Up-selling will be a key path to growth for the fenestration industry in 2015, according to Andrew Swift, technical advisor for foam sealants supplier, ISO-Chemie.
He believes that while confidence remains high within the construction market, and window companies in particular have enjoyed a good year for sales, margins have not been as high as hoped and in some quarters, remain extremely tight.
“Increasing margins would appear to be a big challenge for the fenestration industry, as well as finding new ways to up-selling as we go forward in the coming years.
“Looking ahead, the new minimum technical competency (MTC) standards should separate the professionals from the cowboys but only if the sector is policed properly – if at all. But there’s also a strong onus for installers to look to add even more value – and boost margins – through new ways of up-selling to customers.
,,”One way to do this is to deal with the gap around the window to wall joint, which is currently un-regulated. I fully expect this to become a focus for 2015 as more and more start to look at seriously tackling the issue”.
Andrew Swift says that for the last few years the main topics in the industry have been off site construction, air tightness and energy savings but this is now changing.
He foresees growing debate next year and beyond about how the fenestration industry ensures that new buildings perform correctly during the initial design and post construction phases.
“A recent study of new buildings, done by the Zero Carbon Hub, shows there is a big difference between the designed performance and the final build performance.
,,”Most of this appears to be down to site installation and lack of attention to detail through poor education and training of installers. The report indicates four main areas of advice/guidance on how to improve the situation. One of these is “providing ‘assured’ as built energy performance for common fabric junctions and systems”.
“This is one of the areas where ISO-Chemie can assist, with products that give guaranteed performance, a number of which come with a 10 year warranty. Now that is what I call “assured”.
,,”I therefore see 2015 as the year when we maybe stop talking about these failures and the regulating bodies start to make some high profile examples of those who don’t conform.”