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Celebrating our 20th year in business

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It’s hard to believe that just two decades ago, WIFI and Google were in their infancy, and we managed to somehow get through the day without smartphones, social media or Netflix. Britney was on the radio, England failed to make it out of the group stages at the Euros, Big Brother arrived on Channel 4, and we’d survived the Millennium Bug.

The year 2000 was also the year John Hewitt and Jason Thompson founded Glazerite from a 1000 sq. ft factory in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. They had just four members of staff and one product – the VEKA Matrix 58mm – and a target of 40 frames per week.

VEKA has been with Glazerite since the beginning with the company now growing into one of their largest customers. VEKA MD, Dave Jones, has worked closely with Jason and John from the very start. He believes the relationship between the supplier and fabricator has been built on a ‘mutually successful, open and honest partnership.’

Dave says: “Together, VEKA and Glazerite deliver the best possible products and services, and have continued to do so, even during tough times in the industry. We have always stood and worked together, and we’re both stronger for it.”

Today, Glazerite employs over 270 staff who each strive to make us a ‘best-in-class’ supplier for our installer partners. Our product range has evolved into one of the most comprehensive in the industry and from humble beginnings and 40 frames in 2000, we now have a capacity to manufacture in excess of 4000 frames per week.

2020 will also see the full effects of the £1 million investment we poured into the business last year, with improved efficiencies and capacity at our Northwest division thanks to the expansion of our Bolton site, and broader reach thanks to new vehicles in our delivery fleet.

So what will 2020 be remembered for? Definitely Brexit, and hopefully a better performance at the Euros. For Glazerite though, we intend to make it the beginning of another two decades of growth, cementing our position as the fabricator of choice and continuing on in our mission to help our installer partners achieve their own business goals.

On 29th February, we will be marking our 20 years in business by holding an event at Sywell Aerodrome for all staff members. This will be in recognition of all employees hard work and dedication in helping the business reach this impressive milestone.

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.”
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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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