A challenging market
Wojciech Brozyna, MD of Aluprof UK, discusses the company’s successes in the UK.
In Poland we have always viewed the UK as a challenge for us; we knew that it would not be easy to set up and gain projects from a virtually unknown system such as ours. We had the benefit of logistics behind us, as we were already exporting from Poland to several other European countries and believed we had a good grasp of product delivery, offering an on time and complete order fulfilment.
Added to the logistics, we had won several awards for our systems in Poland and believed that our product range could take on any other system currently available in the European market at that time.
The market crash in 2008 possibly helped us grow as fast as we did in the early years as fabricators in the UK looked for alternative systems that were a little more competitively priced. At this time, we were ready with stocked product in Poland and planning two deliveries per week to the UK. As a result, specifications were switched to Aluprof, we delivered on our promises, and these early adopters of Aluprof systems continue to be valued customers today.
When we were looking at the UK back in 2005, we decided that a central base for our office and warehouse facility would be preferential, so we decided to settle in the Manchester area, which gave us close access to all the major conurbations across the British Isles. From our initial offices and warehouse in Norman Road, Altrincham, we moved seven years ago to a new, larger unit at Altrincham Business Park.
While we do carry some stock material in our Altrincham warehouse, most projects are supplied direct from our huge warehouse facility located in Bielsko-Biała. With just a two-day shipping window, we continue to supply complete orders across to the UK on a weekly basis.
Four years ago we started to offer fabricated product as well as systems. This has gone down very well with our customers, as it has allowed them to take on larger projects while easing their own fabrication programming.
One of the growth systems in our portfolio has been our fire-rated windows, doors and curtain wall systems. When we brought these systems to the UK, the market for fire-rated aluminium systems was in its early growth cycle. By introducing these systems to specifiers, where there was a project requirement, has enabled us to range build with our other non-fire rated systems that offer a perfect match keeping the all-important glazing sight-lines.
I believe we still lead the field in this technology as currently we are the only systems company in the UK that can offer a cap-less fire rated curtain wall system, our MB SR50NEI EFEKT, which is tested to EI60 and certified by Certifire warrington.
We have plans to double the offices and warehouse space this year in Altrincham to provide a showroom and media centre for specifiers. We also have an active office and drop-in showroom at the Business Design Centre at Islington to support our growing number of specifiers using our systems in the south east. We also regularly interview for new staff as we continue to expand our team.
New systems are also in the pipeline. Some dedicated to the UK, but you will have to keep an eye out in the media for the launch of these new systems and services. I would say that we continue plan for future growth and strengthen our position as a strong, reliable supplier despite the UK being in uncertain times.