Focus on you core offering

IGU manufacture is becoming increasingly polarised between high volume and specialist supply, according to Ian Woolley, sales director at Hitech Blinds.

IGU manufacture is today about volume. Standard units can be manufactured in as little as 20 seconds, and with consolidation within the glass sector rife, efficiency and productivity are key to survival in a commercial environment where the line between profit and loss is a thin one.

So where does that leave smaller IGU manufacturers?

Standardisation of product is critical. Margin is so tight in standard IGU manufacture you can’t afford to be distracted from core production.

There are a couple of big players who dominate the market, and if you’re a regional or medium-sized IGU manufacture, the squeeze is on.

Focus on core product is key, and anything that isn’t delivered in volume is a distraction and potentially a costly one.

We’ve picked up new business in growing volume from a number of established regional IGU manufacturers, who have made the call that fabricating their own integral blind kits doesn’t make sense because of the impact it has on core production and because of challenges around quality.

To make an IGU with an integrated blind requires a completely different approach and skills set. It’s about specialism.

We only make integral blinds. Available in 16mm and 20mm options, our core integral blind product is suitable for use with slim 24mm units, in addition to 28mm standard units. The 20mm option is available in nine standard colours plus a dual colour option, with white inside and anthracite grey outside. We also offer any RAL colour on special order.

We use a simple but highly functional magnet and guide rail system, lowering, raising and tilting the blinds using a single operation. This also employs a sophisticated gearing system that means that the blinds are raised or lowered twice the distance of movement of the magnets.

Hermetically sealed inside the IGU, the system also generates minimal resistance in operation. This reduces strain on the gearing guaranteeing through-life performance. This is housed in a slim 30mm and fully symmetrical profile, leaving only a minimal area visible once the window has been glazed.

Wo we have refined the design so that it delivers exceptional reliability. IGU is about volume, efficiency and quality at speed. To an extent we’re focused on the same but with the exception that you can’t deliver the quality that we want to deliver in integral blind manufacture at the same speed. To this end, we’ve recruited a team of product specialists who get it, and that’s a critical difference.

HiTech Blinds offers a 10-year guarantee as standard. We also mechanically cycle-tests two blinds from each set we make each and every week to 10,000 repetitions. If you’re buying in specialist IGUs as a manufacturer, you don’t want to run a risk with your own reputation because of someone else’s quality or service.

This makes the case for buying in specialist products. You don’t have the stock holding, you don’t have to train more expensive specialists within your own team, and you don’t get the production headaches that go with occasional manufacture.

You focus on core production and deliver a better product at better margin to your customers because you don’t face the same costs of production.

Take out the costs of manufacture and disruption to your core product offer and instead buy-in, and you immediately increase potential for margin.