013 GGP 0217

GGP February 2017

13 L E T T E R S T O T H E E D I T O R www.ggpmag.com February 2017 We all remember a time when the industry’s reputation was terrible. Say ‘windows and doors’ and people’s minds immediately jumped to the stereotypical shady double glazing salesman – rude, dishonest, and pushy to the point of aggression. We also remember just how much effort went in to turning that reputation around. Now thankfully, the public’s perception of fenestration is better than it’s been in decades. But there’s a new menace on the horizon – a different kind of tradesman threatening to undermine all that hard work with shoddy workmanship and dishonest business practices. I call them the ‘cladover cowboys’. Tiled conservatory roofs are more popular than ever. But instead of installing specifically designed, highquality, long-lasting tiled roof products, cladover cowboys use basic timber installation material, tiles and plasterboard to try and shoddily create the same effect. To do this, they remove the old polycarbonate sheets and directly fix timber battens to the existing roof – screwing into the existing aluminium frame, then plastering over it to mask any potential issues. Initially, the homeowner is delighted – they’ve got something vaguely resembling a solid tiled roof for about a fifth of the price of a genuine, professionally fitted roof. But that happiness will be shortlived – so-called ‘cladovers’ are far too heavy for the existing roof structure and frames to support them, and provide next to no insulation. The money the homeowner saved soon gets spent on repairing the botched job, and the water damage that inevitably occurs when the leaky new roof is tested by its first rain shower. Furthermore, the building will now fall under current building regulations – and the homeowner is often not made aware of this. The base will need to be checked for the correct footings, cavity wall and insulation within its core, as it’s now classed as an extension. This is the ‘Fake news’ in the trade press? The trade press are part of the lifeblood of this industry. I know that an awful lot of news is published on social media these days but fundamentally most of us still rely on the trade magazines to keep us up to date with what’s new. Obviously much of what is published is generated from within the industry itself either direct or via PR agencies and, with very small editorial teams, the magazines have to trust the accuracy of what they receive. Sadly, I’ve seen a couple of examples recently of exaggerated PR stories which have stretched the definition of accurate somewhat and I just hope that it’s not the start of a worrying trend. I know we all want to present our businesses in the best possible light, but surely there can be no excuse for issuing PR which is anything less than 100% true. In these days of ‘post truth’ when even the government is launching an inquiry into the impact of ‘fake news’, I think it’s more important than ever not to undermine the credibility of our trade press. Ian Latimer Managing director Emmegi (UK) Beware the ‘cladover cowboys’ Residence Collection ‘There’s a new menace on the horizon’ according to Zac Nedimovic... mine field that awaits the homeowner when they come to sell their house, or if a neighbour reports them to the council. So what can the industry do to save homeowners the heartache of a cladover catastrophe, and hit back against the cowboys? One of the best solutions is marketing – raising public awareness of these rogue traders, and, in the process, drawing attention to the quality of your own products and installation work. Consumers are savvier than ever – taking to their tablets, their laptops and their phones to look into which home improvement products and providers they should trust. That means you need to be online – and making sure you and your business ranks higher on Google than the cowboys, getting more web traffic and more leads. That’s where Astraseal comes in. We created the AstraSEAL of Approval to help support our installers – which includes helping them get their heads around marketing. We provide free advice for our customers and help them maximise the return on their budget – and we can help you improve your brand image, generate more leads, and convert them into more sales. Together, we can beat the cladover cowboys – outranking them online, winning high quality leads for honest, experienced tradespeople, and giving homeowners the longlasting roofing solutions and quality service they deserve. Yours sincerely, Zac Nedimovic Sales and marketing manager Astraseal This year, Residence Collection’s growth has been explosive. We hit the industry’s sweet spot when we added new window and door systems at the FIT Show to the already fast growing R9 system. Sales grew far faster than we forecasted. Our investment in new warehouse and factory space, people and production capacity at Residence Collection was timely, but we underestimated the suddenness and scale of the demand for our products. Solidor went through similar growing pains 18 months ago, but the DW3 team has transformed capacity, operations, and service to the point that Solidor is consistently achieving 99% and above of orders delivered on spec, on time and in full. And that’s with 35% annual growth and repeated record-breaking sales this year. With Solidor growing and performing well, the DW3 team is now working at Residence Collection, doing what it did for Solidor. To implement this, I’m now heading the team as Residence Collection CEO, managing growth, overall strategy and sales, while looking to further supplement the team in Gloucester. Mike Price, DW3 Group operations director, and Chris Chapman, DW3 Group commercial director, who have been instrumental in Solidor’s exceptional results are already working on transforming systems, stock management, operations and logistics. Sarah Hitchings has been promoted to general manager of Residence Collection and Window Widgets, and will continue to work with the team to run the business day to day. Dan Gill, the innovative creator of Residence Collection is expanding his remit to become DW3 Group product development & innovations director, to develop and innovate across all companies in DW3 Products Group. With this team and our exceptional products, 2017 is set to be an even bigger year for Residence Collection and its customers. Sincerely, Gareth Mobley CEO, Residence Collection


GGP February 2017
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