Full house for 2023 Glazing Summit

Around 500 delegates arrived at the Edgbaston Stadium last week for the fifth annual Glazing Summit, enough for organisers to declare the event to be a ‘sell out success’.

There was lots to talk about, with the Future Homes Standard, skills crisis and installer challenges taking up a large chunk of the conversation, but for me the most valuable part of the Summit is always the Insight Data ‘State of the Industry’ report.

Here we are given hard facts and the data is often eye-opening.

In the 2023 report for example, we can see that a further 346 fabricators and installers have left the market since 2021. There are 13,594 still in business but a total of 1,505 businesses have now stopped trading since 2017.

The number of PVC-U fabs has also declined. There were 1,534 in 2014 and now there are 1,177. The number of aluminium manufacturers has, however, increased over the same time period, up to 921 from 802.

The Insight report also included an installer survey, which crunched the numbers from over 2,000 installers, ranging from small, lifestyle companies to large, national businesses.

When asked how enquiry levels compared to 12 months ago, the majority (43%) said they were about the same. Only 6% reported they were higher.

78% also stated that they have retained the same suppliers over the last year (21% said they had switched for some supply) and 55% said that product quality was the most important thing they look for with a supplier.

The next most important aspect was customer service (at 22%) and price (13%). Brand and delivery options were the least important at 4% and 6% respectively.

Finally, the installers were asked about their outlook for the next year or two – the majority (48%) expected things to stay the same while 23% were looking forward to some growth.

In summary, the 2023 State of the Industry report highlighted that while the number of active companies is shrinking, demand and volume is actually increasing – a relatively positive outlook and one perhaps explains the cautious optimism from installers.