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The Window Company (Contracts) Ltd,

100 Beehive Lane,

Chelmsford,

Essex

CM2 9SG

© 2017 Copyright The Window Company (Contracts) Ltd

Website by Fotofrenzee

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Blog

By David Thornton, Dec 5 2017 02:28PM

It’s that time of year again when the trade magazines ask some of the leading figures in the industry for their thoughts on the year ahead. I’ve already submitted my comments to Glass & Glazing Products magazine for their January issue and I’ll be interested to read the thoughts of others.


With so much uncertainty in the economy at the moment, thanks largely to Brexit of course and the fact that we have a minority government, my comments centre around how difficult it is going to be for SMEs like us to make any major decisions.


Until we know the final outcome of the Brexit negotiations and what impact, if any, the government’s efforts to kick start new housebuilding will have, our strategy in 2018 will be to focus on our planned growth only and not take any major risks on new ventures.


We know that, post Grenfell, there is a big new opportunity for us in fire doors because we already hold all the necessary accreditations to expand in that market, but outside of that we will be maintaining the balance we already have across the social housing, schools and healthcare sectors


That doesn’t mean we don’t expect to grow in 2018 – after all we’re experts at what we do and we have just been awarded our largest ever single contract, but that growth will be very carefully managed.


I suspect many at the sharp end of the window and door industry will share our cautious approach, and that is likely to have implications further up the supply chain. Uncertainty is definitely not what any of us want.


David



By David Thornton, Jun 4 2017 09:40PM

We’ve just returned from an exhausting but very enjoyable week at the NEC, exhibiting at FIT Show. This is the Fabricator and Installer Trade Show and is very much the premier event in the fenestration industry calendar.


We were the only installation company to have a stand at FIT and no doubt surprised a few people by not exhibiting any products. It was never our intention to sell ourselves at the show though, rather our aim was to invite some of our key commercial clients to visit us there and let them see the very latest developments in the industry for themselves.


The response from the likes of Guinness Partnership, Keepmoat and Osbornes was really positive; and as we took them around the show, they were impressed not just with the scale and quality of the event but with the fact that we were able to introduce them to many of the big name suppliers there and let them talk directly about new product launches in frames, profiles, hardware and glass.


In terms of an overall marketing exercise, it worked even better than we expected because we had enquiries both from several large manufacturers who were interested in our ability to manage complex installation projects and were keen to link us up with clients that need a full supply and fit service and from smaller fitting companies who wanted to work with us on installation projects.


We were also there of course to support our team of Steve Claxton and Rob Jones who were finalists in the prestigious national Master Fitter Challenge at the show. They made it to the last 6 and put in a tremendous effort installing a window, door, set of bi-folds and roof lantern in just two days – and all under the eyes of almost 10,000 visitors!


Sadly, the FIT Show won’t be happening again until 2019. In the meantime, next year’s big fenestration industry event is Fensterbau. I’m already thinking that might be worth a visit…



By David Thornton, Jan 6 2017 05:00AM

I’ve made no secret of my enthusiasm for the FIT (Fabricator and Installer Trade) Show, which I believe really does showcase the very best that the window and door industry has to offer.


We’ve visited the show every year since its 2013 launch and, this year, we’ve even booked our own stand. That might seem a little bit strange when you consider that we probably fit the profile of a visitor more than we do an exhibitor, but I’m convinced it’s going to be a really smart move for us.

Our stand won’t feature products because we’re not selling to that audience, but instead we’re setting it up as a hub where clients can join us for what I promise will be a perfectly edited tour of the show’s highlights.


I’m keen for our clients from across the new build and social housing sectors to see for themselves just how the window and door sector has transformed itself in recent times. We’ll be able to introduce our guests to key suppliers such as Rehau, Veka, Epwin and Polyframe and arrange escorted stand tours just for them focusing on the products which we think are the real stars of the show.


I know it’s never easy to take a day out of a busy schedule to come to a trade show but the FIT Show will be a fantastic chance for clients who might be more used to specifying what we think of as ‘standard casements’ to see everything from new security products to new energy efficiency solutions.


It’s all happening at the NEC from 23-25 May and we’ll be mailing VIP invitations to our clients a few weeks before that. Look out for yours!



By David Thornton, Dec 19 2016 05:00AM

The Window Company (Contracts) will close for Christmas on Friday 23rd December and reopen, energised and refreshed, on Tuesday 3 January.


I’ve already been asked by a couple of the leading window and door trade magazines to give my thoughts for their January issues about what 2017 will bring and, to be honest, I think it will be something of a mixed bag.


Early indications from clients are that public sector budgets for window and door replacement will be higher than they have been this year which is obviously good news for us. I’m also fairly confident that we’ll see further growth in new build, where we’ve put a lot of our recent efforts and where we have a specialist, highly trained team already in place.


The only real negative as I see it is the price rises which are on the horizon as a result of the fall in the value of the pound after the Brexit vote. We’re already under pressure from suppliers who are looking to increase their prices on imported goods, and, in the wider economy, inflation is certainly edging upwards. I think we can expect to see plenty of interesting and fairly intense price negotiations ahead.


Overall though, I’m very confident about 2017 so, on behalf of the whole team here, I’d like to wish all our customers and all the readers of my new blog a happy and peaceful Christmas and a healthy and successful New Year.



By David Thornton, Dec 7 2016 06:39PM

Expert advice isn’t just for when things go wrong

There’s a really good piece in this month’s PSBJ magazine all about how our expert advice can really make a difference to public sector clients – click here http://www.psbj.co.uk/magazine/issues/december-2016 and scroll through to page 30 to have a read.


I’m talking in the article about how the new breed of highly professional, specialist commercial installers like The Window Company (Contracts) are no longer in the background on projects but, more than ever, are joining in the technical discussions with clients and helping to solve problems in the planning of jobs and on site.


My point is that we can help clients to maximise the return from their investment in windows and doors and, to a degree, help them to make the choices which will future proof their installations.


We routinely now advice on specifications for thermal performance, fire ratings and security and we are happy to work hand in hand with main contractors or direct with clients depending on the contractual arrangements.


There’s an example in the article of how we helped a council in west London to repair and replace leading windows and doors in a new build social housing block. Rather than simply recommend a complete replacement, which would almost certainly have been simpler and more profitable for us, the main contractor put us directly in touch with the client and we came up with a solution combining repair and replace which protected the building, saved the client money and meant that the residents could return to their homes much more quickly. The residents were happy, the main contractor was happy and, above all, the client was happy – a pretty much perfect outcome.


If you want to find out more, feel free to contact me direct.


David




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