Playing an active role
As Wellingborough-based Glazerite turns 17, Group MD Jason Thompson discusses how it got to where it is today, and what its plans are for the future.
The Glazerite of 2017 is now a rather different animal than the company I began with John Hewitt in 2000. Then, aspirations were to reduce working hours to a four-day week with John intending to spend a great deal more time on the golf course. Total sales in the first year of £172,000 have now bloomed to more than £27 million, with additional factories in Wellingborough, Bolton and Peterborough, and a distribution hub in Bristol. Reduced working hours were an early casualty.
The pursuit of perfection is a key factor behind our success, and it is that it’s never something we ever feel we’ve achieved. This keeps us on our toes.
Any business has to keep evolving to keep up with changing trends, developments and buying habits, but we believe that how we do things on a daily basis can always be improved.
We make sure our customers can choose the sort of service and product offer that suits them, not us; they can literally cherry pick from a range of elements, products and service elements to support their ambitions.
We want to ensure our installers never lose out on a job as a result of not being able to supply what a customer is looking for. We also want to provide a product for every budget – for example, our flush sash options include the R9 at the higher end, and Halo FlushSash as a great alternative where budget is prohibitive.
Early this year the opening of our new specials division provides a great setup for the manufacture of our premium products, as well as the capacity to keep up with future trends.
We understand the power of homeowner confidence; they must trust that when they decide to invest in their homes then that their investment is safe. Therefore, we’ve teamed up with some of the most respected organisations in the industry: Independent Network [formerly Network Veka], Planitherm Installer Network, Maco Secure +, ERA Total Security Guarantee, Veka and Halo Approved Installer schemes, and the Ultion £1,000 break in guarantee.
We have also developed our own business support packages for our installer customers. This doesn’t mean just having someone at the end of the phone to answer any queries, it’s about making sure our installers feel part of a much bigger company. By business support we mean our installers have access to all the management functions that any business is likely to need, but which are not enough to create their own departments. For example: HR, sales, IT, accounts and marketing. Our business professionals have a wealth of industry experience in their chosen field and this is something that readily available to our customers.
Over the last couple of years we have focused on providing marketing support for our installers; from the smaller sole traders to the larger trade businesses and commercial installers we have marketing tools that will work for their business. If they don’t have the resource and capability to do these things in-house, we can take the burden from them, leaving them to get on with what they should be doing.
Social media and digital marketing is evolving so quickly it is difficult for any business to keep up so our customers can now tap into this resource to ensure they are able to compete.
This is where a great deal of our energy will be focused in the next six-12 months, with a plan to increase our marketing team by 50% and ambition to play much more of an active role in digital marketing for our customers.