Satisfaction guaranteed

Simon Monks
Simon Monks

Hardware specialist, VBH, has launched three new market leading guarantee schemes that are designed to offer an enhanced service for installers and ultimate peace of mind for homeowners. Glass Times editor, Luke Wood, talks to VBH managing director, Simon Monks, to find out more.

Originally founded in 1982, VBH (GB) now operates from three sites in the UK, including its HQ in Gillingham, Kent and facilities in Swansea and East Kilbride.

Part of VBH Holding group, based in Germany, the group has 2,000 employees across 23 countries and enjoys a turnover of circa 500million Euros.

For its part, VBH (GB) employs 70 staff, servicing the UK and Ireland markets as well as exports to the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. The company has enjoyed consistent growth, with a strong performance during Covid (OTIF didn’t dip below 92% for the pandemic) and in 2023, it recorded sales of £27million.

VBH is aiming for further considerable growth in 2024 and is hoping to achieve this through a programme of constant product innovation, exceptional service (OTIF is currently 98.7% across greenteQ and third-party brands) and by developing service tools that differentiate VBH from other suppliers.

These include the VBH24 Customer Portal and better technical support that customers can access remotely or in person via an external support team.

“Delivering high quality product and service is key to our growth plans,” explains managing director, Simon Monks.

“The industry has experienced more challenging conditions at the start of the year, and as is typical of any downturn, we are seeing a race to the bottom on price. That’s not healthy for the industry at large, and it’s certainly not a tactic that we wish to pursue at VBH.

“Instead, we have worked hard to underline the quality of our offer by developing three new guarantee schemes,” he continues. “These are a unique proposition for the breadth of product that is covered, over 300 product lines, and follow a significant amount of investment into testing.

“The result is a comprehensive, market leading package of guarantees that give installers a vital competitive edge at point of sale, and absolute peace of mind for their homeowner customers.”

The greenteQ Guarantee

The greenteQ Guarantee is a 20-year surface guarantee across all 10 core finishes on the greenteQ Suite items and a 25-year guarantee across all seven core finishes on the architeQ range. All products are also supplied with a comprehensive 10-year mechanical guarantee.

The scheme has been designed to take the hassle out of processing any guarantee claims for installers by dealing with the homeowner directly.

This is achieved by providing VBH’s customers with QR code stickers to place on each door or window and these are then scanned by end users, directing them to a dedicated web page where they can register their products.

VBH customers also get additional stickers for showroom products, encouraging consumers to scan for more details of the guarantee. POS banners and marketing literature are also available and all VBH customers have to do is fit the QR code stickers, inform homeowners of the benefits during the sales pitch and encourage homeowners to take advantage.

Once the QR code has been scanned, the consumer facing guarantee landing page has been designed to be very user friendly, with no B2B jargon, and takes just four steps to complete the process, followed by an email confirmation.

That includes a link to a ‘Guarantee Dashboard’ that provides a certificate and how to claim if required.

The proteQ10 guarantee

The proteQ10 guarantee has been designed for the greenteQ Orion 3-star profile cylinder, which is VBH’s flagship TS007 3 Star cylinder.

It includes a 10-year performance and anti-snap guarantee and includes the proteQ10 Key Security Scheme.

This means end users will get a replacement cylinder if it fails within that time and £2,000 compensation direct if an intruder manages to snap the cylinder and gain access to the house.

Again, homeowners need to register online via the QR code, and when doing so they can set a password that will be required to order additional keys in the future.

The Q-secure guarantee

Giving installers another competitive edge, the Q-secure guarantee is free to offer, and promises to pay the end user up to £8,000 for the Premium Level and £9,000 for Premium Plus if windows and doors are fitted with greenteQ iQ locks.

greenteQ iQ locks have been developed in conjunction with Kubu to offer a smart home network and a host of security benefits such as tamper alerts and open/closed or locked/unlocked alerts.

As you might expect, there are terms and conditions for all the guarantees. These include the requirement that the manufacturer must use approved hardware, the installation must be carried out correctly and the installation must be registered.

And while the benefits for its customers are plentiful, the new guarantees also present a number of strategic advantages for VBH as well. For starters, it enables it to position that all important premium offer – avoiding that race to the bottom – and thereby allowing it to effectively work towards future growth targets.

But as Simon explains, it is the acquisition of data and a direct link to the homeowner, that is beneficial to everyone in the supply chain. “First and foremost, we have developed an outstanding package of guarantees that help our customers to sell and give homeowners the best products and security around.” he says. “By dealing directly with end users, we take away the hassle of processing any claims for installers, but we also create a valuable link to consumers. “That helps us to build the greenteQ brand, opening up a new route to market and gives us a huge amount of insight into consumer buying habits.

“For example, the terms and conditions of all guarantees state that the doors and windows must be properly maintained, with lubrication and cleaning being carried out at defined intervals following registration.” continues Simon, “We can now contact them directly when a ‘service’ is due, with a friendly reminder, and offer them a greenteQ maintenance kit that contains all the materials that they need. This direct communication helps the consumer to keep their doors and windows in serviceable condition, and can minimise the chances them having to claim in some instances. Or…they can opt for the subscription-based enhanced guarantee, where a VBH technician will visit the property and carry out the maintenance for them.

“Some people will prefer to do the work themselves, with or without a greenteQ maintenance kit, while others will be more than happy to pay a modest monthly charge to receive a hassle-free maintenance programme.”

“We now have over 17,000 registrations across our three guarantees. We can inform those people directly with information should they wish to upgrade, be that newly trending furniture colour options, or new security devices etc.

“Dealing directly with homeowners might seem unusual for a traditional B2B supplier, but we have invested in the resources to manage this and are well placed for any significant increase in demand.

“In addition, we also have access to regional trends,” concludes Simon. “It’s still very early days for the data, but we know, for example, that the London area has been very popular for guarantee registrations.

“As it builds, that data will be very valuable to us and, ultimately, it will benefit our customers as  we help to educate consumers on current market trends and the importance of buying a premium product.”

VBH (GB) Ltd
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