Glazing Summit success

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell reflects on a useful networking event held in Solihull.

Yesterday saw 400 of the industry’s finest descend on Solihull for the (inaugural?) Glazing Summit, organised and hosted by Insight Data and Purplex Marketing.

If you wanted a good summary of the state of the industry today, then you were in luck. There were panels involving leading figures on acquisitions, innovations and market threats, among others, with further presentations on the UK economy, marketing, and an overview of the window industry as it looks today. In the evening, around 100 stayed for the meal, where the guest speaker was Gerald Ratner who gave a very entertaining motivational speech.

At times some saw the opportunity during the day to use the event as a sales pitch, but on the whole the Glazing Summit was very well organised and delegates came away having learned something.

Thankfully, the skills crisis in our industry got a good airing, with many of the discussions referring to what Mike Morris of GQA called “the critical point in the sector’s development”.

He went on to say: “Fabricators and systems companies lose out if products are not installed properly. We all benefit from a skilled workforce.”

Jade Greenhow from Insight Data also gave a very illuminating snapshot of how the industry looks today. For example, she said there were 876 trade counters in 2017, up from 350 in 2011. This fact, along with the number of builders active in the window installation sector – 15,739 in 2017 (who buy more windows than window installers) – is having a significant effect on the industry.

There will be a longer report in the July issue of Glass Times, but Andrew Scott and his team must be congratulated for what was a well-organised and informative event.