086 GGP 0217

GGP February 2017

86 COMPA N Y P R O F I L E www.ggpmag.com February 2017 Paul’s instincts to just settle the issue, though not his propensity towards great customer service. Restraint and process now agreed, Neil is able to focus on one of his strengths – procurement. Paul’s enviable but increasingly risky philosophy of ‘my word is my bond’ has been formalised with sound procurement strategies that leave little to chance and which have resulted in substantial additions to the company’s bottom line, in addition to efficiencies throughout the business: “If we can add to profits and improve customer service just by being better at what we do that can’t be a bad thing can it?” asks Neil rhetorically. A key benefit of the company’s policy of continuous review of suppliers is the re-engagement with Epwin after a two-year hiatus. Stuart Moss, Kingfisher’s long serving production director, took up the story: “We were visited by Clare O’Hara just after she took the reins at Epwin, to sort a number of outstanding issues. It was her business acumen, drive and attention to detail that persuaded us to take another look at what they were doing. When we visited we immediately saw a huge difference; many of the same faces but a very different work ethos throughout the organisation. “We liked what we saw in Clare and what they told us about their plans for Optima also impressed us. We had also missed the high level of approval that Profile 22 has achieved within the commercial sectors; since we have been back on board with the company we’ve gained a great deal of work.” Kingfisher is now fully committed to Profile 22’s Optima for all of its work including a new emphasis on trade sales to local installers and builders: “Optima looks good, it’s easy to manufacture and the flush casement is especially nice,” explained Stuart. Kingfisher’s review of the markets the company serves is intended to coincide with the culmination of 18 months of planning and reorganisation when it moves lock, stock and barrel to a new facility, expected to be completed by early 2017. “We expect to increase output and sales to trade customers by around 300 frames per week within two years and retail by around 75 frames per week, following the move to our new facility,” explains Neil. “We will also develop our composite door manufacturing to take that to around 200 per week; most of our door output goes to our social housing customers and we believe there is a huge potential for private homeowner customers which we can supply direct or through our growing trade business.” A key area of business remains commercial work, both private and public sector and this will continue to occupy much of the Kingfisher team’s attention: “A great deal has changed since the end of the government’s Decent Homes programme,” explained Neil, “but we are very confident about the future as new opportunities continue to evolve within the commercial markets, attracted by new product developments such as the Optima range.” Aluminium is also an area that continues to show excellent growth, amongst private and commercial customers and a significant chunk of the anticipated three quarters of a million pounds cost of the move to the new facility will be devoted to this. Further evidence of Kingfisher’s commitment to embrace change is evident in the importance of social media in the company’s marketing mix, despite Paul’s admission that he does not Tweet and leaves Facebook to his wife: “We do a great deal of business through social media,” he says. “It works very well for us. And this will be part of what we can offer to our increasing numbers of trade customers. Price, quality and great products will make us different and we will soon have a smartphone app that will allow customers to order from us wherever they might be. This and some other things we have in the pipeline will give trade customers a very real reason to buy their windows and doors from us,” added Paul. The full extent of Kingfisher’s changes will manifest themselves when the company opens its new, as yet secret, premises. What we do know is that it will be a fine example of what may be achieved when change is not simply accepted but embraced. “We liked what we saw in Clare and what they told us about their plans for Optima also impressed us.” Kingfisher is now fully committed to Profile 22’s Optima Kingfisher expects to increase output and sales to trade customers by around 300 frames per week within two years


GGP February 2017
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