Getting into ali
With the two-year anniversary of CentralASL approaching, Gary Morton, CEO of the Boing Boing Group, of which CentralASL is a part, talks about the challenges faced fabricating multiple materials.
Over recent years, many companies have diversified their product offering to try to counter a saturated traditional market, with some products being introduced more successfully than others.
Traditional PVCU windows continue to be at the heart of the industry, but other products have also become common place in an installer’s portfolio. Composite doors, bifold doors and a whole world of colour is now the norm, giving the consumer so much more choice, and providing new challenges for fabricators and installers alike.
Perhaps the seemingly most straightforward addition is the use of aluminium, at first for bifold doors but increasingly for the rest of the product range. And yet this simple switch in material is the most challenging addition from a fabrication point of view.
Lots of companies have tried and failed to set up aluminium fabrication businesses alongside their established PVCU manufacturing, because it is a completely different material that needs a completely different skillset to work to a completely different set of rules.
Aluminium as a fabrication product is significantly more complicated than PVCU, largely down to the fact there is such a vast range of products, so the complexity of orders is high.
The culture of aluminium suppliers differs to that of PVCU systems houses too, so PVCU fabricators have to learn a whole new way of doing business to be able to operate within the sector. New operatives are also required because of the vastly different skill base needed to manufacture this material. For all of these reasons, when we set up CentralASL, we were careful not to try and do too much too soon.
It was at the behest of our CentralRPL customer base that CentralASL was born. More and more of them were breaking into the commercial market and more and more of that market was switched on to aluminium. When your customers want new products, it makes sense to be able to offer them; a one stop shop philosophy so they don’t need to look elsewhere, safeguarding the rest of the business they place with you.
Initially, our focus was on servicing this handful of sizeable customers and doing it well. The ethos across the entire group is ensuring we deliver an excellent customer experience, which remained our motivation throughout.
But, from a slow start, with investment in all the right areas and an open mind to doing things differently, we now have customers from the wider market place servicing both residential and commercial and the business is soaring. We’re currently 280% up on last year. Admittedly this growth is possible when you’re starting out, but we’re proud to have made such an impact in the market, all the while remaining focused on delivering a quality service alongside the quality products.
We’ve come a long way in the sector in the last two years and our range of products continues to develop and expand. We’ll be showcasing the new F82 bifold at this years’ FIT Show. This high performance, easy to install bifold boasts slim sight lines and the option to go to sizes up to 3,000mm. The modern, flush pop out handles make for an overall sleek and stylish finish, a fantastic addition to the CentralASL product range.
We’ll also be unveiling the ‘Central Hub’, an online marketing portal exclusively available to customers of CentralASL and CentralRPL, providing access to a wealth of brochures, POS materials, technical information, samples, IT solutions, as well as design, photography and videography services. These are more examples of where we have further invested in the business for the benefit of our customers and something we’re proud to continue to do.
We’re showcasing ‘Everything Central’ at the FIT Show from stand D6 and invite you to come along and start the conversation. We listen to our customers’ needs. They asked for aluminium and we delivered CentralASL. Come and see what we can do for you.