Supporting the industry

Despite reports of shortages of some raw materials in the window and door industry, Rapierstar says that its ‘deep’ UK stocks of specialist fasteners and 30 years of sourcing and supply chain experience has enabled it to guarantee supplies of fasteners to its fabricator customers and support the industry as it recovers from lockdown.

The company adds that it continues to hold £4m of window screw and fixings stock and more than one billion items at its 100,000ft2 warehouse and distribution centre in Cheshire, from where it serves window and door manufacturers across Great Britain and Ireland, as well as growing exports across mainland Europe.

David Furness, MD of Rapierstar, said: “There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has rocked global supply chains in every market and exposed the fragility of some of these which, with a rapid manufacturing bounce-back, now means some of our competitors are experiencing supply issues – but certainly not Rapierstar. We achieved 99.4% OTIF deliveries while smashing our best ever monthly turnover in July (up 23% YOY) and August is also flying.

“Our long-term manufacturing partners are located in Taiwan, so our supplies were never particularly under threat even when the strict economic and social restrictions started. We continued to accept and pay for pre-ordered monthly deliveries from our respected supply partners during the COVID-19 shutdown, so our stocks have never been so healthy.

“This is why we have been able to provide a great service to our customers through the pandemic and why the immediate availability of Rapierstar’s products remains unchanged with fabulous stock levels. Ultimately, our customers can have confidence that we can deliver because of the depth of stock we carry.”

Rapierstar says that it has continued to invest throughout 2020, with stock value increased by over £1m and construction of an extended R&D centre. This will incorporate a video conference suite designed to enable improved communication with suppliers and customers post-pandemic, as well as a large showroom for demonstrating its forthcoming product ranges.

Rapierstar has also invested in its people and operations, with new apprentices and employees recruited during August, supported by the latest upgrade of its fully integrated ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, and further investment in its carbon-saving electric commercial vehicles and new on-site charging points.

Rapierstar is said to be unique in being the only specialist fastener supplier of its kind to the UK and Irish window and door industry. Its products are available to fabricators and installers through the main industry distributors and trade counters, as well as directly for the largest fabricators, with a wide range of fasteners suitable for all PVC-U and aluminium systems, as well as timber frames.