A three-step approach to quality
By Ben Brocklesby, director at Origin.
Innovation is an important part of the glass and glazing industry. For manufacturers like Origin, it keeps us competitive in a busy marketplace and ensures we continue to meet and exceed stringent UK building regulations.
Continually improving the performance, design and appeal of fenestration systems also benefits partners. A wider offering of systems provides more opportunities for sales and, in turn, boosted profits. For homeowners, innovation allows them to have access to the safest, most efficient and secure products for their homes.
During the last year alone, Origin has invested £1.5 million on innovation. This has been spent on developing new products and improving the existing Origin Home range. Our development process incorporates three stages to ensure partners receive the highest-quality products, of which we are synonymous for.
The way homeowners interact with our products in their home is what drives our business, so everything is designed with this in mind. Our vision is to transform the way families enjoy their home, from inside to out.
The whole industry is fuelled by meeting their demands, so we regularly collect feedback from partners and from our internal customer service team to find out what homeowners are asking for on the showroom floor. This is obtained via several avenues, including partner requests, networking, complaints, on-site visits and on social media.
Thorough research is then performed to understand feasibility: understanding from our partners if it would be worthwhile, any benefits it would provide to them, and the impact it would have on the manufacturing processes. This detailed view of the market in question provides a clear indication of the opportunities available, and the potential challenges.
This is where the idea starts to take shape. All new products are designed with three key audiences in mind: the homeowner, the installer, and the production line.
Products need to improve the lives of the families that use them every day. The very first Origin Bi-fold was designed for this reason and it’s an ethos that we still uphold.
For them to choose Origin and purchase from one of our partners, the performance, function and style of the product, whether a window or door, needs to be the very best on the market.
The product also needs to be easy for installers to fit. Partners and suppliers will be less inclined to promote Origin if the new system is complicated to install.
Finally, we need to be able to manufacture the product, often to bespoke specifications, to the mass market. Origin has built a reputation for delivering systems with lead times that are far shorter than industry standard. We promise to deliver ‘on time, in full’, so this is an important consideration when launching a new system.
A prototype is created using a 3D printer as this allows small replicas of the new system to be mocked up, so we can visualise any potential future pain points. A full-size version is then sent to be comprehensively tested. At this point, any design faults are corrected.
All products are independently tested to make sure they not only meet Origin’s high standards, but also the relevant criteria needed to achieve the same accreditations as the rest of the Origin Home range, including PAS 24:2016 and Secured by Design.
Beta tests are run with several premium partners. This soft launch approach allows us to gather valuable feedback and ensure the system is ready to launch to the wider market.
Once launched, all partners are offered access to free ‘Fitter Fitter’ training at one of our national training centres. This allows us to share product knowledge and best practice, which will reduce the likelihood of issues due to incorrect installation and will set them up to succeed.
Innovation keeps Origin at the forefront of the industry, helps partners grow their product offering and gives homeowners the best performing products. Origin has plans to launch several new systems in the year ahead, and is proud to be driving the industry forward by setting a benchmark for innovation among window and door manufacturers.