NEW YEAR MESSAGES
For Promac, in the
same way as a lot of
2020 is going to be
a year of change. We have seen a
number of high-profile casualties in the last
year, with Mothercare the most recent in a long line of examples
on the high street. In construction, even the biggest companies
have shown themselves to be vulnerable, with Carillion going at
the beginning of the year and, closer to home, Synseal and now
The models that have worked in the past just don’t work now.
Synseal and Kairos were both highly successful businesses and
pursued acquisitive and ambitious growth strategies.
There’s an argument now, however, that those very large groups
which have perhaps dominated our industry up until now, may
find new trading conditions more challenging in the future.
We also need to change. Promac has been fit for purpose for
the past 40-years but we shouldn’t be arrogant enough to think
that we’ll be so for the next 40 without change. We, like everyone
else, need to adapt to make sure that we are delivering the
right platform offer to our customers – and just as importantly,
underpinning it with excellent customer service.
This is what’s driving our decision to explore strategic
partnerships with other independent machinery suppliers. I’m
personally not convinced that buying market share through
acquisition is the right way to go. There are too many examples
where that has failed.
The opportunity to form partnerships, which allow us to
deliver a better service to our customers without the burden of
overhead, is however, something we’re actively exploring. Being
leaner and more agile but working in partnership with others,
delivers real opportunity to improve customer service.
That’s why we’re talking to other independents as prospective
partners, including Flat Glass Solutions; Kall Kwik; and PAL
Machinery, to see where mutual opportunities exist to deliver
greater value and better service to our respective customer bases.
We see the future much more about a more balanced
approach, partnerships alongside the right acquisitions where the
opportunity is right, rather than a single focus on acquiring other
companies to deliver growth.
If the utilisation of our resource is at 87%, could we for
example, get more out of our technical teams by making them
available to support our partners? In the same way, if we have
increased demand it gives us depth of resource and expertise.
We don’t need to all be owned by the same group to do that.
We simply need to work together.
This will set us on the right footing, give us the flexibility and
agility to deliver a better service to our customers. We aren’t here
to simply supply the best machinery. We exist to deliver the right
service and the right support to underpin it.
Our focus this year is
firmly on service. We have
an established, and most
importantly, trusted product offer and
have a reputation for delivery – but we aren’t perfect and we can
and will be better.
We’ve listened to what our customers have said in the last
year and we’re now implementing change. That means not
only investment in customer service and support but also the
introduction of faster delivery times.
We supply direct to the installer and the fabricator. Fast but most
importantly, reliable delivery gives each in turn more flexibility in
supply and that supports both in delivering a better service to their
Manufacture of integrated blinds is far more involved than that of
a standard IGU so we’re not about to go head-to-head with volume
manufacturers on lead time. We are, however, reducing them and
aligning them more closely to the 10-day lead times that trade
fabricators work to.
This should remove a barrier to supply, supporting installers and
fabricators in tapping in to end user demand. It’s critical that we do
“e other thing that I want to
emphasise is that the opportunities
for our customers are massive. For
example, fewer than 10% of all
bi-fold doors supplied into the home
improvement market are done so
with integrated blinds”
this without compromising quality or the 10-year guarantee which
underwrites our product offer.
2020 for HiTech, is consequently about sustaining growth at
the rates that we have seen in the last year (this in itself may not
sound ambitious, we however, grew substantially in the last year,
something which we fully expect to do again this year).
That means continuing to acquire new business and through
the organic growth delivered through our existing customer base.
Having the right infrastructure in place to support this is key.
The other thing that I want to emphasise is that the opportunities
for our customers are massive. For example, fewer than 10% of all
bi-fold doors supplied into the home improvement market are done
so with integrated blinds, something which highlights significant
potential for growth.
We’re now into second, even third-time replacements. The enduser
is looking to see the difference in offer. Integral blinds are a
very clear way of commutating the added-value of the product – and
with it building in margin into each sale.
www.ggpmag.com January 2020