“The #unitedfront letter is refreshing”

John Crittenden, managing director for Carl F Groupco

I felt compelled to write after reading the United Front open letter from 19 fenestration companies. I’d like to congratulate them on their approach to the current ‘unprecedented and unrelenting challenges’ that we as an industry have faced since March 2020.

As an independent hardware distributor of leading manufacturer brands, Carl F Groupco has always been at the mercy of price increases from our partners and distribution costs. During my 32 years as managing director for the company, never have we experienced the volume and consistent, unpredictable nature of price increases that we have incurred over the past 12 months. As stated in the open letter, price rises are global, and are impacting the whole construction industry, and further afield.

Supply chain issues for hardware seem to be levelling out, with many of the issues resolved following the post-lockdown boom and issues arising from restarting production lines and importing goods. We have significantly increased stock levels, ordered hardware further in advance, and work with our manufacturers and fabricator customers to ensure we mitigate the risks of any shortages.

I’d like to pass on my gratitude to all the companies that signed the open letter. It’s important that these messages are passed down the supply chain and this is a powerful statement covering the complex issues we collectively face. For far too long, our industry has had a tarnished reputation. However, the professionalism and clarity shown in with the #unitedfront letter is refreshing.

We sponsored the Glazing Summit, held in October, which provided further proof of the enhanced professionalism within the industry. With 425 delegates attending to discuss the most pressing issues we face, the importance of collaborating is evident.

We are a resilient industry, and we will continue to successfully manage the challenges that lay ahead, especially as we collaborate and put value on the products and services that we offer.

John Crittenden
Managing director for Carl F Groupco