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GLAZERITE EAST CELEBRATES A YEAR OF INTEGRATION – AT LAST!

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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.”

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The Glazerite UK Group Ltd have been named G Awards finalists with nominations in both the Fabricator of the Year and Unsung Hero categories. Director, Jason Thompson said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this year’s awards and it is an honour to have got to this stage. We are especially pleased to be up for Fabricator of the Year as it gives all of our staff some well-deserved recognition for their hard work which has helped put us in the running. “Melanie Jacobs was nominated as our unsung hero as she has been the driving force behind the success of our customer services department at our head office in Wellingborough since becoming Sales Office manager in 2010. Her passion, drive and propensity to go above and beyond allow Melanie to effectively lead her team year on year. All of which she does whilst managing the symptoms of rare auto-immune condition Myasthenia Gravismake. She sets a fantastic example to all of us.” Jason concluded: “It will be interesting to see what happens on awards night as there is some strong competition. The Glazerite table has been booked and until then we’re all keeping our fingers crossed that between ourselves, suppliers and customers we win a few of them on the night.”
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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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Halo FlushSash proves its worth with self confessed timber installer
Specialist barn and farm buildings renovator Cheshire Barns Homes is committed to using traditional materials in keeping with the projects they typically undertake... but it seems Halo FlushSash has turned their head. The developer has a strong commitment to producing homes using traditional farm buildings that are energy efficient, a philosophy that is underpinned by the company’s founder and director, Rhys Nevett, who has a vision to restore buildings with heritage to create sustainable luxury, and a desire for absolute perfection. The traditional style of the properties they renovate must be considered against the requirements of the Building Regulations and desire of the new owners for modern comfort and performance, a balance that can be difficult to achieve. But for one recent project undertaken by Cheshire Barns Homes such potential conflicts were resolved when the firm chose Halo FlushSash PVC-U windows, for a semi-detached property located in a rural location. Nottingham-based Fearns of Carlton were chosen by the developer to supply eight Halo FlashSash windows produced in Balsalt Grey on white, after being impressed with the authentic appearance of the frames combined with the exceptional performance. The colour was selected from a range of 29 foils available on this highly popular traditionally styled window, with the frames manufactured by Glazerite UK Group at the company’s Peterborough factory. Rhys Nevett of Cheshire Barns Homes is committed to maintaining the traditional appearance of the properties he renovates and was impressed with the Halo FlushSash windows chosen for this project: “We are usually committed to genuine timber windows but when we saw the Halo window and learned of the energy efficiency that they brought to the project, we had no hesitation in specifying them. They provide an impressive authentic appearance that is in keeping with this project.” For the window supplier Fearns of Carlton Jak Fearn said: “Many of the projects I work on are with timber sash windows as they are listed buildings. Fortunately as this project wasn’t listed so it gave the developer and us the opportunity to specify the Halo FlushSash. It not only looks great but offers an “A” rating which is fantastic for a traditional property.” Chris Thompson of Glazerite was delighted: “There is nothing I love more than to get a timber window installer onto PVC-U.  We have also had a number of installations approved and passed by building control in conservation and listed buildings so even if a property is in such an area the installation of windows manufactured in modern materials should not be ruled out.”
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