Investment and vision

Ryan Green, managing director of Clayton Glass, outlines the rationale behind the purchase of Global Glass and the Celsius brand, and he shares his vision for the future with investment across all the respective businesses.

Our recent acquisition of Global Glass, and the two sites in Blackburn and Huthwaite, is a hugely exciting proposition for Clayton Glass and for me personally. It broadens our reach geographically, operationally, and will allow us to share best practice across all three sites.

Into the fold also comes Celsius Glass, which was one of the pioneering brands when the market for specialist conservatory roof glass emerged back in 2003. Across both businesses there’s now a robust financial infrastructure in place, which will mean further investment in machinery, products and in the respective brands, including the pooled resources for research and development.

As an owner-managed business we’ll be able to respond to the needs of the market and our customers more quickly, and with the corporate shackles off, we’re looking forward to building both business with a view for the long-term. With Clayton Glass based in County Durham, we’ve always had the challenge of delivering nationwide and efficiently, so that customers can enjoy outstanding customer care and that we manage our distribution costs effectively.

Global Glass not only provides a geographical platform in the north west and in the Midlands, but it increases our production capabilities across the group. Clayton has always looked to harness around 70% productivity of the IGU lines, saving the remainder for seasonal fluctuations, along with planned maintenance, and we’ll be implementing this philosophy across the two sites for Global Glass. Collectively, we’ll have 250,000ft2 of operations across the businesses and five toughening plants.

We’re already investing in the businesses with a further £300K cutting centre in our Smartglass manufacturing unit, while there’s a new £1 million Bysotronic line at Huthwaite, along with a similar new line at Blackburn. We’ll also be looking to introduce Glasstrack to Global Glass which is revolutionising the way in which our customers can track their glass orders.

Glasstrack has already been piloted with a number of customers at Clayton Glass, which can be used via an iPad/tablet. There’s full order tracking throughout the factory even noting what stillage number the glass will be delivered on. Early in 2020, this technological revolution will be able to track delivery vehicles in real time and provide an estimated time of arrival.

We now have two conservatory roof glass brands in the form of Smartglass and Celsius. Smartglass has the best g-value in the sector, while Celsius offers the best U-value. Together they cater for over 50% of the specialist conservatory roof glass market and we’ll be looking at product development and investment in these respective brands.

Clayton Glass will also continue to build on its door glass business, which supplies the likes of Distinction Doors, Door-Stop, Doorco and Virtuoso. So, our collective businesses will be well spread across standard IGUs, conservatory and door glass, which also includes a dedicated range of glass for bifolding and patio doors.

While the brands will remain separate, as will the businesses, what we will be looking at very quickly is to bring in service excellence.

Clayton Glass has been listed again as one of the 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain in 2019. But what we are now looking to do is to inspire all of our respective customers across both businesses with product innovation, outstanding service levels and investment in the brands.