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Suppliers join forces to pen an open letter to the fenestration industry
Suppliers join forces to pen an open letter to the fenestration industry
Nineteen independent suppliers to the home improvement market have penned an open letter to the fenestration industry, as the sector looks to balance unprecedented demand with global supply chain pressures. Bosses, from companies including Clayton Glass, Conservatory Outlet, Consort, Emplas, Glazerite UK Group, Nationwide Windows & Doors, Solar Frame and Sternfenster, have joined forces to address several Covid-19 related issues that are currently hampering how they can meet the national appetite for doors, windows, roofing systems and glazing products. The firms, which are based across the UK and span all the different specialisms of the supply chain, clearly lay out three of the main challenges currently facing them, including disruption with materials, rising prices/energy costs and significant labour shortages due to the pandemic and Brexit. They call for industry to show a united front of solidarity in that every supplier is weathering the same storm and that, by giving customers an understanding, they can quickly work together to provide solutions and get back to delivering continuity of supply. “I don’t think anyone could have prepared us for what has happened in the last twenty months - from having to close due to Government guidance and making our factories Covid-19 secure to then having to scale up to cope with what has been a 130% increase in demand for many of us,” explained Ryan Green, Managing Director of Clayton Glass, one of the driving forces behind the letter. “It would have been a big enough challenge on its own, but we are having to achieve this against a backdrop of global shortages in our core materials, workforce uncertainty due to isolation/a lack of workers and now rising prices across the board.” He continued: “This cocktail of issues has unfortunately caused suppliers across our industry significant difficulties, and we can’t escape the fact lead times have been pushed out and supply has been disrupted. “The letter isn’t a sob story, it’s more a case of trying to give our customers and, in turn, their customers, a clear insight into what we are all dealing with. It’s not one company doing something wrong, these issues are affecting all of us.” The open letter to the fenestration industry will be posted on the website of all signatory companies and shared across their social platforms, with the content also distributed to local, b2b and trade media. Ryan concluded: “We will continue to work round the clock to deliver a product and service that clients are happy with, and we are confident that together we will correct these issues and things will stabilise – it’s just the timing that is currently uncertain. “If any industry can adapt and emerge from this year stronger than ever, it’s ours.” DOWNLOAD THE LETTER   Signatures to the letter include: Jeff Dunn - Glazerite UK Group Ltd Ryan Green - Clayton Glass Greg Kane - Conservatory Outlet Steven Williams - Consort Jeff Hooson - Custom Glass Dan Sullivan - DOORCO Ryan Johnson - Emplas Kevin Harvey - Future Products Mark Rowland - Lancashire Trade Frames Roy Frost - Lister Window Systems John Whalley - Nationwide Windows & Doors Paul Williams - Northern Express Glass Jeff Walsh - Pearl Windows Chris Cooke - Prefix Systems Guy Hubble - Regalead Steve Jones - Sierra Windows Steve Taylor - Solar Frame Mike Parczuk - Sternfenster Sean Parnaby - West Port Timber Windows & Doors
  |   Tags: Glazerite
News
Glazerite welcomes return of Pro-AM golf day
Glazerite welcomes return of Pro-AM golf day
After a challenging 18 months of postponed social and industry events, the Glazerite UK Group swung back into action this month with the return of its much-loved charity golf day. Now in its 15th year, the Pro-Am tournament was rescheduled from its usual July date to Friday 3rd September at Wellingborough Golf Club, with customers, suppliers and employees taking part in the competition and evening celebration. Thanks to generous donations from players and sponsors, the event raised over £4,000 for Glazerite’s nominated charity, We Mind & Kelly Matters, which was founded in 2019 by former chairman, John Hewitt. The golf day ‘teed off’ just after 8.30am with 35 teams playing right through to mid-afternoon. Quickslide’s Adrian Barraclough won the ‘Nearest the Pin’ at the 4th hole, while the competition’s ultimate victors were the team led by Dave Jones, formerly of VEKA. Dave played alongside golf professional, Ryan Evans, VEKA Area Sales Manager, Dan Liles, and club member, Glen Gulla, with Ryan setting a club record at his home course with 63 (-9). During a heart-felt speech, Ryan generously donated his prize-winnings to We Mind & Kelly Matters, and thanked Glazerite for the sponsorship he was given by the fabricator at the outset of his professional career. Despite the event taking place later on in the year than usual, the sun shone for the golfers, who later celebrated with an evening reception alongside their partners and colleagues. Liam Bird, of K2 Aluminium, who travelled to the event from the Wirral, said: “The Glazerite Trophy is always the highlight of my golfing calendar, and the Wellingborough course is superb. From start to finish, it’s always a very well put together event and a terrific experience. I’m very grateful to Glazerite for getting it up and running again this year; it was great to take part and see all those faces that have been missed over the last year.” Rob Brearley, Glazerite’s Group Managing Director, was taking part in his first Glazerite golf day since joining the fabricator. He added: “It was great to finally be able to socialise with some of our customers, suppliers and staff in such a beautiful setting. I have been with the company over a year now and it’s crazy to think this is the first opportunity to do what would usually have come very naturally in the first month or two in a new role. Since taking over the business there has been a lot of change, but our continued support of the Glazerite PRO AM trophy and our nominated charity, We Mind & Kelly Matters, will remain.” We Mind & Kelly Matters’ John Hewitt said: “I’ve loved doing the golf day over all these years and the feedback I get from fellow golfers, the club, friends and the industry is that it is one of the best. I’m thrilled that Rob is looking to keep it going. I also really appreciate the support everyone has shown for our charity and their generous donations, including Ryan’s prize money. It has been a true pleasure to watch him progress to the great golfer he is today.”
  |   Tags: Glazerite, Events
News
Futureproofing a Fabricator
Futureproofing a Fabricator
Having recently led the management buyout of trade fabricator Glazerite UK Group, MD Robert Brearley reflects on the company’s offering, and shares his plans for the fabricator’s future. Joining a company and leading it through a management buyout during a global pandemic was certainly challenging, but that’s something I’m always up for. There is no doubt that this is one of the toughest times our industry will ever face. Despite this, Glazerite continued to invest in its people and facilities so that we stay ahead of the game with our offering for installers. We also have some exciting plans to take the business forward. In the short term, it is very much business as usual for our customers, suppliers and team. Over the coming months, however, we are making improvements to our processes and procedures to improve quality and service, while continuing to integrate a continuous improvement culture across the group. It’s a subject I’m very passionate about and is the reason we’ve recently appointed Desmond Golach as our continuous improvement manager. With many years of experience in the fenestration industry, Desmond is guiding our teams to work and think in a different way and really strives for perfection. We have daily meetings to discuss continuous improvement and share ideas on how to make the business more productive, safe and efficient. We want to do better by enhancing our daily working practices, which has a positive impact on customer service. It’s important we return to the service levels our customers expect, so improving our productivity and sharpening our processes means we will be in better shape as the country emerges from the pandemic. The supply chain is still under pressure, and raw material shortages and price increases are tough to navigate. Managing customer expectations in areas beyond our control is also challenging, though this goes for the whole industry, not just Glazerite. We work closely with our suppliers to understand any issues, and have proactively and regularly communicated with our customers to try and minimise the impact on their own businesses as much as possible. Meanwhile, recruitment also remains an issue across the UK, but we remain committed to searching for engaging, loyal individuals keen to progress in fenestration and who can help us to deliver on our promises. Despite these difficult and changing times, one thing remains constant: we are committed to investing in our business and giving our installer partners the tools and products they need to service their customers as best they can. The investments we’ve made over the last 12 months are already helping our customers win new business, including the introduction of Timberweld on our flush sash ranges, as well as new equipment and machinery across each of our plants. We’ve also completed the expansion of our North West Division in Bolton, where we’re about to open our first showroom. We also have plans to improve our door range, which demonstrates how we listen and react to trends and ensure we have the very latest products in place to help our installers meet the needs of their own customers. As the market begins to stabilise, we will continue to build on the Glazerite offering so that our installers have all they need – and more – to perform in their markets.
  |   Tags: Glazerite
News
New appointment - Luke Hatfield
New appointment - Luke Hatfield
We are delighted to announce that Luke Hatfield will be joining The Glazerite UK Group Ltd as Group Procurement Director.   Luke joins us on Monday 13th September 2021, with a brilliant academic background in business, strong commercial acumen and procurement experience within the fenestration industry. Having most recently worked at Kingfisher Windows he is a great addition to our board to shape and lead this critical function across our business.   Luke adds "I’m really excited to join such a well-established and market leading company, with a great reputation.  I look forward to working with the team and being a part of delivering on the ambition of the group".   This appointment comes at a point where we are still facing some really tough supply chain issues in the industry, Luke will be instrumental in bridging the gaps and building on the department to support our growth aspirations.
  |   Tags: None
News
Timberweld® and Halo make the perfect match for Glazerite installers
Timberweld® and Halo make the perfect match for Glazerite installers
The leadership might have changed at the Glazerite UK Group following the completion of the recent management buyout, but the new team of directors have the same passion for investment, innovation and installers, with a host of exciting plans afoot. One of the five-strong MBO team is Matthew Thomas, the Managing Director of Glazerite East, which focuses on the Halo portfolio. Having been with the fabricator for three years, Matthew has already overseen a huge transformation of the site to align it with the rest of the group. Innovation in manufacturing efficiencies and products includes the adoption of Timberweld® technology across the company’s flush sash range to replicate authentic timber windows. This has allowed Glazerite greater flexibility in manufacturing across its sites, while increasing product choice for its installers. Matthew says: “We tested Timberweld on Halo Flush Sash over the course of several months, with the support and technical expertise of Masterframe, Total Machinery Solutions (TMS) and VEKA. As a result, we are now able to strengthen our portfolio to include a timber-look butt joint across all three of our flush sash window options. “Not only does it give us consistency in manufacturing, it allows for a greater throughput of products without compromising on quality.” The market demand for heritage-style windows is strong and set to continue with high growth, as consumers seek a solution that combines low maintenance and durable uPVC with an aesthetically pleasing, timber-like finish. Matthew adds: “Glazerite has always had a strong commitment to innovation. We combine these ambitions with continuous investment into our facilities, our portfolio and our people. Everything we do is always with customers in mind and by introducing Timberweld, we’ve been able to open doors for installers who haven’t previously specified R9 for example, as it can now be ordered unglazed and is therefore easier to handle and transport.” Matthew is also delighted with the service his team has been able to offer installers keen to specify Timberweld-fabricated Halo. One such installer is Northamptonshire-based A-Team Glazing who has just completed the transformation of a stone cottage using Halo Flush Sash in Pebble Grey. A-Team owner and Glazerite installer, Adam Pardon, explains: “The homeowner wanted to replace the existing rotten frames with uPVC because they wanted something that would help to reduce the road traffic noise, and which was low in maintenance, more energy efficient and secure. They were also keen to replace the wood with something that looked handcrafted and timber-like to blend in with the stonework surrounds and the period charm of the cottage. Halo using Timberweld offered the perfect solution and the homeowner is thrilled with the results.” In addition to the introduction of TImberweld, Glazerite East has undergone a number of changes since it was acquired by Glazerite in 2016. Improvements to production has led to a significant increase in output – more than doubling the number of frames the site was able to achieve. Its current capacity is 700-750 frames per week, a figure set to grow even further by 2022 thanks to recent investment. Matthew adds: “This year’s investment has also allowed us to add a new corner cleaner and a sash horn miller. This means we can now manage the run-through sash horn process fully in-house and has removed our dependency on third parties manufacturing it for us. This ultimately benefits our installers as it gives us much greater flexibility on lead times.” Matthew is now looking ahead to the next phase of Glazerite’s plans. He adds: “We are continually trying to find ways to broaden and improve what we offer our installers, whether that’s enhancing our production facilities, investing in new technology and machinery or adding to our service offering. The introduction of Timberweld has been a real game-changer for us and our customers, and we’re looking forward to finding more ways to meet the needs of our installers and their customers.”
  |   Tags: Glazerite, Halo
News
Glazerite welcomes a new addition to its sales team
Glazerite welcomes a new addition to its sales team
Following the completion of a management buyout this month, The Glazerite UK Group Ltd has announced a new sales appointment. Carly Graham joined the fabricator on 12th July 2021 and will be focusing on enhancing the service Glazerite offers its installer base in the Midlands and South East. Carly, who has over 20 years of experience in fenestration, is looking forward to applying her industry experience to her new role at Glazerite. She says: “I can’t wait to meet my customers. Glazerite is impressive and unique in the way it supports its customers, from incredible sales and marketing support to building proactive relationships with suppliers that ultimately benefit the installer.” Carly adds: “It’s an exciting challenge and I’m ready for it. I thrive on the industry’s diversity, product development, and its ability to adapt to an ever-changing market and this is exactly what Glazerite excels in. I’m really looking forward to playing an active part in Glazerite’s growth ambitions, and those of my customers." Jeff Dunn, Group Sales & Marketing Director, says: “Carly has extensive experience and a real passion for the industry. She’s hugely customer-focused and has a thorough knowledge of our products and what our customers and their customers want. This will help us to strengthen the relationships we have with our existing installers and help us reach out to new prospects.” Jeff adds: “It’s an exciting time to be joining Glazerite and Carly brings with her a strong, motivated work ethic that will be a real benefit to our customers.”
  |   Tags: Glazerite
News
MBO at Glazerite as new team seeks to drive business forward
MBO at Glazerite as new team seeks to drive business forward
Leading trade fabricator, The Glazerite UK Group has been acquired in a management buyout. Led by Group Managing Director, Robert Brearley, the management team includes Mark Johnston, Group Finance Director, Jeff Dunn, Group Sales & Marketing Director, Darren Rhodes, Managing Director (North West) and Matthew Thomas, Managing Director (East). The MBO completed on 9th July 2021, with the new team acquiring 90 per cent of the business and former Chairman, John Hewitt, retaining 10 per cent. Robert says: “Glazerite is an incredible company and much of what has been achieved so far is down to its people. With strong leadership and a talented and passionate team across the Group, the business has grown way beyond any expectations. With ambitious growth plans and continuous investment over the years, it’s proudly sitting as a major player in the industry. “The business is in good stead for the future and we have some innovative and exciting plans in place to build on our offering as we look to take Glazerite to the next level.” Glazerite was founded in 2000 by John Hewitt and Jason Thompson and is a true success story of the last couple of decades, with a tenfold growth. The company now employs around 270 people at its sites in Bolton, Peterborough, Wellingborough and Bristol. From the outset, servicing installers with a comprehensive range of products and services has been fundamental for the fabricator, with leading brands such as VEKA, Halo and the Residence Collection at the core of the offering. Glazerite’s main supplier, the VEKA Group, has welcomed the move. Managing Director, Neil Evans says: “We have a solid, long-standing and vital partnership with Glazerite and they have always set the bar high in terms of an offering from a fabricator. The new management team is equipped with drive, experience and expertise to shape the incredible business built by John and Jason as it moves to the next level. It’s always good to see some fresh perspective and ambition within our customers and we look forward to working together on our common long-term goals.” Sarah Hitchings, Sales & Marketing Director at Window Widgets & The Residence Collection, who was part of an MBO team at the Gloucester-based firm in 2019, adds: “It’s a really exciting time for Glazerite. We have been partners for a long time and look forward to continuing our partnership with the company under its new leadership. Having been part of the team who led the buyout of Window Widgets & The Residence Collection, I understand the rollercoaster of emotions the team will have been on! I know from experience how the process can mark an exciting shift in culture, service, and relationships. I wish the team luck with the next chapter of this already very successful business.” The MBO was put together by Don Gray of BHP Corporate Finance, with funding from Nick Salmons at Shawbrook Bank.
  |   Tags: Glazerite
News
Opening doors for our installer partners
Opening doors for our installer partners
Group Marketing Manager, Michelle Wright talks about Glazerite's comprehensive portfolio and how offering a choice for installers can open doors to new business. Lockdown rules and staying at home has inspired consumers to invest in domestic improvements, with statistics revealing nearly two thirds of homeowners have used the time to renovate. It’s a trend that looks set to continue during 2021, and with outdoor entertaining taking precedence over indoor entertaining due to current guidelines, it is exterior décor and outdoor space that is set to get a makeover. As a fabricator, being able to offer our installer partners a wide range of high-quality, leading brand composite doors in a host of styles and colours enables them to meet the demands of their own customers. Being on top of our game when it comes to the latest trends is a key part of that, and it’s why we work with suppliers who lead the way in everything from the latest Instagram-worthy colours and styles to smart technology and innovative door furniture. Over recent years, driven by the popularity of sites like Houzz and Pinterest, consumer desire for a neater exterior has translated into demand for contemporary colour choices, with more traditional hues of red and green being replaced with grey. Indeed, in 2020, shades of grey accounted for nearly one in every three of our door sales. According to House Beautiful magazine, 2021 is likely to see a move towards more natural colours, with statistics showing over a quarter of the most liked doors on Instagram were variations of wood-like shades, from dark oak to lighter washed hues. Our range of uPVC composite doors from the likes of DOORCO offer the aesthetics of timber without the maintenance of sanding and painting. With the option of colours like Irish Oak, Golden Oak and Rosewood it’s a trend our installers can meet, albeit in the form of low maintenance, high performing uPVC. Given that the front door is the focal point to every home, looks really do matter for homeowners, and to that end, we support our installers with a huge amount of choice. From classic, traditional styles that pair well with stained glass and polished, heavy door furniture through to the more contemporary designs offering individual flair, edgy geometric shapes and a perfect canvas for the futuristic Sweet furniture, we have all bases covered. Today’s homeowner is also tech-savvy; according to a recent Smart Home Week survey, 57% of British homes contain at least one smart device. The trend encompasses door security, and with our suppliers Avantis and Brisant leading the way, it’s certainly an area we are able to support our installers with so that they can be ready to meet consumer demand. Over the last 12 months, we’ve been supplying our doors already fitted with the high performance Avantis multipoint locking system. For those customers looking for a smart door, a simple upgrade can transform it into a Kubu lock. The homeowner just needs to download the Kubu app and purchase the starter kit, which includes the Kubu home hub, in order to benefit from a host of innovative features including remote lock monitoring technology. Security is a leading concern for homeowners, and to meet that need we fit the Ultion Diamond secure cylinder as standard with all our composite doors. Designed by Brisant Secure, the Ultion can outwit even the most forceful of burglars. Brisant, like Avantis, are leaders in smart technology too, having brought their innovative Ultion Smart product to market in 2019. With a number of clever features including ‘on approach’ auto unlocking, it’s just another feather in the cap of our installers when it comes to what they can offer their own customers. Thanks to our own forward-thinking suppliers, our installers are able to offer their customers choice and peace of mind. Not only are our composite doors able to meet the latest trends, they’re also, durable, hardwearing and robustly secure. With innovation in design from our suppliers, we have some exciting plans for our door range, which we will be unveiling soon. The door market doesn’t stand still. And when it comes to offering the best possible products and services so that out installers can stay ahead of the game, neither do we.
  |   Tags: Doors, Installers
News
Glazerite appoints new Production Manager for its North West Division
Glazerite appoints new Production Manager for its North West Division
The Glazerite UK Group Ltd has appointed a new Production Manager for its North West Division in Bolton. Michael St Ledger, who joins the trade fabricator on 6th April 2021, will oversee the site’s 32-strong operations team and manufacturing processes, with a focus on improving efficiencies. Glazerite’s Bolton site, which manufactures much of the fabricator’s VEKA portfolio, has undergone a major investment and expansion programme over the last two years, and has recently welcomed the arrival of a new site lead in Managing Director, Darren Rhodes. Darren says of Michael’s appointment: “Michael has extensive experience in manufacturing in the fenestration industry and brings with him new ideas, a passion for quality and a focus on customer service. We are looking to further strengthen the performance of the site and having Michael as part of the team will help us increase our service levels and effectiveness.” Michael adds: “I am excited to be joining Glazerite and I am looking forward to meeting and working with all the team. I come from a background in aluminium windows and bi-fold doors, so it will be good to transfer that knowledge and build on it for a successful career at Glazerite.”
  |   Tags: Glazerite

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