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The Oracle Issue 6 - February 2015Delivering the latest news and information from Network VEKA

 



Welcome to the latest edition of the Network VEKA Oracle! 

Here at Network VEKA HQ, we're busy gearing up for one of our best AGMs yet!
We've listened to feedback from other events and put together an afternoon that we think will be extremely beneficial and informative... without being boring!!

The Awards Evening is proving as popular as ever, so you'll have to act fast if you still want to secure a place. There's plenty to announce and there's even a new award for this year. Email your booking form to [email protected]

As always, we'd welcome your input and any stories or photos you'd like us to showcase in the next Network VEKA Oracle: just email [email protected] with a few words and a picture.

If you would like to add your staff to the email distribution list, please email [email protected].

Many thanks,

John Ogilvie and the Network VEKA team



Have you seen the new website?


Take a look at www.networkveka.co.uk to see the valuable new resource that we've created in partnership with our award-winning Design Agency.

With all the product and guarantee information that homeowners could possibly need, there's also the option for them to activate their guarantee easily and efficiently online.

We'd love to know what you think. Let us know via [email protected]



Visit the Network VEKA Business Centre

From 12 noon at this year's AGM on Saturday 21st March, attendees will be able to visit exhibitors at the day's 'Business Centre' and talk to suppliers, surveyors, finance and marketing specialists, affiliate companies, training partners and more.
We want to help you grow your business even more.
Our figures show that, last year, Network VEKA member companies grew at 2.5 times the rate of the rest of the industry.
Speak to our specialists on the stands to see if you could get even more from your membership.



Look out for the Network VEKA Academy 

We'll be unveiling our exciting new training offering at the Network VEKA AGM! A new way for learners to gain relevant, valuable qualifications perfectly suited to working for a Network VEKA company.




Disco the night away!

The Gala Dinner and Awards Evening will kick off at 6pm with a champagne reception. Our visitors - wearing their best black-tie attire - will be welcomed once again, by Brand Ambassador Steve Davis and have the opportunity for celebration photos with the Six-Times World Snooker Champion.

The results of all the regional awards are very, very close - so there might even be some surprises on the night!
After the awards, we'll be treated to a delicious meal and then the evening will kick off with a fantastic 70s band and disco. There'll be optional fancy dress items available from 10pm and it's a great opportunity for hard-working member companies to really let their hair down!
If you haven't sent your booking form back yet, you'll have to act fast to secure your place!



Fitter of the Year

Our new (and hotly contested) award for this year is 'Fitter of the Year' with member companies having nominated their installation teams to go up against the best of the best, to be in with a chance of claiming the trophy.

The nominees had to answer an in-depth questionnaire before Austin Greene visited and observed them all on site. We've taken customer satisfaction questionnaire results into account and we will soon be announcing the shortlist of just three! These Fitters will have to complete a final test on the day of the AGM.



We're obviously doing something right...

Did you know that the end of 2014 saw members' cumulative weekly sales top £1m and registrations reach an eight-year high?
It's no wonder that our membership renewals stand at 99.2%!

Stats like these affirm that the package we've honed over the past 19 years really delivers.
Member sales totalled almost £65m in 2014.



Mutual benefits

One of the greatest benefits of being a member of Network VEKA, is the 'chain of quality' that customers are guaranteed. Network VEKA Installers must use Network VEKA Fabricators who, in turn, must use VEKA systems.

Long-standing Network VEKA fabricator Glazerite has helped South Essex Windows win a lucrative social housing contract with VEKA's Fully Reversibles. Read the full story here.



The early bird catches the WER 

We're delighted to be able to tell you about another industry first from The VEKA UK Group, and one that, as a Network VEKA member, you can use free of charge.

This is a new U Value / WER calculator, the only one in the industry to be notified by the BSI and certified by the BFRC.

The U-Value calculations should be of interest - particularly if you buy in frames and glass from different suppliers. This will ensure that you are compliant for Network VEKA and competent person scheme inspections.

When it comes to window energy ratings you need to be aware that new rules came into effect in September 2014. These rules cover the simulation of spacer bars in WER calculations and, in changing them, the BFRC effectively made results from all existing Simplified Energy Label (SEL) calculators invalid and consequently unlawful.

It is the only calculator that, observing September 2014’s changes in BFRC rules, generates valid and therefore legal SELs, DSELs for doors and notified U-Values for CE Marking.

The potential repercussions of using outdated calculators are serious. Many people are burying their heads in the sand, but CE Marking is a legal requirement for windows and doors and making false declarations about U-Values may lead to prosecution for fraud! It is estimated that currently, less than 40% of the industry are fully covered by every aspect of CE Marking.

While the calculator can help you remain legal as far as U-Values, CE marking and Assure auditing is concerned, it can also calculate window energy ratings (the clue is in the name!)

However, the BFRC has found that some energy rating users have not been charged for their SEL licences over the last couple of years. This has resulted in the BFRC asking that we make sure all appropriate fees have been paid before the energy rating warning is removed from the Calculator.

So if you promote window energy ratings to consumers and use ratings for compliance you will need to be registered with, and pay BFRC fees:

Through Network VEKA these fees (excluding vat) are:

Fabricators: £840 for 3+ window energy licences (saving £1160 over what you would be charged if you go direct to BFRC for 7+ licences). The same fees apply if you want to do door ratings.

Installers (Approved Retailers): £200 for unlimited window energy licences (saving £150 on the fees for non Fensa companies, and another £200 if you want a calculator for door energy ratings.

Another advantage for Network VEKA installers is that if you elect for Network VEKA to do your audit then BFRC annual audit fees of £400 per year are reduced to £200.

The calculator, bespoke for each installer, is ready for manual release, with an online version to follow. It only lists the systems you buy and parts that are compatible with them, ensuring you can’t generate a ‘wrong’ result. And, besides saving you money on window audits and notification, experimenting with combinations of cost-effective components could even show you a cheaper route to that all-important ‘A’-rating!

All you need to do to receive your FREE bespoke calculator is contact the Network VEKA office or, if you want the version for window and door energy ratings then request a BFRC application form from us.



Heavers of Bridport fits free entrancing entrance

During the Melplash and Dorchester Shows, Heavers of Bridport offered a free prize draw for a new door, with the guarantee that names and addresses would not be used for marketing purposes.

More than 500 people entered and the winning ticket was drawn by Steve Davis.

The lucky winners were Mr and Mrs Norris of Dorchester.
A delighted Mr Norris said “when we got the phone call telling us we had won Heavers' free draw, we were over the moon. A really lovely surprise for us to receive on the return from our holiday.”

Pictured: Director Luke Heaver handing Mr & Mrs Norris the keys to their new front door.

 



We're here to help with changes in consumer finance regulations

Network VEKA has proactively addressed changes in the regulation of consumer finance, helping member companies to continue winning the larger contracts typically associated with such funding.

Consumer finance is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), formerly the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Since the FCA assumed responsibility for consumer finance in April 2014, the regulatory regime for companies wanting to promote consumer finance has become more challenging - the process involved in applying for consumer credit licences being a case in point.

We've found that the FCA's regulatory changes make greater demands of companies that wish to offer consumer finance - so much so that many businesses have been dissuaded from doing so.

Knowing that the ability to offer consumer finance often allows companies to command orders of greater value – homeowners opting to re-glaze their whole house rather than, say, just the front or back, for example – we recognised the need to put mechanisms in place that would preclude our members from missing those opportunities.

Network VEKA now offers two different types of support, depending on whether member companies are interested in actively offering consumer finance:

Besides the offer of assistance with applying for consumer credit licences, members could instead opt to add a Network VEKA banner to their website, directing homeowners to finance providers who can potentially offer personal loans for home improvement expenses. There would be no cost and no hassle for the member company with this option.

Customers benefit from very competitive rates compared to other sources of finance, making this a mutually advantageous offering for both them and our member companies.



Guarantee activation goes online!

We're proud to have utilised the new Network VEKA website to offer the option for homeowners to activate their insurance-backed guarantee online.

The ten-year cover, which represents one of the industry's most fail-safe packages of customer support, is instated as soon as homeowners have submitted a completed feedback form evaluating the standard of work and service they received.

Previously administered solely in hard copy by post, homeowners now also have the option to submit their feedback online, saving time and postage costs and providing instant reassurance that the process is complete.



Make sure you're in with a sporting chance!

We emailed all our members recently with details of a number of sporting events including snooker, darts, boxing, ping-pong and Fishomania! These are events that - through our association with Steve Davis and Matchroom - we may be able to secure tickets.

Make sure to let us know if you would be interested as these are of limited availability and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Email [email protected] confirming the event(s) along with the numbers of tickets you would like and we'll check if these are available.



Turning over a new leaf

Don't forget to order your NEW Network VEKA marketing literature, now available in smaller quantities. http://www.networkveka.co.uk/turning-new-leaf-network-veka-2015/



A little bird said...

Stay social with Network VEKA by following us on Twitter @Network_VEKA or 'liking' our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NetworkVEKALtd 

Don't forget! If you have anything to include in The Oracle next time, email [email protected]



Network VEKA contact telephone and email

John Ogilvie

07802 550288

[email protected]

Dave Hartley

07702 551265

[email protected]

Karen Lund

07801 640625

[email protected]

Austin Greene

07500 794407

[email protected]

Susan Lunney

01282 473177

[email protected]

Amanda Bentley

01282 473179

[email protected]

Rukshana Johnson

01282 473176

[email protected]

Maxine Taylor

01282 473173

[email protected]


[email protected]
Main Number: 01282 473170
Fax Number: 01282 473175

 

 

Recent News

GLAZERITE EAST CELEBRATES A YEAR OF INTEGRATION – AT LAST!
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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GLAZERITE OFFER INSTALLERS THE COMPLETE PACKAGE
Fresh from another successful FIT Show Jason Thompson, Director at The Glazerite UK Group Ltd, takes time to reflect on what has been most effective in helping the company to cement their name as one of the most comprehensive door and window fabricators in the business: “The FIT Show is the industry’s key event so always gives us a great platform to reach out to potential trade partners and show what we have to offer. This year was no exception and we got the opportunity to network with lots of great people, including many of our existing partners.” “Being able to provide these trade partners with such an extensive choice, and the flexibility that comes with that, is definitely one of Glazerite’s strengths,” said Jason. “Offering installers names such VEKA, Solidor, Residence and Palladio, to name just a few, all from one place goes a long way towards making their job easier and more efficient.” Some of the best examples of the seven profile systems that Glazerite work with were showcased by Jason and his team at the show, including the mechanically jointed VEKA VS, flush sash from Halo, and a selection from the premium R9 range, all displaying the level of quality that the company offers its customers. “We have already established a good base of quality products for installers to choose from but we are always looking for the next way to further expand and improve our offering to help them remain competitive,” Jason continued. “In the lead up to the show we were delighted to agree an exclusive partnership with acclaimed flood defence manufacturer Flood Angel which means Glazerite installers can now take advantage of membership to an exclusive retail partner network authorised to market these products throughout the UK. It was great to see so many take the opportunity to talk to the Flood Angel representatives and view the flood door example that we had on the stand. “However, it’s not just about the products, but also the enhanced benefits we can offer our trade partners. One of the key strengths we have as a fabricator is the range of support packages that we can supply through teaming up with some of the most respected organisations in the industry, including Network VEKA, Planitherm Installer Network, Maco Secure +, ERA five star VEKA and Halo approved installer and the Ultion £1000 break in guarantee. “One of the other vitally important benefits that Glazerite can deliver is good quality marketing support. Almost every fabricator offers something of this nature now, but we have ensured that an experienced dedicated team is in place who are fully equipped to help our members with anything from new logos and brochures, to a brand new website, to training on conversion and sales strategy. Jason concluded: “UK homeowners have moved on significantly in recent years and have far greater expectations and we have moved on accordingly. This ensures that our installer customers are able to cope with the increasing demands of consumers and the FIT show allows us to physically show our customers what we can offer.”
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Glazerite Gang Claim Record Trophy
Glazerite installers have beaten all previous records, taking a fantastic five out of seven national trophies – including overall winner – at the annual Network VEKA Awards on Saturday. Top of them all, scooping its 15th national Network VEKA Award as Member of the Year, as well as the £1.5million-plus category, was Aberdeen-based Thistle Windows and Conservatories, followed by NV founder member Goliath Homeworld of Cannock in the £1m-1.5m category, Shane Howells of Ledbury in the £750k-£1m and MG Window Systems of Northampton in £500k-£750k. Glazerite UK Group Ltd also saw another 15 of its installer partners listed as finalists in the national categories, including six in the two, smaller turnover, categories where it did not have a winner, and over half (12 out of 23) of the total new entries and re-entries into the organisation’s elite 100% Club. This year’s Network VEKA Awards had been reconfigured to replace the UK regional trophies with seven national awards, in six categories based on turnover plus a Member of The Year, as well as trophies for best new member in the North and South respectively as before. The ceremony was held at the Chesford Grange Hotel, Warwick, where the trophies were presented by Network VEKA brand ambassador, snooker legend Steve Davis. “Our installer partners have excelled themselves yet again,” said Jason Thompson, Director of the Glazerite UK Group Ltd, after the presentation. “Network Veka is second to none in this industry for the standards it sets and the quality that its members consistently deliver, and these awards are among the most coveted in the industry. The trophies are a credit to every one of the winners but we are also very proud of our absolute commitment to helping them and all of our installer partners to grow with the best possible support that any trade fabricator could offer.” He added: “It is well worth noting that these winners, just as in previous years, are those businesses that have fully embraced the Network Veka package and made the best use of everything it offers – something that we at Glazerite have always encouraged our member installers to do. This year, the change in the awards to a national base means all the members are competing against their peers on a level playing field rather than region by region. “Also this year, all Network VEKA members passed £1billion accumulated sales and still maintained their 97% average customer satisfaction rate; that is a truly market-leading performance.” 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. The Glazerite UK Group will be at the FIT Show, stand E15.
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Check out the latest news from Glazerite regarding installations, products and the latest news  
Product demonstrators, security testing and information videos, you'll find it all in this section.
We have a wide range of case studies available, in this section you'll find a few of them.    

Learn more about how Glazerite can help your business grow with one of the most comprehensive product portfolios and support packages in the industry.

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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