The benefits of keeping it local
Apeer’s MD Asa McGillian discusses his company’s recent aggressive programme of investment in infrastructure, marketing and pricing as the UK trundles towards Brexit.
After 40 years of being European, even the most ardent Brits have become somewhat cosmopolitan, even if it is mostly characterised in their consumption of German or Belgian lager or Spanish wine. We have come to accept food and consumer products that bear the names of the most exotic countries many of which we will be hard pushed to locate on a globe; the world, as they say, is a village and, generally, that is to the good of all of us.
However, there is still a touch of pride in finding products that in the supermarket carry the union flag or which bear the legend ‘made in Britain’. And, as well as good old-fashioned patriotism, it makes commercial and environmental sense too; the fewer miles components travel the more local jobs are created and of course, the lower the cost in literal and environmental impact terms.
Apeer composite doors are almost 100% sourced and manufactured within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In this day and age that is a remarkable feat, and one that should stand us in good stead as we roll inexorably towards separation from the European Union.
We have always pursued the goal of total control over our manufacturing processes but a finished product is only as good as the components that are used – a potential weakness. We have found that sourcing from UK suppliers allows us a closer relationship with them, which has resulted in a greater degree of control over what goes into our doors.
The main component of every composite door is the slab. We produce these from scratch in house using GRP skins but which have been developed to offer exceptional strength and durability compared to those generally available in the marketplace.
We use our own resin transfer moulding processes that use three layers of glass fibre to produce skins that are exceptionally strong. We combine the skins with a solid high density foam core that guarantees exceptional resistance in cut-through security tests, outstanding U-values and no warping or bowing, peel back, or delamination.
Having such control over quality also ensures 99% on time and in full deliveries, even during weekends. We keep a substantial range of standard colours and styles in stock but even for bespoke colours, because we paint in house, deliveries are extended just by just two days compared to standard items. We have invested more than £1 million in the past year in our factories to ensure we remain efficient in such ways, which in turn also allows us to be very competitive.
The UK-centric commitment to production offers the greatest protection against the volatility in exchange rates, something that will continue to plague manufacturers that are dependent upon importing products and components from overseas.
We have always sourced locally and the benefits that we are now enjoying as we face Brexit are a tremendous bonus. But it allows us to continue re-investing, and our focus now is on supporting our customers with great marketing, including a new website incorporating the Apeer design and quotation Doorbuilder programme.
We want Apeer to be seen as the ultimate full door package – delivering products that can be installed with confidence, and which are backed up by exceptional customer and marketing support.