Futureproofing a fabricator
Having recently led the management buyout of trade fabricator Glazerite UK Group, MD Robert Brearley reflects on the company’s offering, and shares his plans for the fabricator’s future.
Joining a company and leading it through a management buyout during a global pandemic was certainly challenging, but that’s something I’m always up for.
There is no doubt that this is one of the toughest times our industry will ever face. Despite this, Glazerite continued to invest in its people and facilities so that we stay ahead of the game with our offering for installers. We also have some exciting plans to take the business forward.
In the short term, it is very much business as usual for our customers, suppliers and team. Over the coming months, however, we are making improvements to our processes and procedures to improve quality and service, while continuing to integrate a continuous improvement culture across the group.
It’s a subject I’m very passionate about and is the reason we’ve recently appointed Desmond Golach as our continuous improvement manager. With many years of experience in the fenestration industry, Desmond is guiding our teams to work and think in a different way and really strives for perfection. We have daily meetings to discuss continuous improvement and share ideas on how to make the business more productive, safe and efficient.
We want to do better by enhancing our daily working practices, which has a positive impact on customer service. It’s important we return to the service levels our customers expect, so improving our productivity and sharpening our processes means we will be in better shape as the country emerges from the pandemic.
The supply chain is still under pressure, and raw material shortages and price increases are tough to navigate. Managing customer expectations in areas beyond our control is also challenging, though this goes for the whole industry, not just Glazerite. We work closely with our suppliers to understand any issues, and have proactively and regularly communicated with our customers to try and minimise the impact on their own businesses as much as possible.
Meanwhile, recruitment also remains an issue across the UK, but we remain committed to searching for engaging, loyal individuals keen to progress in fenestration and who can help us to deliver on our promises.
Despite these difficult and changing times, one thing remains constant: we are committed to investing in our business and giving our installer partners the tools and products they need to service their customers as best they can.
The investments we’ve made over the last 12 months are already helping our customers win new business, including the introduction of Timberweld on our flush sash ranges, as well as new equipment and machinery across each of our plants. We’ve also completed the expansion of our North West Division in Bolton, where we’re about to open our first showroom.
We also have plans to improve our door range, which demonstrates how we listen and react to trends and ensure we have the very latest products in place to help our installers meet the needs of their own customers.
As the market begins to stabilise, we will continue to build on the Glazerite offering so that our installers have all they need – and more – to perform in their markets.