Ambitious investment in 2020

New group managing director Andy Jones outlines Victorians Sliders’ ambitious plans for 2020.

Victorian Sliders has come a long, long way. Over 15 years of passion, ingenuity and relentless drive, a sleepy patch of south west Wales has given birth to Europe’s biggest sash window manufacturer. And 2020 is shaping up to be its most ambitious year yet.

In 2019, I became Victorian Sliders’ group managing director. The company was looking for someone with the marketing and business strategy expertise to help them achieve some ambitious goals for the years ahead, and I’m delighted they decided I was the man for the job.

Now, we’re determined to significantly grow the UK sash window market, and help restore millions of British homes to their former glory.

At Victorian Sliders, we’ve already played a critical role in the ongoing sash window resurgence, but there are still thousands of British installers not benefitting from the opportunities that booming market offers.

Millions of UK houses were originally designed to have sash windows, and now, after 30 years of white plastic casements, homeowners want products that adequately reflect the style and character of older properties, or bring a touch of vintage class to newer ones.

However, many installers are held back from embracing sash windows by outdated stereotypes. They think sash windows are expensive. They think sash windows are difficult to install. But they’re not.

EcoSlide, our sash window design, offers authentic traditional aesthetics, superb modern performance, and quick and easy installation, all while costing less than £100 more than a casement window of the same size.

Choose EcoSlide and you’ve got a high-performance, competitively priced product, and a sure-fire route to higher sales and higher margins in the booming sash window market.

To help as many installers as possible reap the benefits of EcoSlide, we’re investing in upgrading our operation here in Ammanford.

Over the last five years, we’ve spent around £10 million on acquiring state-of-the-art equipment for our factory.

Nearly £2 million of that has gone on our recycling plant, six extrusion lines, and our mixing facility. Over £3 million has gone on the most advanced manufacturing machinery including three high-speed Schirmer cutting and machining lines and six fully automated Urban welding lines.

Not to mention our own glass toughening plant, a fully automated Lisec IG line, two Bottero glass cutting machines, three foiling lines, our in-house paint shop, and our own arch bending department. We’ve also implemented bar-code tracking throughout the factory to further improve our efficiency and reliability.

In the 12 months ahead, we’re planning to spend another £1.8 million upgrading our recycling centre, and expanding our glass line to meet growing sash window demand.

This coming year, Victorian Sliders will launch a revolutionary new sash window to sit alongside its award winning EcoSlide brand, and we may even add a couple of new products to our portfolio.

The one thing that is for sure is that whatever we do in 2020 we will do it properly by investing, so that we can bring the same level of consistency and reliability at the right price point we’ve brought to sash windows for the best part of 15 years.

It’s going to be a busy 12 months, but we’ll relish the challenge.