The small matter of a long overdue high-speed broadband installation may be seen by some as the conclusion of a year-long transformation of the former City Beads Halo fabricator into part of The Glazerite UK Group but in many ways, it was more like the beginning.
“Up to then, everything had been paper-based for the 32 years of our existence,” Mark Smith, former MD of the Peterborough company and now director designate of the new division, Glazerite East, explained: “Only when that changed could we really begin to move forward. It was an immensely frustrating time for all but the progress since then has been massive.”
Of course, Glazerite was progressing the transformation on many other fronts during the wait, not least in machinery upgrades, and over £125,000 was spent on new quad and crucifix welders from Winmac as soon as the ink was dry on the acquisition deal. Beyond that, another £50,000 went on bringing the IT in line with the existing Glazerite systems and more was spent on signage, vehicle livery and new windows and doors to bring the site inline with the new group brand.
Group Director Jason Thompson said the lack of broadband strength, and the delay in the provider remedying the problem were a major setback: “This meant we were not able to introduce our Evonet management and other systems for the better part of a year. However, we made the best use of that time, not only implementing the ‘hard’ changes like upgrading the building and machinery, but also introducing the Glazerite culture among the workforce.
“We began with familiarising all the staff with Glazerite and assuring them of our long-term commitment to the business as well as outlining our short and medium term plans. We have also been able to improve both their working conditions and terms of employment. The other side of the equation is of course the existing customer base and, even before the IT issue was solved, the feedback from them was very encouraging and has gone on getting better since then.”
Now, just as at Glazerite’s other production sites, everything is bar-coded across the whole of production and dispatch so that, along with Evonet, there is full transparency and accountability throughout.
Mark Smith continued: “Now that all the systems are in place, we and our customers are beginning to see the real benefits of the acquisition. Lead times have been brought down in line with the rest of the group, full online quoting and ordering is available to all customers and, most importantly, they all have full access to one of the most comprehensive product ranges in the industry, all via this one single point of contact. Not to mention the great marketing support that is now available to our installers, being part of the group really does open up so many opportunities to our installers ”
This means the former City Beads customers can now not only offer the full range of mainstream VEKA systems but also its sliding sash and Imagine bi-fold, patio and flush doors, Warmcore windows and bi-folds and all Residence9 and Solidor products. By the same token the rest of the group now has access to the Halo range from Glazerite East’s ongoing operation. Another benefit for Peterboroughcustomers however is that, whether they are working with mainstream VEKA or Halo systems, they can apply to become part of the Independent Network (formerly known as Network VEKA) via Glazerite’s long-standing relationship with the organisation.
Mark Smith concluded: “We see a great future as part of the Glazerite UK Group. The company has already shown that it is prepared to invest time, money and commitment into bringing this new division into line with the standards set by the rest of the group, and we can see that what has happened so far is only the beginning.”