Many home improvement companies have been slow generate any change in suppliers as the industry has slowed during the recent recession. Afraid to rock the boat, retailers side and windows have chosen to weather the storm by trying to cut costs rather than investigate new solutions. The market is changing though, mainly due to quantum leaps in technology, composite door manufacturing to be a prime example.
Composite doors are recognised as being superior to standard UPVC doors and improvements in the manufacturing process have meant that composite doors are now priced around the same as UPVC doors. I won’t go into much detail as to why composite doors are becoming the preferred choice of UK consumers, there are plenty of articles on that subject, some even written by yours truly. Suffice he that when faced with a choice of a new family saloon or some sort of Rolls Royce for inside same price, the choice, for many, is beckoning!
Anyway, I’m well known locally for my marketing experience, in particular assisting new business start-ups hence there is no was delighted to answer the call for an apartment improvement company in Devon that has for quite a few years been retailing UPVC windows and doors. They were interested in selling composite doors being the demand for them amongst local residents was growing quickly.
The principal explanation for this was appropriate that the large players in the homeimprovements industry, the market leaders in fact, had began selling composite doors recently and had positioned these products in the top of their price range, reflecting the superiority of composite over UPVC doors.
The first problem was the associated with switching the main focus of door retailing to an amalgamated doors range and away from UPVC, which is what all of declared were offering. Entering into the fast growing composite doors market seemed a good move but you won’t of outfitting a showroom was prohibitive. So the first thing we did ended up get onto Google, find out who the players were in composite door manufacturing and supply and then back up for sale to the test.
Obviously price and credit facilities were major factors, as was order to delivery turnaround, returns policy and product quality. There gave the impression to be little distinction between the door manufacturers here as all of those approached had many years experience in the home improvements market and recognised the need for credit facilities, keen prices and fast turnaround. Not to call that with the creation of British Standards into the composite manufacturing industry, the manufacturing processes were extremely close.
Where some companies fell down though was when we asked them the actual were going to do to help us to sell goods. The lack of selling support, knowledge and training was truly shameful, indicative in the slow decline in Britain’s manufacturing base (Short term thinking ,worrying about immediate costs versus lengthy investment for share of the market has often been the bane of British Industry).
This ‘test’ though allowed certain door manufacturers to light. The ones that we chose as suppliers were easily recognisable as companies that placed heavy focus customer service and, more importantly recognised that their customer was in fact the retailer, not the end purchaser of a new door.
The simple test we put would have see which door manufacturers would allow us to stock a showroom with sample products, provide reason for sales materials and help us to get the word out locally about the superiority of composite doors over UPVC doors. Our reasoning was that it cost several thousand pounds to outfit a new showroom and get initial customers, when we had been going to be ordering from tennis shoes suppliers for years, so why should they not share within start-up cost?
There were some companies that were willing to help, either by proving a ‘credit’ on your cost of product samples or just before proving samples free of charge. Two companies totally outshined the rest and my Devon-based door supplier has signed up with both of them:
Door-Stop International, tipped by many to get to be the market leader in the long term had obviously done their homework as well as supply cutting-edge technology such with regard to own-brand website which retailers can use for in-home demonstrations also as marketing and advertising tool. This website has a design feature that allows potential purchasers to simply select the style, colour and furnishings for their ideal door and packed with shows the finished design and price instantly, even including net ordering facility.
Nick’s Building Supply
11100 Broadway, Crown Point, IN 46307, USA