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20 in 20 - Glazerite sets sights on continued growth

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2020 marks a big milestone for leading trade fabricator, The Glazerite UK Group. As they fast approach their 20th birthday, Group Managing Director Jason Thompson looks back on what Glazerite has achieved so far, and what the fabricator has planned for its anniversary year.

We are eagerly anticipating our 20th year in business and looking ahead to what 2020 will bring for Glazerite, our employees, suppliers and our installer partners.

It’s been our aim from day one to be a ‘best-in-class supplier’ and we hope we’ve lived up to that so far with the choice of products we supply, the quality of services we deliver and the added value we give our customers to help them succeed in their own markets.

Despite a difficult time for the industry, we’ve spent the last 12-18 months consolidating our offering and working on how we can improve the services we provide to our customers. That has manifested itself in a number of ways, from the growth of our product portfolio to the strengthening of our marketing support offering, which we believe is what really differentiates us as a fabricator. We’ve also spent in excess of £1million on our plants, machinery, fleet and people in the last year; an investment which is already yielding impressive results for us and our customers in terms of speed, efficiency, delivery, timing and quality.

In 2020, we will further enhance our portfolio with a number of exciting new additions to reflect market trends and consumer demand. In recognition of the continued growth of the Heritage market for example, we will have the option to Timberweld some of our flush sash products, meeting the needs of those customers looking for an even more authentic finish on their installations.

To match growing consumer enthusiasm for technology, we’ve also recently welcomed the innovative Ultion Smart to our stable, while the Kubu product from Avantis Hardware will follow this year. The addition of these products, and their associated benefits, give our installers an even more comprehensive range to choose from, and ensures they never have to turn down non-standard jobs because of an inflexible supplier.

As reflected by the arrival of such products, as well as an explosion in colour and growing acceptance of uPVC as a genuine competitor for wood, the market has changed so much in 20 years. We aim to continue to be at the forefront of that change, which often means taking a chance on new and innovative products.

Adding value to our installers’ own businesses in this way remains key, and is the reason why we offer unrivalled, bespoke marketing support packages that help our customers really stand head and shoulders above their competitors.

Whether customers are looking to increase brand awareness or drive specific product sales, our three-strong marketing team works in partnership with them to plan and deliver a digitally-focused or traditional marketing strategy, or a combination of both. Starting with a marketing audit, our team sits down with an installer to work out how we can best support them and which tactics to use - from SEO to leaflet drops – that will not only enable them to take on local competitors, but national installers too. We are always looking for ways to enhance our marketing offering and 2020 will be no different, with the launch of a full suite of retail brochures, a refreshed installer-branded website system and a social media toolkit.

Closer to home, we recognise that to deliver great customer service, we need committed, loyal and engaged staff. We work hard to engage our 270 employees in where we are as a business and where we are headed, whether that’s through rewards and recognition programmes, or throwing a great big 20th birthday party as planned in the spring. On a more serious note, 2020 will also see the roll out of a business-wide employee support programme with a specific focus on mental health, an issue which is very close to our hearts.

As we enter 2020, we face continued political uncertainty and a variable market. But whatever the year brings, here at Glazerite it’s an opportunity for us to celebrate our success and that of the people who made us who we are today – our employees, suppliers and installer partners – while continuing to build foundations solid enough to take us forwards through the next 20 years.

Recent News

Glazerite announces new MD and restructure as part of long term plans for growth
Leading trade fabricator, The Glazerite UK Group Ltd, has announced a board-level restructure as part of its ambitious plans for growth. The move includes the appointment of Robert Brearley as Group Managing Director, with former Group MD Jason Thompson taking on the newly created position of Chief Executive Officer. It follows Group Chairman John Hewitt’s decision to take a step back from the business to focus more time on his recently founded suicide prevention charity, We Mind & Kelly Matters, in memory of his late daughter. Jason Thompson says: “Glazerite has gone from strength to strength since John and I founded the business 20 years ago. Today, we are one the UK’s leading trade fabricators thanks to the hard work and dedication of our team, and the support of our customers and suppliers. “Though we are sad to see John step back, he still remains an integral part of the company as Group Chairman and majority shareholder. However, the day-to-day running and strategic longer term planning for Glazerite will rest with myself, Robert and the current board going forward. “Robert joining us is a real opportunity given his wealth of industry experience. It’ll strengthen both our board and the business in general, and his manufacturing, continuous improvement, and commercial sales knowledge will be a real asset for Glazerite.” Robert, who joins Glazerite on 24th August, says of the appointment: “I’m really thrilled about joining such a forward-thinking business as Glazerite. As we head into the next generation of the business, we have some exciting plans in place to further strengthen and grow our market position. With such a strong, experienced team already in place, there will be some fantastic opportunities ahead.” The news follows 18 months of investment for the fabricator, including site expansion at its Northwest plant in Bolton, and new machinery installation across each of Glazerite’s four manufacturing facilities. Jason adds: “In spite of the March and April lockdown due to Covid-19, our sales for June/July this year are up 30 per cent in comparison with the same period last year. Our restructure will further strengthen our position as market leaders and allows us to build our offering and manufacturing capability further, in line with our own plans and the ambitions of our customers and suppliers.”
  |   Tags: Glazerite
Evolution in Glazerite's Flush Sash Offering
Jeff Dunn, Glazerite UK Group’s Sales & Marketing Director, explains how their flush sash portfolio has evolved and continues to develop with market demand. As a leading trade fabricator, market trends matter to us. Heritage styles are increasingly popular with consumers, and the way in which they can be manufactured is constantly evolving too. As a forward-thinking partner for our installers, it’s crucial we continually adapt our processes around product improvements, which is why Timberweld® caught our eye. To meet market desire, we’ve invested further in our Specials Division in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, which was set up in 2014 in recognition of the specialist machinery and techniques involved in fabricating heritage profiles. It’s here we manufacture both the UK-designed, UK-extruded Residence 9 and Residence 7 products, which are equally acclaimed by consumers and planning officers for their timber-like aesthetics. Part of our recent investment at the Specials Division has included the introduction of Timberweld, the patented method of welding corners on uPVC by butt welding sashes inside and out, replicating the authentic aesthetics delivered with a mechanical joint. We’ve always been firm in our position to manufacture R9 windows via a mechanically jointed and glass bonded process. However, as technology and the market has developed, we now have a solution in Timberweld that enables us to offer the same structural integrity and security performance without the need for glass bonding. The ability to offer R9 unglazed offers installers a number of benefits, making it easier to fit, reducing handling and fitting costs and giving them the option to source glass from their own supplier. All of these contribute to a less complex installation, with scope for making higher margins further benefitting our customers. In addition to the benefits for the homeowner and installer, the transition to using Timberweld also gives us flexibility in manufacture with the obvious efficiencies in the production process and logistics in the transportation. Another heritage jewel in our portfolio is the Halo Flush Sash, which is manufactured at our East Division in Peterborough. We intend offering Timberweld across all of our flush sash options in the near future, but as this is a new concept for the Halo system we are still in the testing phase at present. Having three high performance flush sash products on offer gives our installer partners access to a solution for every customer budget, and allows them to take advantage of greater sales opportunities, as they never have to turn down a specialist, bespoke or non-standard job. We like to give our installer partners everything they need to help them stand out amongst their own competitors, and in support of this we offer a full suite of heritage marketing materials including dropcards, point of sale materials and non-branded brochures, which they can use as their own, alongside the marketing assets and materials on offer from our suppliers. The Residence Collection does a superb job of positioning and branding their products alongside high profile consumer brands such as Farrow and Ball. The aesthetics of both R9 and R7, combined with the acoustic, thermal and security benefits of the windows appeal to the consumer, along with the choice of colour palette, dual colour option and decorative beading to suit period and contemporary property refurbishment or new builds alike. As a fabricator, it matters to us that our customers’ customers are happy. Having a flush sash portfolio, which incorporates products at the forefront of innovation is vital. We back this up using cutting-edge fabrication techniques, broader added value business support offerings and exemplary customer service, so that we can continue on with our mission to give our installers a best-in-class experience. So what’s next for our heritage portfolio? We have plans to continue investing in our capabilities and how we fabricate the products we offer so that we can continue to support our customers, while meeting the quality, authenticity and aesthetics their own customers expect. Watch this space…
  |   Tags: Products, Product technical
Glazerite chairman gets ready for epic charity ride
John Hewitt, Chairman of the Glazerite UK Group Ltd, is just weeks away from a 1,000 mile cycle ride in memory of his late daughter Kelly.  The challenge, nicknamed Kelly’s Heroes, will see a 12-strong team of amateur cyclists take part in a mammoth ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End, pedalling off on 16th August.  Some of Glazerite’s customers and good friends of John will be joining him for the ride, including Pete Mew of West Midlands-based Mews Windows and Glyn Pepper of Snowdon Homes.  The team are hoping to raise £50,000 for the charity We Mind & Kelly Matters, which John set up to honour his 24-year-old daughter following her passing in 2018.  John says: “Kelly had fought a battle with anxiety and depression in the months leading up to her death. After she took her own life, we wanted to do all we could in her memory to raise awareness of mental health and support other charities like MIND.  “We hope that our bike ride can raise awareness of the battles people face on a daily basis, as well as illustrate the help and guidance on offer to help support those who are struggling.” John, Pete and the rest of the team have been training for the challenge since last autumn, with a mix of indoor and road cycling. Much of the team’s training this year coincided with the UK-wide ‘lockdown’, which meant finding new ways to train together virtually using indoor cycling equipment and catching up over What’s App for cycling sessions. In the process, John has lost nearly three stone.  John adds: “We know it’s going to be a tough two weeks but nowhere near as tough as it is for those who face battles with mental health. I’d like to thank all the installers and suppliers, including VEKA and the Independent Network, for the support they have shown us so far, including sponsorship and donations. The support from the fenestration industry, even in difficult times we’re all currently facing, has been tremendous.”  In support of Kelly’s Heroes, Northampton-based company All Things Management has put together a video montage for use on social media to help raise even more awareness of the cycle ride. Ben Thomas, who was behind the clip, explains: “Mental health is a topic I am passionate about, and when I heard about the battles Kelly went through I wanted to do something to make a difference. John is inspirational, and I’m proud that we played a small part in this to help raise awareness of mental health.”  The team leaves John O’Groats on 16th August 2020 and aims to reach the Cornish landmark within 13 days. To sponsor Kelly’s Heroes, visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/Kellys-Heroes
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