Be exceptional, every time

Glazerite UK Group welcomed a new group managing director this year, 20 years after the company was founded by chairman John Hewitt and CEO Jason Thompson. Robert Brearley explains what’s in store for the fabricator.

2020 has certainly thrown its curveballs, but the Glazerite opportunity was one I grabbed with both hands; as a well-respected fabricator of windows and doors it has always been the company that others aspire to.

Now, two months into my role, I’m excited about what I’ve seen so far, and what I know is still to come.

Since I joined, I visit each of the four production sites on a weekly basis, so I can better understand their individual strengths and challenges, how their teams operate, and to grasp their customer base and varying needs. I’ve walked the sites and observed the whole end-to-end process so the team and I can find opportunities to flex our approach, increase quality, and become even more efficient for the benefit of our customers.

My biggest passion is lean management and now, more than ever, I believe it can really enhance our daily working practices and positively impact customer service. It’s important we get our house back in order so we can return to the service levels our customers expect and accommodate the surge in demand we’ve seen since lockdown.

Inefficiency weakens productivity so it’s important that we continually streamline and sharpen processes and make our approach as efficient as possible for our installer partners. Once issues are resolved, it’s amazing the difference it can make and the impact it can have for customers and for our employee morale.

Our people are our greatest assets and empowering our employees with the tools and knowledge they need to do their jobs is crucial. Together, we set out a roadmap for short-term gains and long-term success. Regular meetings are held across all sites where we encourage feedback and active participation, cascading business information and outlining clear KPIs. These are visually presented around the business so all of our teams can see and understand any issues and expectations.

Being consistent in this approach and having clear lines of communication with all our employees means we all know what we need to achieve, and that we’re all working from the same page.

While we have no control over the current issues affecting the supply chain, we are in constant dialogue with our supplyiers and inform our customers regularly of our latest lead times and any delays affecting specific orders.

Before joining Glazerite, what I believed set them apart is the value they add for their installer partners, from a comprehensive product portfolio to the business support services they offer such as marketing.

Now, from the inside, I can see this is certainly true, and the hard work the teams put in every day, backed up by leading industry suppliers and loyal customers means we’re in good shape for the future.

We are far from complacent, however, and we know we still have work to do. We have ambitious plans for growth, and we won’t achieve those by standing still.

I don’t want us to strive for ‘it’ll do’ or ‘good’. I want Glazerite to be exceptional in every area so that we can continue to match the ambitions of our customers.

No one knows for sure what 2021 has in store and what impact the pandemic and recession will have on consumer spend. Whatever is coming though, Glazerite is armed with hardworking employees, forward-thinking suppliers, and a robust portfolio, ready to serve its customers.