for the support we got from Glazerite".
  |   Tags: VEKA, Glazerite, Commercial, Installers
Universal Square Manchester Project
As part of a large scale renovation programme, The Glazerite UK Group Limited and its Stockport-based customer, Arctic Seal MCR Ltd, have supplied and installed 1000 windows for a state-of-the-art 260,000 square foot business community.  Universal Square is a unique office campus based on the Picadilly fringe of Manchester City Centre, offering a professional service to more than 50 companies. As part of the demanding refurbishment project, five new interlinked buildings and all congregated around an impressive courtyard, with 24-hour security, car parking facilities, a restaurant, fitness centre and more. The old building has been completely transformed and, as well as external cladding to the complete building, 1000 VEKA M70 windows were supplied to Arctic Seal for installation. The new structurally coupled windows are finished in Anthracite to replicate aluminium in alignment with the modern, 21st century look and feel of the building. All ground floor windows are Secured By Design accredited and all glazing is grey tinted.  Arctic Seals Director Shahzad Ashraf commented: "Having visited the Glazerite UK Group stand at the 2017 FIT Show, we were very impressed with the quality of their windows, and in addition to that their windows met our requirements in terms of what size frame they could supply. Since then we have worked with them on the Universal Square project, as well as two office-to-flat conversions in both Derby and Cannock, totally around 1000 windows. Each of these were standard frames bit with different levels of glass spec due to soundproofing and depending on elevation. All projects have run to schedule thanks to great communication from Glazerite and all deliveries arriving as planned." Glazerite's Sales Manager, Pete Smith said: "This project is one of three across the country that we have worked on together with Arctic Seal within the last year after meeting at last year's FIT Show. The 2017 show as a platform for Glazerite to showcase further new projects and support services, and we are pleased this has led to working with Arctic Seal on such projects. Now almost complete, the Universal Square project no longer bears any resembelance at all to the buidling that was historically built to house Great Universal Stores. Arctic Seal have achieved a fantastic result with an inviting and modern space for businesses of all sectors 
  |   Tags: VEKA, Commercial, New M70, Installers
Window replacement delights Hatcham College
Funded by the government's Condition Improvement Fund, The Window Company (Contracts) has just completed an impressive window replacement project at Hatcham College in South East London, part of the prestigious Haberdasher's Askes' Schools Federation.  The award winning commercial installer was appointed as the principle contractor by Arcadis Consulting, working on behalf of the school for 3-18 year olds.  Parts of the historic Hatcham College date back to 1890, so the challenge for The Window Company (Contracts) was to supply and install windows which were in keeping with the age and character building but still represented best value. Because they are entirely independent, they were able to successfully identify a range of different products from a number of different suppliers which perfectly matched the different elements of the specification.  This included six 4600(h) x 2000(w) bespoke sapele hardwood double glazed sash windows for the school hall from NJL Joinery in Essex, painted white on the exterior but left varnished in the natural wood on the interior to match the hall's existing panelling. These were fitted with Guardian SunGuard SuperNeutral glass to minimise solar gain and even feature the original openers which The Window Company (Contracts) expertly restored and refitted. In other parts of the building, they installed a mix of arched head vertical sliders and tilt and slide windows with Astragel bars, fabricated by Glazerite in VEKA's Matrix profile which matched the external appearance of the timber they were replacing. They also created a new opening in the dining hall and fitted a new set of Comar Commercial aluminium double doors.  The Window Company (Contracts) has extensive experience in the education sector and its team are all CRB checked and fully trained to work on school sites. It has the flexibility to be able to deploy fitters at short notice to work during school closure times and is renowned for its commitment to always delighting clients. Mary Williams, Business Manager at the school, was impressed with their approach: "What we liked was that The Window Company (Contracts) did exactly what we wanted on the project and not just what suited them best. We are delighted with the products they recommended, particularly the new timber sash windows, and with the attention to detail they showed on every aspect of the project.  We knew that we could trust everyone on the team and, with one project manager responsible for everything on site, they were very easy to work with. Nothing was too much trouble and we would definitely work with them again."
  |   Tags: Commercial, Installers

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