NEW YEAR MESSAGES
Brexit uncertainty will
undoubtedly have an
impact on the market
this year. That’s been
the case since the referendum in 2016
though, and we’ve all learned to cope with
that almost as the new normal, and I’m sure we will again.
For me, probably an equal concern, and one which we can at
least have some control over, is the skills shortage which is really
starting to bite across the whole industry. We all know that we
need to increase the size of the talent pool and hopefully 2019
will be the year when we see some really positive and concerted
action following all the talk of last year.
At AluK, we’ll be launching our very own apprenticeship
scheme, aiming to attract school leavers with real potential into
the industry. We’ll be giving them a broad experience of all
aspects of our business; identifying where their strengths and
enthusiasm lie, and helping them build really worthwhile careers
In terms of what customers can expect from AluK, the biggest
news in January will be the opening of our FOX flash anodising
pre-treatment plant which will really raise the bar when it comes
to the quality of finish available in the aluminium sector.
Our £3m investment in an integrated finishing and powder
coat paint line has put us way ahead of anyone else in the
UK. It means we will be offering something which is utterly
unprecedented – an exceptional quality finish with a market
leading warranty, but with no price premium and no additional
After our huge success at FIT in 2017, we’ll be back again in
May with some more exciting product launches in windows,
sliding doors and roof systems. We’re obviously not giving too
much away at this point, but these are all carefully targeted at
specific sectors of the market and all are designed to open up new
sales opportunities for our customers.
2019 will be an incredibly
exciting year for Business
Micros because we’ll finally be
revealing our much anticipated next
generation software. This is the culmination of several years’
work and a huge investment in dedicated R&D behind the scenes
at our Penpont programming centre, and we expect it to make a
huge impact across the market.
We’re not revealing many details until the big launch at the
FIT Show in May, but suffice to say there will be great new
products available for fabricators and installers operating at all
levels and across all sectors.
That doesn’t mean we’ll be neglecting our existing product
range though. Despite the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit and
the impact it is having on spending decisions, we have just had
one of our busiest Decembers for several years, and there is
certainly no shortage of fabricators looking to invest in software.
The big growth area for us continues to be our EvoNET
business management software. Once mainly the preserve of
large scale fabricators, we now get the majority of our enquiries
from smaller and medium sized companies who want to use it to
help them compete on a more level playing field.
I’m sure this will continue this year as well as we see
consolidation continuing in the trade sector and increasing
diversification from ambitious fabricators keen to ensure that
their customers don’t need to go anywhere else.
In line with this, we’ll be promoting our software consultancy
services to a wider range of customers in 2019. When fabricators
ask our consultancy team to visit them, it’s not always just to
review how they are using their software. Often, it’s to review
their whole operation and give them advice about manufacturing
and process efficiencies as well, drawing on our vast experience
working with businesses of all sizes. The feedback we get is that
our service represents exceptionally good value, and in such a
competitive marketplace that has never been more important.
www.ggpmag.com January 2019