A colourful advantage
Active Windows’ managing director Norman Wood explains how Aluplast has given the company a competitive advantage.
We manufacture and sell directly to homeowners and our business model is based on delivering quality not quantity, and working with the Aluplast system allows us to do just that.
We know it’s a superior, more robust product than other PVC systems on the market, but consumers absolutely appreciate the standard of the fit and finish as well.
That appeal is enhanced by the quality of Aluplast’s foil offering. The demand for colour has increased dramatically: our total volume of foiled product used to be around 15%, but that has more than doubled to as much as 35% and a big part of that is the fact we can sell confidently on colour.
In the past, we would normally have to wait as long as six weeks for foils but since switching to Aluplast that’s no longer the case. We’re aware of delays and material shortages in the industry, but we’re getting our orders bang on time. It’s a massive advantage.
We have been manufacturing and installing to homeowners across the north east for over 10 years, partnering with Aluplast at the start of 2020.
My background is in financial services. It was only when I took a break from that career, to look at other options, that I decided to set up in the glazing industry.
I spent a lot of time studying the market, I could see that standards weren’t always as high as they could be, and I was determined to do things differently. For me, a no-nonsense approach, selling directly to the retail market made the most sense but you need good product to do that, to avoid falling into the trap of selling on price or doing silly deals.
When it came to reviewing our system supply, there were lots of companies out there that wanted our business but the quality was lacking, we were after something that was more than just a lump of plastic. When we were introduced to Aluplast it immediately stood apart; the decision was a no brainer.
Currently manufacturing in the Ideal 70 system, sales have increased 50% in the last year, growth that is partly down to an increase in demand fuelled by lockdown, but also because we are now better placed to make the most of market conditions.
A lot of homeowners are cash rich. They are sitting on lots of savings that would have normally been spent on holidays. Has Aluplast helped us to benefit from that? Absolutely. It’s a solid, well designed system and our fitters love it. That design quality makes it easy to install and that also means there’s much less remedial work.
But the real advantage comes back to colour. Anthracite grey is the most popular, and we still do a fair bit of chartwell green, but Aluplast’s new aludec and woodec finishes give us a distinct commercial advantage. Consumers are increasingly specifying a foiled finish but they want to push the boat out, they want something different, and we can give them that with aludec and woodec.
Aluplast’s colour offering now extends to 40 different finishes on competitive lead times. Designed to look and feel exactly like real timber, woodec is now available in four different options: Turner Oak Malt, Sheffield Oak Alpine, Sheffield Oak Concrete, and Turner Oak Toffee.
On the other hand, aludec can accurately replicate the appearance of aluminium. Offered in seven finishes – including aludec anthracite grey, jet black, aludec DB703, basalt grey, umbra grey, window grey, and aludec traffic white – it is available across Aluplast’s Ideal 70 and contemporary Ideal 4000 system as well as its new flush casement and flagship Smart-Slide inline sliding door.
We have enjoyed a lot of growth over the last 12 months. We’ve been able to put money back into the business and to make further investment in manufacturing facilities that will allow us to expand our offer to include Aluplast’s Smart-Slide patio door and new flush sash.
We’re excited for the future. Working in partnership with Aluplast means we can be more than just another window company.