Why wait when you can fabricate?

Andy Green
Andy Green

Selecta Systems’ sales director, Andy Green, analyses the figures from the most recent Insight Data industry report, and explains why there seems to be a surge in new fabrication start-ups and installers going back in to or start fabricating.

Having visited the 2023 Glazing Summit and digested the latest industry figures, the statistics seem to demonstrate that there is a steady decline year-on-year in the number of PVC-U window and door fabricators operating within the UK.

However, it seems that Selecta Systems is currently in the process of bucking that trend as we are seeing more new fabricators coming on board than we’ve witnessed in previous years.

I read with great interest the most recent industry report produced by Insight Data. The figures make thought-provoking reading and are certainly in line with many people’s perceptions of the current state of play within the industry.

As for Selecta, 2023 has seen an increase in new start-up businesses, conversions and also fabricators diversifying and dual sourcing. However, what is interesting, is that Selecta has seen an increase in installers moving in to fabrication, with the clear reason being, to ‘take back control’ of their business.

Taking back control

The recent demise of some big industry figures has certainly played a big part in many business’ plans, from both an installer’s and fabricator’s perspective. We totally understand the rationale behind this ‘taking back control’ spate, which has been very clear and concise, especially with the failure of some big trade suppliers, another systems company and one of the largest window and door installers in the UK.

We’ve started to see installers looking at their own business models with many recognising that ‘buying in’ manufactured products totally removes an element of control over the quality and service they provide. These trade supplier failings significantly affect their installation business.

The closure of some large window and door trade suppliers has also forced a lot of installers into making decisions regarding their current business model. It’s also made others think more about other issues that can affect their service, such as delivery performance, poorly and incorrectly fabricated products, with both potentially causing installation headaches of which they have virtually no control over. All these factors have had and can have damaging knock-on effects to their installation business, not only their reputation, but also on the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations.

There’s nothing worse for installers than booking in a job, their customer having time off work and then having issues where the product hasn’t arrived or is damaged during transit. Then there’s the possibility of fabrication problems when fitting on site. The majority of these issues may not be able to be resolved by the installation company, whereas if they were fabricating, they could apply their own corrective actions and also have greater control of what goes out the door and when. As for delivery timescales, why wait when you can fabricate?

I’m not saying this is the case everywhere for fabrication and installation companies, but we’ve certainly experienced an increase in installers wanting to be in control of their own destiny, with a number starting to and showing increasing interest in the fabrication of our Advance 70 System of late. The numbers we’ve seen are certainly more than we’ve experienced in a long time.

Selecta has always had a strong and successful history of setting up fabricators and fabrication facilities from scratch and assisting in all aspects of the process from layout and floor plan design to full blown training, with a personal technician making the transition as smooth as possible.

The statistics also highlight that aluminium windows and doors are on the increase, with PVC-U fabricators and installers diversifying and venturing into this growing area. This may be the case, but at Selecta we’re also seeing a trend in aluminium fabricators moving into PVC-U fabrication and expanding their product range.

This certainly demonstrates that PVC-U remains a strong proposition in a customer’s portfolio and that businesses are looking at how they can further protect their business to meet the ever-changing landscape.

The increase in new business start-ups may be more surprising for some, especially with the current state of play with the cost-of-living crisis and other factors that may deter the home improvement market. However, there are plenty of opportunities out there and the number of frames per week that companies like Safestyle and UKWG were fabricating have to be fulfilled somewhere. Those kind of numbers and opportunities are still out there, they simply don’t just go away.

Service and support is key

Whether you’re a fabricator or installer, our aim at Selecta is to provide a service and support package that suits everyone, from sales to delivery, technical to marketing.

We have an extensive range of retail-based marketing support and sales brochures, literature and sales videos, whilst we also provide a series of trade sales and technical information guides aimed at promoting the window and door range to trade customers and installers.

Our Connect customer support portal, now includes more sales and marketing tools than ever before! A window and door designer with Home Visualiser is available to fabricators and installers to personalise with their branding and feature on their website.

This amazing designer package and sales lead generator takes the way you sell and present windows and doors to a whole new level. Also within Connect is a new website support package, where themed ready-made websites for both trade and retail businesses are available to customers who don’t want to go through the headache of a website build. Link that up with the window and door designer and you have the complete online package to help you win new business!

We also have a web2print brochure creator on its way that allows customers to brand and edit our range of brochures with their own information and imagery, without requiring any graphic design experience. It’s a simplistic way of upgrading your sales and marketing offering, promoting you, your products and services.

Perfect business partner

In light of recent events within the industry, it is now vitally important whether you’re a fabricator, installer or both that you have not only the right window and door profile system, but also the right supplier that can service and support you and your business. I believe this is essential in building a successful business partnership.

Our Advance 70 System is now firmly recognised as one of the leading PVC-U window and door profile systems. Whether you are fabricating, installing or both, you can be sure of a quality and comprehensive range of window and door solutions.

Combine this with our personal customer support and service, marketing and technical support package and you have the perfect partner to not only support your business, but also grow your business.

Whether you are already fabricating, or looking at fabricating, diversifying or broadening your product range, feel free to contact us and have that friendly chat on how Selecta can help you win new business.