Supa switch

By Richard Gyde, managing director, Mila

Since 2019, Mila has seen sales of our Supa stainless steel products increase by a staggering 184% and they now account for more than 45% of all the door hardware that we sell.

That’s a massive shift compared to before the pandemic and is probably fairly indicative of what’s been happening right across the hardware sector. Stainless steel is increasingly becoming the first choice for fabricators, not just for the premium end of the retail market where demand has remained strong for composite, timber and aluminium doors, but also for the commercial and social housing sectors where the enhanced durability can guarantee fewer costly remedials.

The enforced lockdown clearly gave lots of fabricators an opportunity to take stock and review their product offering because we saw an initial surge in stainless steel sales once things reopened in April 2020. But that was sustained throughout 2021 and we’ve now got almost 100 more customers buying stainless steel handles, letterplates, pull bars, escutcheons and door knockers from us than we did in 2019.

Some of these are fabricators who were previously buying our standard zinc diecast products and have upgraded. Others are new to Mila and are using a switch to our stainless range as an opportunity to switch to a new door furniture supplier as well.

In terms of responding to the increasing demand, we’ve expanded our range and, over the past few months, have invested in unprecedented levels of new stock. As of March, we’ve got more than £1m worth of stainless steel stock in the Mila warehouse ready for sale, and another £1m+ is arriving with us in April.

Fabricators who are still thinking about making the switch can be very confident that we have more than enough on our shelves to keep them supplied. And of course, they can relax knowing that they won’t just be getting a great quality product, delivered on time and in full, but also all the sales and marketing support, technical back up and personal customer service which has always characterised the Mila brand.

Stainless steel obviously has lots of inherent benefits over standard zinc diecast material – the most obvious of which is enhanced durability. Mila’s Supa stainless steel products, available in either SS304 extreme or SS316 marine grade material, for example, all come with a 25-year mechanical operation and surface finish guarantee. The entire range has been independently performance tested for corrosion resistance to BSEN1670 Grade 5 and has sailed through more than 1,000 hours in a salt spray test.

We just don’t do short cuts on this range. The SupaSecure handle, for instance, is produced using the same investment casting process used to produce aerospace components, and this is what helps to deliver the extreme strength as well as the superior surface quality. It’s also part of the reason why we can offer the 25-year guarantee across the range on operational performance as well as finish.

The full Mila Supa range includes both standard and high security door handles, pull bars, standard and security escutcheons, doorknobs and door knockers, as well as standard and high security TS008 compliant letterplates. They are all fully suited, which makes it easy for fabricators to single source on their door furniture, and they can offer either traditional styling with conventional lever style handles or something more contemporary with pull bars in inline, offset, square, D-shape, V-shape, or bow-shape.

In terms of finishes, we also offer a choice of polished or brushed stainless, and polished or brushed PVD gold across the range, apart from on the pull bars which are in brushed stainless only.

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