Looking ahead to a platinum year

Jason Thompson, group managing director of Glazerite UK, reflects on 20 years in business, and what 2020 will bring the fabricator and its installer partners.

There’re some big events happening in 2020. The Euros, the Olympics and the US presidential elections to name just a few. For Glazerite though, next year marks our 20th year in business.

Established in 2000 in a 1,000ft2 Wellingborough factory, Glazerite started out with four members of staff and a target of 40 frames a week, with a first year turnover of £172,000. Fast forward to today and Glazerite is a leading UK fabricator with a huge product portfolio and a nationwide customer base. Now employing 270 people across three manufacturing divisions, Glazerite is on target to achieve a turnover of £29 million in 2019, and has experienced a phenomenal growth of over 150% in the last decade.

With plans to boost Glazerite’s capacity to over 4,000 frames per week, my team and I are eager to ensure recent site improvements are matched by investment in the workforce.

Staff retention and continuity is key to exceptional customer service. In support of this, we’ve recently implemented a scheme to recognise strong employee attendance, and we continue to work hard on maintaining our exemplary health and safety record. We also plan to roll out an employee support programme business-wide, which focuses on mental health.

We started out fabricating the Veka Matrix 58mm. Two decades on, our product portfolio is one of the most comprehensive in the industry. With eight profile systems, three composite door options and a leading range of foil options like the new Spectral ultra matt finish, our customers can meet any specification requirement.

The market has changed immensely, especially in terms of colour and system choice. We’ve accommodated this by increasing our options and reducing our lead times, with many standard products now available on a five-day lead time.

Flush Sash windows are another great example of how much the industry has moved on and the PVCU options available now are very difficult to tell apart from the original timber frames. Many of our installers are finding planning officers are now allowing PVCU in conservation areas, which is a huge step forward.

Glazerite’s installer partners also benefit from the marketing support packages we offer. During 2020, we will launch a full suite of retail brochures, sales promotion materials, a new installer-branded website system and a social media toolkit.

We’ve grown our marketing team this year to support our growing customer base with tailored marketing support. At present, we support a third of our customer base with marketing activity, which would otherwise cost them around £2,500 per year. This support puts them on a par with the nationals, without them requiring the budget or in-house resource.

The next 12 months will see further expansion of our portfolio, with a Timberweld option for our Flush Sash windows and the exploration of smart technology, such as the recent addition of the Ultion Smart to our range. We will also highlight the offering available to our installers from Veka Recycling, and increase our focus on showcasing the Infinity system.

No one knows what the year ahead has in store, and times are tough. However, we want to continue being a flexible fabricator who can support our installer partners to take on even non-standard jobs, and help them to stand out from the crowd.