World class supply chain

Gareth Busson, head of sales and marketing at Solidor Group, explains how the company supplies premium solid core composite doors, mid-market GRP entrance doors, and door panels consistently to world class standards.

Installation companies are only as good as their supply chain, and you can say the same about any business operating in the UK manufacturing sector, which was valued at £384.5 billion in 2017, according to the ONS.

These installation companies are facing a number of business challenges at present, including the uncertainties of Brexit, and so a robust supply chain with strong market leading brands is now more important than ever. With no product, then fitting dates get moved and homeowners respond accordingly, and confidence is damaged from the bottom of the chain upwards.

Fitting schedules have to get moved so that teams aren’t faced with down days and it is a nigh on impossible task to run a business when you don’t know what’s going to arrive, whether the quality is acceptable, and when it will be delivered. Given the installed value of a composite or panelled door, the trade must have complete confidence of exceptional and consistent product quality and in the strong operational infrastructure from the supply chain.

Delivery delays and quality issues affect installation companies directly, as they fulfil the orders in the eyes of the consumer. They can inhibit referral sales, damage reputation or even result in loss of margins when these fundamental business issues arise.

We carefully audit our otif levels and achieve a 99% consistency each and every day regardless of time of year, helping our customers to plan their fitting schedules with complete confidence for our Nicedor, Residor and Solidor brands. They’ve also got the backing of outstanding marketing materials, so the brand and customer experience is exceptional each time.

We’ve spent the last five years with an international award-winning group operational director who has transformed the way we manufacture and fulfil the orders of what is essentially a bespoke door for Solidor with a five-to-seven day lead-time, five days for Residor or, in the case of Nicedor, just three days.

Given our resources, practices and processes, our mid-market GRP Residor and Nicedor door panel products enjoy the same level of care and attention, with a number of customers now using us on a sole supply basis for all types of entrance doors.

One of the fundamental differences we have is our people who help deliver the brand values and the quality culture that is at the heart of what we do. We’ve invested heavily in their recruitment, training, development and overall well-being, making it a great place to be.

Throughout the factory you’ll find skill sheets for all of our factory operatives, which are detailed across all notice boards in key areas, so everyone can see who is trained for what tasks. There’s also the opportunity to train in other areas so the greater your skillset the more you get paid and, as it’s transparent, it builds trust between employees and senior staff.

Given the training and infrastructure, the use of agency staff is now kept to a bare minimum, and those who do come into the factory are carefully introduced and monitored by fellow workers and supervisors, with the added incentive of a full-time position in many instances, as we continue to enjoy strong growth.

Operating a world class facility across several brands doesn’t happen overnight and it also requires a continual process of improvement, but the fruit of this is that we’ve built a manufacturing and operational business that excels in our industry.

For our customers this means exceptional product quality, and deliveries that are made on time and in full in over 99% of cases and it makes for another reason why the Nicedor, Residor and Solidor brands are proving so strong for our network of trade partners.