Nolan UPVC’s success following MBO

Trade customers have been a focus for Deceuninck fabricator Nolan UPVC over the last three years, with remarkable results.

When Nolan UPVC went through an MBO at the start of 2020, the company wasn’t expecting the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, especially as demand for windows and doors rocketed following the lifting of restrictions.

But thanks to the support of its key suppliers, Nolan UPVC not only met that demand, but grew as a result of its new strategy.

“We’ve really developed and grown since the MBO with the support of our suppliers like Deceuninck, especially because their OTIF [on time in full] was 90%+ as other suppliers struggled to meet demand,” said Nolan UPVC’s managing director, Jason James. “This helped us take on numerous new trade accounts that helped us double the size of the business from when we bought it.

“And over the last four or five years we’ve gone out there to target more trade work because we see there’s a benefit to shrinking the retail side and growing the trade side.”

Greater control

Nolan UPVC supplies most of Wales and the Southwest corner of England, offering a complete range of products in PVC-U and aluminium to the trade.

Employing 84 members of staff, the company is one of the largest employees in Carmarthenshire. It manufactures up to 600 frames a week, and 1,000 sealed units from its own glass shop.

“We’re a Pilkington-approved partner, and having the IGU manufacturing capability allows us to offer both glazed and unglazed products,” Jason said. “This gives us greater control over lead times.

“It also offers another benefit to our trade customers. For example, if they crack a unit on site, they can have a replacement unit ready for them to collect within 30 minutes to an hour of them phoning the order through.”

Nolan understands the critical importance of supplying customers with complete orders, when they say they are going to be delivered. This promise is more important than turning round orders quickly, Jason said, which led to the company developing a three-week order turnaround strategy.

“Our customers are happy with a three-week turnaround because of the high OTIF – they would prefer to have everything in full on time when they expect it, rather than having, say, 75% of the orders a week earlier,” Jason said.

He adds that customers need that certainty as they navigate the changing consumer demands post-Covid, especially as homeowners turn away from standard white products and towards higher value products, including foils.

“One trend we’ve significantly noticed over the last two to three years is colours,” Jason said. “Being able to supply a wide range of colours on the same lead times as the rest of our products is absolutely fundamental to the good relationships we have with our customers.

“That’s why partnering with Deceuninck is the best decision we’ve ever made, because the 30+ colours they offer from stock is second to none. As a result, we can supply our trade customers with a 100% OTIF order in the three weeks that we promise them – because we have a secure supply of component parts.

“When you hear of some of the supply issues in the industry, this is a great claim to make.”

Like Deceuninck, Nolan UPVC is investing in the sustainability of its operations.

“We currently recycle 94.5% of all our waste material,” Jason said, “with only 5.5% of our waste going to landfill. We also offer the recycling services to our customers, so when they come in to pick up their windows, they can drop off their old windows. We make sure everything gets segregated properly, before it gets taken away to be recycled.

“Offering this service increases our customers’ environmental credentials at no extra cost to them. And this is a great message that our customers can take back to homeowners, especially as more and more people are showing an interest in the sustainability of their products.”

Deceuninck Ltd
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