Embracing innovation

Following a period of consolidation and unrest in the industry, smaller firms need to show guts and embrace innovation if they are going to survive, according to Terry Richardson, founder and managing director of the TWR Group.

The number of companies trading in the glass and glazing sector is falling but the average number of frames being produced each week is on the rise – as more and more small and medium sized manufacturers and installers are acquired by larger companies.

In the current trading conditions, several industry heavyweights are also seeing their profits squeezed.

Terry believes that to not just thrive but survive, leaders need to invest more heavily in research and development.

“Compared to many of our European neighbours, we don’t invest as heavily in innovation and research and development in the UK,” he said. “Part of the reason for this is that we sometimes aren’t brave enough to charge a premium – or create a culture of high value – for our products, which in turn then allows companies to achieve the margins required to invest more heavily in innovation.

“It’s something we’re trying to change at TWR and over the last few years we’ve invested consistently in machinery, new products and innovation. This year we rolled out the fastest ever lead times, allowing us to offer installers dual-coloured bifold doors – in any RAL colour combination – in 15 working days.”