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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

Landmark School retains the look and loses the glare
The landmark appearance of an 85-year-old Merseyside grammar school has been retained for future generations, thanks to the close replication of more than 200 unique and distinctive timber windows in the VEKA M70 system from Glazerite UK Group and local installer K2 Aluminium Systems Ltd. The windows were very much a part of the character of the 1930s-built Wirral Grammar School for Boys and the look of the replacements was an essential factor but the specification also brought another major benefit, as K2 Commercial Manager Liam Bird explained: “Some classrooms had a problem with both solar gain and glare, so a blue tint was specified for the glass. The difference was immediately noticeable; the rooms no longer overheat and the natural light is more subdued, so the use of monitors and whiteboards is much more comfortable." “Also, of course, with the significantly improved thermal performance of the windows, the rooms will be more temperate in the cold weather as well as in hot sun.” As the installer’s name suggests, it could have offered an aluminium alternative but the sightlines of the original timber made PVC-U a better visual match as well as the other factors such as cost and heat retention. The contract was secured via architect/surveyor Arcadis in co-operation with of the VEKA UK Group, which also provided technical support such as specification, drawings and wind calculations. The Glazerite UK Group is VEKA’s largest trade fabricator in the UK and a long-standing Network VEKA member. 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.
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Thistle Renovate
Glazerite UK Group Limited customer, Thistle Windows and Conservatories, has supplied three unusual curved windows as part of a large scale period property renovation in Aberdeen, for local installer and long-standing customer, Fitzbuild. Andy Cadman, Sales Director at Thistle Windows explains: “The granite-built property had its original timber windows which were around 100 years old and the homeowners wanted to replace them with new, more efficient windows. Keen to replicate the original heritage look, which included three curved frames in the upstairs front bedroom, the homeowners contacted Dave Fitzpatrick from Fitzbuild, having seen the quality of his workmanship at a nearby property. Dave has been a regular customer of our trade division for many years and has experience in fitting this type of window before, and was aware of the installation requirements.” The complete project included around 40 windows as well as residential doors, all finished in white. The specialist blending of the VEKA system and glass units for the curved frames were handled by Glazerite’s Bolton Division, who arranged for the finished products to be shipped to Aberdeen. Group Director Jason Thompson commented: “We always strive to achieve our customers’ requirements, and work with them every step of the way to get the detail right. This installation was a specialist job, where all the glass and units had to be bent, and the finished result is very in keeping with the area and the age of the property; it looks fantastic.” “Glazerite are always ready to take on the challenge of a project which comes with a more complex list of client requirements, and this one was no exception. With a wide ranging product portfolio across 7 profile systems, those projects that may often seem difficult to others can be easily accommodated by the Glazerite team,” Jason added. Award-winning Thistle Windows and Conservatories is Aberdeen’s leading home improvement specialist and has been buying VEKA frames from Glazerite since 20013. Visit www.thistlewindows.com or call 01224 706555 for more information.
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Flush Sash wins the day!
Today’s customers know what they want – and the winners will be the installers who can provide it. So says The Glazerite UK Group Ltd in response to the latest installer partner to benefit from the addition of the Halo Flush Sash system. Mark Russell of Northampton-based MG Window Systems explained: “The customers were looking specifically for a flush sash to replace the existing timber ones in the home. They began by looking online, found our site, we quoted and we got the job. Until taking the Halo Flush Sash from Glazerite, we had been able to imitate a flush window by putting dummy sashes between the real ones but that would not have been enough to win us this job. “The customers had first looked at another, much more expensive flush system. They were perfectly happy to go with our Halo product because of the cost saving it gave them but we know they would not even have looked at a dummy system.” Glazerite already offered one of the most extensive ranges of window and door systems of any trade fabricator but added the Halo systems, including the acclaimed flush sash, when it acquired Peterborough-based City Beads Ltd early last year. Group Director Jason Thompson said: “MG are one of our numerous trade partners that are making good use of it. The tables have turned for many homeowners and rather than finding a company and letting them sell whatever systems they have available, many know exactly what they want and look for a trusted installer who can provide it. “The flush sash window is in the ascendancy at the moment and the Halo system is an ideal choice. MG is only one of our trade partners to be making good use of it.” The benefits didn’t end with the one job, as Mark explained: “The neighbours liked what they saw and we are already quoting for two more houses nearby.”
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The Glazerite UK Group Ltd manufacture and supply uPVC Windows, Doors and Conservatories to trade customers from sites in the Midlands, Northwest, East and Southwest.

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