Smooth operators

System changeovers are the greatest barrier to fabricators switching profile brands with fear being a key element in the reluctance to change. Lawson Price, technical services manager at Profile 22, believes the company has cracked the problem for anyone wanting to move to Optima, the company’s new window and door system.

The greatest barrier to any fabricator switching profile brands is fear; the fear that despite the inadequacy of their current system, however difficult their supplier is to deal with, or faced with consistently poor deliveries, many fabricators are reluctant to make the change that they know is the right thing to do.

It’s a conundrum that systems companies continually face, and why less than 6% of fabricators change system annually.

Last year, the fervour generated by Optima produced a surge of interest from fabricators looking to change, especially when they looked not just at the features of the system but also at the supporting infrastructure. And in anticipation of this, Profile 22 developed a changeover system that would smooth the way for the many new customers that were coming on board.

We fully understand the fear of tipping the balance during a system changeover. Fabricators are understandably cautious about a system changeover. It is a huge decision. The first part is convincing them that switching to Optima makes perfect sense for their business. That’s the easy part – we don’t have to sell Optima to a fabricator, it sells itself.

Then our changeover programme swings in to action. It’s a highly developed and proven programme that is guaranteed to minimise and even eradicate disruption, and provide the smoothest system changeovers. You can finish one system on the Friday and begin Monday morning with Optima.

We undertook a complete changeover of every Profile22 fabricator to Optima during 2016 – that’s nearly 100 changeovers in nine months.

There is no magic about a successful changeover, but experience and proven procedures that have been tried and tested and, as we have done at Profile 22, honed them into a hard and fast set of processes that if followed, will work.

Procedures include the assignment of key responsibilities to appropriate people, with skilled Profile 22 technicians working closely with customer staff and such crucial issues as the identification of all profile requirements through a comprehensive tooling audit including software and any programming requirements.

Before we go on site to complete the changeover, all tooling is delivered to our Telford factory and checked by a dedicated field technician prior to set up on site. All parts are trial fitted and kept secure until changeover date. Similarly, all set up materials are ordered and factory tested 10 days prior to setup. Only once everything is in place after being tested and double checked at the factory will we move to our customer’s site.

Staff will then be trained and we will put everything in place and check and re-check it before we prepare the physical changeover of tooling and running profiles through the system as tests. When we believe that everything is up to speed we will run ‘live’ orders through the customer’s system – the Profile 22 team will make customer orders with the customer’s production team to make sure everything works in a real world environment.

We take full responsibility for the changeover and we will support the customer not just during the takeover continuously afterwards; that is an essential part of the relationship.

We now have a growing number of conversions to Optima and a characteristic of the system is the simplicity – and success – of this process for existing customers as well as new fabricators.