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GGP 04 Apr 2016

www.ggpmag.com April 2016 10 L E T T E R S T O T H E E D I T O R Some said it would never get here. It would be kicked into the long grass, or watered down so it wouldn’t affect them. Sit tight and do nothing, they said. Wait until we let you know. If you listened to that advice, you’ll be six months behind your competitors who acted. They’ve been selling doors that pass the new PAS24:2016 test. They can continue selling to new build, conversions where Building Regulations apply, and social housing where housing specifiers are already insisting on it. Secured by Design is going to adopt it. Whatever your market, you’ll be affected by the new PAS24. Independent tests show 7 out of 10 composite doors fail this test. They fail because the GRP skins on their doors are too thin to offer the necessary protection. If the skin on your GRP door is 1.6-1.8mm thick, you’re out of luck. It won’t pass. Skins need to be at least 3.6mm thick. And since GRP skins are the most expensive component in a GRP door, prices will rise sharply as composite door manufacturers upgrade their specs to pass. In a recent article, Mila’s technical manager, Strafford Cooke, said there will be a period of grace for manufacturers, because not all UKAS test houses are set up for the tests yet. So there’s no reason to rush to change supplier. Technically he’s right. But everyone’s been talking about the new test for six months. Housebuilders, private developers and Social Housing specifiers have been listening to the same debates, and reading the same magazines as you. They’re already asking for secure doors that pass the proper tests. Given a choice between doors that pass and doors that fail, whose doors will they buy? More alert homeowners also want proper doors, and predominantly they search online to find them. They don’t want to be palmed off with doors that let burglars in within seconds. Every month, 45,000 homeowners looking for doors visit our website to find installers who sell our highly secure, premium quality, stylish doors. One definition of marketing is, selling products that don’t come back to customers who do. Don’t installers want that? Happy customers who keep coming back because their doors don’t? Just for the record, Solidor, with its solid laminated-hardwood timber core, passes the new PAS24:2016 test with ease. In January we also standardised on Ultion, the most secure cylinder door lock. So now we say, with a considerable degree of confidence, that Solidor is by far and away the most secure composite door. Gareth Mobley, CEO, Solidor PAS24:2016 has arrived A competitive edge ‘Hundreds’ opt in to free FENSA labels Free FENSA Window and Doorset Energy Ratings were launched on 1 January and since then, hundreds have reportedly opted in. But what is driving this surge? FENSA said it surveyed the installers that emailed in January to ask them why they were so interested and reported that 76% stated it was because they wanted to sell FENSA rated energy efficient windows displaying labels that will have their company name on. Only 63% stated they were opting in to FENSA Window and Doorset Energy Ratings because they are free. “FENSA knew that its Window and Doorset Energy Ratings would be popular,” commented FENSA managing director, Chris Mayne. “But we have been taken aback by just how much demand there is. I think that we were right to believe that they would change the face of W indow and Doorset Energy Ratings. In 2015, 53% of notifications were using energy ratings to comply with Building Regulations. I think we can safely predict that this will rise dramatically by the end of 2016.” FENSA W indow and Doorset Energy Ratings are free for FENSA certified installers. The new Window and Door Energy Ratings are operated and independently verified by BFRC. It is exactly the same as the existing BFRC scheme in terms of ratings, ratings bands, license scopes and windows and doors covered. According to FENSA, the only difference is these new labels are branded ‘FENSA’ and will have their own marketing support. This industry talks a lot of tosh about competitiveness and the competitive edge. What people really mean is, it’s cheaper. But whatever competitive is, a lower price isn’t competitive. Discounting or everyday low pricing is what you do when your products can’t compete. If your products don’t have a real difference, with good reasons to choose them, people won’t pay what you ask. If your service and support are the same, then you don’t have much to say. You have to compete with price. Even low prices may not be enough. ASDA is discovering, painfully, that if you have an undifferentiated offer it can be hard to give it away. Sandwiched between higher-priced, differentiated grocers and real discounters like Lidl and Aldi, ASDA is bleeding badly. In contrast, Apple’s iPhone has had a powerful competitive edge over the last five years, despite eyewatering prices. People wanted it so much, they fell over themselves to buy it. They even queued overnight to be one of the first when a new one was launched. Their desire is the measure of Apple’s competitive edge. What is a competitive edge in our industry? The first thing a fabricator needs is not to be held back by suppliers who burden them with hidden costs. Products that need returning, arrive late or incomplete; or generate excessive waste in the factory for example. A fabricator wants to compete fairly, and doesn’t want its systems company competing with them. Fabricators need up to date systems. If you compete against bestin class products with 20 year old systems, you have to cut your prices to persuade customers to buy. Homeowners expect high performance, but they want pretty products, and increasingly they choose colour too. But if you can’t sell colour as you sell white, with the same lead time as white, you’ll never be as competitive as your rivals whose systems company keeps a huge range of colours in stock. So they’ll grow faster than you and your installer customers. We’ve spent the last three years investing to give Deceuninck fabricators and installers the sharpest edge. As you’d expect, this investment in competitive advantage translates directly into growth. For the last three years Deceuninck fabricators and installers have grown significantly faster than the market. Rob McGlennon, sales director Deceuninck UK & Ireland


GGP 04 Apr 2016
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