096 GGP 0615

GGP June 2015

96 FABRICAT O R V I E W Change, all change! GGP columnist, Danny Williams of Pioneer Trading, extends a warm welcome to the industry’s new kids on the block and reckons that the time has come when the once ‘dodgy double glazing salesman’ has finally earnt the trust of Mr and Mrs Jones. We are in for some interesting times and changes within the industry that might perhaps for once be the result of some clever empire building rather than corporate bloodletting. A bunch of young whippersnappers led by one Gareth Mobley (he of Solidor fame) and accompanied by Dan Gill (Residence 9, Window Widgets), his cohort behind the admirable MADi fundraising rally, have formed the enigmatically named DW3 Group – a vehicle that has declared, from what I have heard through the grapevine, that it will ‘shake up some of the dinosaurs in the industry’. I shall save his blushes, and indeed the twitches of the libel lawyers, by withholding who he has cited as thus but suffice to say that, had he not become rather ageist, then I would have no doubts at all in wishing him well. However, as I have been fortunate in avoiding mid life crisis, I say to Gareth, Dan and his band of merry men: go forth and improve all of our fortunes with fabulous new products and schemes! I for one welcome anything that shores up my pension. What can we expect from them? I hear tell that a slimmer, cheaper R9 suite is emerging which, without the encumbrance of rows and rows of extrusion lines to service (profiles are trade extruded by Deceuninck) and, having enjoyed some success with its older sibling, I look forward to seeing it in the flesh, as it were. I wonder what we may expect in the form of new resi doors from “You can trust me; I’m a replacement window salesman.” Solidor, though I cannot for the life of me see what can revolutionise such a fundamentally conservative market. The present lust for composite doors was inevitable surely, as homeowners realised the errors they had committed in allowing the installation of those horrendous moulded atrocities, even if they had been incentivised by a ‘freebie’. And Window Widgets? I look forward to the latest innovations in glazing packers but will not hold my breath. But anything that helps the fitters or back room boys works for me. I have noticed with interest that the offspring of many of the bestknown operators in the industry are now coming through to inherit the earth, though some are not so meek. They bring with them the promise of new energy at the very least, promising the business equivalent of Red Bull perhaps. How much they will vary from the paths trod by their fathers remains to be seen of course, their succession perhaps merely bringing more of the same. We need innovation chaps: Just look at what two products that have been around for years have done to excite the market and even better still sales: composite doors and bifolding doors. Grand Designs can take credit for elevating bi-folds to pop idle status in the home improvement world but whatever happened to create excitement in composite doors, I cannot begin to imagine. But it has brought in much needed business and I am making the most of it. There are some things just around the corner that offer some further hope: solar windows are said to be close to becoming an affordable reality, even for residential installs, though it is difficult to find anything solid about this. But the prospect of telling Mr and Mrs Jones that not only will their new windows keep the heat in and burglars out but ALSO keep the lights burning for free, excites me beyond measure. I am surprised that door automation has still not caught the imagination but I do think we remain at the dawn of home www.ggpmag.com June 2015 automation generally. The technology has been available for some time, for example for homeowners to allow tradespeople to enter their homes, monitor and secure them remotely, but I really have not been inclined to get involved, despite being a willing and open minded techie. Perhaps we just need a bubble of sorts to burst, something to banish our innate conservatism regarding almost everything revolutionary in the average British home. Whatever Gareth and Dan bring to the party it will be interesting to watch and even more so if they put money in my pocket. Onwards and upwards chaps! Trustworthy? Surely not... Have we as an industry finally gained the respect – the trust even – of our homeowner customers? I believe we have. When was the last time a dodgy double-glazing salesman was the butt of sitcom humour? Without being chased away by the PC fairies, the notion simply does not have enough purchase to be funny. I am delighted. Now we must make hay and ensure that our customers understand that we are sincere when we tell them that replacement windows will bring genuine steps forward in securing and warming their homes; that composite doors will, arguably more than any single home improvement, enhance the look of their home; and that bifolding doors on the back (and sides?!) of their properties will bring untold joy during the three or four days of sunshine that we enjoy each summer. I can’t wait to utter the words: “You can trust me; I’m a replacement window salesman.”


GGP June 2015
To see the actual publication please follow the link above