A fitter vision for 2021

Gareth Jones, managing director of Profine UK, looks at the year ahead for their Kömmerling brand and welcomes the move of the FIT Show until the end of September.

2020 was an unprecedented year, yet at the beginning of 2021 we look to the months ahead as the variables in the form of Covid, raw material supply, and accelerated consumer demand, look to have less impact on our business and our customers’.

Many of these business variables have been ones that have affected global markets and it’s something that we have seen throughout Europe, North America and in the far east. Our considerable group resources and expertise have been welcomed, as we have tackled these business challenges with best business practice, underpinned with the safety and welfare of everyone concerned in mind.

Our plans for 2021 remain unchanged, as we look at investment across the business and in the way in which we present our newly acquired brands to the industry. With the FIT Show now re-scheduled for September 26-28, the real and credible risk of a cancelled or limited show has been diluted considerably, thanks to the early action by the show’s organisers.

With the government announcing that by the autumn, every adult will have had the opportunity to receive a Covid vaccine, we can plan for a full and very exciting show proposition. It’s also been noted that the FIT Show will introduce a Sunday opening for the first day, which for many in the industry that care to remember, brings back the memories of the halcyon days of Glassex, when this show also adopted a weekend start to the event.

For me, there’s nothing that can replicate the tactile nature of a physical exhibition and that’s why having the FIT Show cemented in the diary for September is so important for the industry. You can pick products up, touch and feel them, speak to people face to face and also enjoy the considerable networking opportunities, all in a single, world-class environment at the NEC, Birmingham.

But prior to that we will be looking to re-brand our newly acquired systems and platforms, so that there’s a clear structure and strategy behind our product offering for 2021 and beyond.

The Evolve vertical sliding sash window, Legend window and door systems and WarmCore will all come under the Kömmerling name and with it we’ll have a complete new range of literature available in the spring.

The new branding will help make it easier for fabricators, installers and specifiers to look at the key product features for each range and understand the commonality in terms of colours and finishes and other features, including the use of our exclusive Greenline lead-free PVCU compound. Consistency in the brand and messaging is fundamental to the way in which we want to communicate Kömmerling products to the market.

Elsewhere in the business, we’ve got investment planned in all core functions as we look to harness the group resources at our disposal, and this includes our five-year product management plan. For the first time in many years, these new products, and the infrastructure in which they are made, will receive considerable funding and the stability required as part of a longer-term plan to grow in the UK.

While we can’t influence some of the variables that the industry as a whole is facing at present, what we can do is everything to help minimise these and to plan for stability going forward. We’re fully committed to re-launching the brand in the spring with clarity and then presenting this and the entire product range at the FIT Show in September, where I hope the industry will be inspired to revert to its effervescent best. Let’s hope we can end this year on a high.