260,000 and counting

Alan Rees, the man behind Panoramic Doors and architect of the Panoramic Group, talks to Glass Times as the company broadens the reach of its bifold alternative with the introduction of a PVCU Panoramic door.

Alan is a seasoned window and door industry veteran, with achievements that include the creation of PVCU window system Worth (now part of Spectus) and the popularisation of the PVCU vertical slider through fabricator Quickslide.

Having launched Panoramic Doors in the UK in 2014, Alan first established the concept in the United States to where he moved a decade ago. But despite enjoying success in the US, where more than 250,000 Panoramic Doors have been sold to make Panoramic the third largest supplier of bifolding doors to that market, Yorkshire-born Alan’s ambitions remain in the UK.

“I have spent my life in the British window and door industry, and my overriding ambition is to create a valuable group of window and door manufacturing companies that will make a very real impact on the market,” Alan said. “But the impact I want to make is through designing and producing products that always bring something new, and which are renowned for their quality. And we are achieving that.”

The Panoramic Group is a vehicle within which Alan, aided by daughter Sharon Rees, intends to take advantage of opportunities in the industry through acquisition, although primarily through innovative product development brought to the market through existing group companies.

“The key to the speed at which we are growing is decisiveness,” Alan said. “There are a great many opportunities in the market currently. We are well funded and have a clear vision of where we want to be and how to get there.

“The products that we have in our current portfolio, and company start-ups and acquisitions that we have made even in the early days, speak for themselves. Whenever anyone sees a company or product associated with the Panoramic brand, I want them to immediately know that it represents great design, manufactured using high quality materials and to the highest production values.”

Alan believes training is a huge part of the product offering, and the company has three training rooms around the UK – all of which are free to use for the trade.

The group has also brought its own glass company on board, which was acquired from Epwin at the beginning of the year and now renamed Panoglass. While it has developed its own products – such as the new Panoglass integral blinds – it is seen as a strategic move for Panoramic Group as glass supply issues still cause concerns in the industry.

“The demands of the group will account for about 50% of the glass business within a couple of years,” Alan said. “Aside from the group’s needs, I would be happy to see the business move away from the volume market and concentrate on more lucrative value-added products. I don’t want to be a busy fool; I’m in business to make money.”

Alan Rees re-emphasised his ambitions for the Panoramic door by launching a PVCU version at the FIT Show. Offering an alternative to the bifold, the Panoramic swing and slide has been purchased by more than 10,000 UK homeowners alone that appreciate the wide, uninterrupted openings of conventional bifolds, but with the added versatility and compact opening footprint enabled through the hingeless design of the Panoramic door.

The company is offering a guaranteed two-four-week turnaround and technical assistance to appeal to installers. CE and CMS marked, the doors have been field-tested in the five years since their launch. In addition to offering the most popular features of conventional bifolds, Panoramic doors are easier to transport and handle, while being simpler to install due to the design and construction that uses individual leaves that slot into the custom tracks, Alan said.

“All of our products are manufactured entirely in-house using components and processes that are designed to ensure faultless quality in every product. We control all of our processes, including the design and production of our own extrusions, to ensure total quality. These PVCU Panoramic doors are an excellent example of that approach.”