Exporting components worldwide

On the back of a year that saw Thermoseal win numerous awards – including Export Champion of the Year in the Amazon Growing Business Awards, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (International Trade 2017), and the Derek Bonnard Award for Excellence at the G-Awards – head of marketing and communications Samantha Hill discusses the company’s current export business plans.

Manufacturing and exporting British products has always been a business goal for the managing director and owner of Thermoseal Group Gwain Paterson, so when the first Thermobar warm edge spacer came off our production lines in 2008, the challenge to export worldwide began.

Since then, our technical and operations teams have been busy developing the manufactured products, upscaling the infrastructure of the business and working with customers and industry contacts, both in the UK and international markets, to gain continual feedback on the products and service we offer.

The aim has always been to ensure that our Thermobar and Thermoflex warm edge spacers are two of the highest performance products that are preferred by manufacturers in terms of quality, manufacturability and aesthetics in windows. As a result, we have gained new customers in more than 27 countries in five continents.

There are also many customers currently trialing Thermobar and Thermoflex warm edge spacer in their production facilities; Thermoflex is now proven for use on most worldwide brands of robot applicators for automated production.

This new international business has been introduced through a combination of channels including: 37% referrals from our existing contacts; 27% through international exhibition contacts; 18% from Thermoseal Group’s existing glass machinery distributors; 5% from our website; and an additional 13% from contacts we acquired through our purchase of the DecraLed product portfolio.

With this in mind, over the next 12 months we are planning to attend further exhibitions, including China Glass in Shanghai in April, and Glasstec in Dusseldorf in October where we’ll host our popular ThermoBAR.

Our first service development in 2018 will see a complete paperless order processing service. Already partly installed, our new delivery tracking system completes our paperless order processing so that our drivers are issued with a digital device. This device contains all order information, provides guidelines on best delivery routes, and ensures that customers receive e-mail updates as orders are dispatched and delivered. As goods are digitally signed for, e-mails are then triggered with delivery notes and invoices to e-mail addresses of choice.

The next step to improving our service to customers is also underway – we have a new website due to be launched in three stages of development: the first stage is the launch of the new front-end website; the second development will bring a secure 24-hour online ordering service for our customers; and the final development will be announced later in the year.

We’re also adding to our product portfolio to suit both UK and International customer requirements for further energy efficient products. In Europe, there is a U-value penalty on windows fitted with Georgian bar and multipane window systems using duplex fittings or Interbar (muntin bar). To meet market demand, and also with the anticipation that this may be applied to UK Window Energy Ratings (WERs), our technical centre and production team have been working to expand the Thermobar Interbar range which is made with high-performance engineering plastic similar to that used for our Thermobar warm edge spacers.

Our warm edge products will help our customers to minimise any penalties. New to 2018 will be 11.5mm x 22mm and 15.5mm x 22mm Thermobar Interbar to suit larger units.