New age, new company
QuickForm Building Solutions was recently established to meet the need for bespoke solid roof extensions and conservatory roof replacements. Glass Times Editor Nathan Bushell met two of the directors – Dave Thomas and Simon Bartlett – to discuss how the market has created new demands and partnerships.
While QuickForm Building Solutions may be a new business, the brains and the talent behind it are all seasoned industry professionals: owner Dave Thomas, for example, after cutting his teeth at Ultraframe established and continues to operate sister company Specialised Conservatory Systems, which was set up 20 years ago.
QuickForm will be focused solely on the Guardian roof system, which the company will fabricate from its existing base in Preston.
“The fabricators we employ are among the best in the industry,” Dave said, “and I believe the Guardian roof will help us meet the individual requirements of our customers, who will be able to offer homeowners a broader range of products.”
Sales and marketing director Simon Bartlett said that Specialised Conservatory Systems was set up to manufacture a very specific product, albeit flexible to meet bespoke requirements. He said recent market changes had created an additional demand for a different kind of supplier.
“Specialised has had a clear market focus for 20 years, which has seen it sees it continue to grow to be one of the best fabricators of its kind,” he said. “However, with the trend moving towards bigger, more complex, solid roofs, we felt it was necessary to establish a new company that would effectively supply this new market without muddying the great work Specialised was already doing.”
To that end, Simon, Dave and commercial director Karl Beard researched the market according to its customers’ needs.
“We’ve been approached by a number of systems companies,” Dave said, “with some looking very good. However, in many cases they would be a step backwards compared to what Specialised was used to.
“But Guardian was an obvious choice. It is a very fabricator-friendly product and, because they don’t have their own fabrication business, they are prepared to hand a lot more control to their fabricator partners, which is what we excel at.
“That is great from our point of view because it means we can add value to the finished product, which in turn is great from our customers’ point of view because we are more responsive to their needs.”
One advantage of this is that ideas are passed back along the supply chain so that the system designers can incorporate real world experience into updates.
“Furthermore, the support from Guardian has been excellent,” Simon said, “and our installer customers have joined a Team Guardian network, which has helped them with sales leads and marketing support.
“It is also the only system that has been LABC approved, along with the Scottish equivalent, which is a big tick for homeowners.”
Dave explained that the system is straightforward to fabricate.
“There are only about half a dozen main components, and the software has just been updated,” he said. “That in itself was a plus point for us, because the technical team at Guardian worked closely with QuickForm to get those improvements.”
Dave was not only attracted to Guardian’s existing products, but to the future plans that are in the pipeline.
“Guardian has given us a sneak preview of plans that are in development, which we know will allow us to help our customers compete in a rapidly growing market, as well as attracting future business for our sister company,” he said.
“We hope to take all the experience that we have gained over the last 20 years with Specialised to design exciting new products that will distinguish lightweight extensions from traditional conservatories.”