Leading REHAU trade fabricator Euroglaze has announced that lead times on its standard frames are now just three working days for customers who order online. This applies to all of the standard REHAU products which Euroglaze manufactures, including casement windows, doors, French doors, sliding patios and PVC bi-folds. In practice, what the impressive offer means is that customers who have deliveries on Thursdays, for example, can order up until 3pm on Monday of that week, while for customers who have deliveries on Mondays, order cut off is 3pm on the Wednesday of the week before.
The Barnsley based company is renowned for its advanced lean production processes based on Japanese manufacturing philosophies, and Managing Director Martin Nettleton says the fast turnaround times are the natural outcome of its efficient, organised factory. He explained: “As we see it, there’s no need for frames to be on the shop floor for any longer than is absolutely necessary. Here, orders are placed remotely, processed quickly into production and pass seamlessly through each station right first time. They are marshalled for delivery without wasteful re-works, loaded complete and delivered on the day which suits the customer.
“That sounds simple, but we’ve been recognised by both the DTI and the Manufacturing Advisory Service for the innovative processes and systems, and our customers tell us that we stand out from the competition because our efficiency means we simply never let them down.” One customer who has been impressed with the service and lead times at Euroglaze is Rob Stevenson, a director at Concept Windows, based in Boroughbridge, Yorkshire, which supplies PVC-U products to trade and retail customers alongside manufacturing its own aluminium frames. He commented: “We have been paper ordering anywhere between 20 and 70 REHAU frames a week from Euroglaze since last year, and we know that when we order on Monday, our delivery will be with us on time and in full on Friday”.
“That’s impressive enough but, if we switch to online ordering, we can extend the order cut off time to 3pm on Tuesday and give our customers an extra 24 hours at the start of the week to send in any last-minute orders. We supply direct to installers and local builders who rely on us for fast turnaround and absolute peace of mind that every order will be complete. It costs them money if a delivery is late or they have to wait for any part of an order that is missing but, with Euroglaze, that just doesn’t happen.”
“Euroglaze made lots of promises about the quality and service we could expect when we started working with them last year, and I can definitely say that they’ve lived up to all of those. What we like is that we get all the efficiency you might associate with a big blue chip company and all the friendliness and personal service you’d expect from a smaller, local supplier – for us, that’s the perfect combination.” Further details of the three day delivery slots from Euroglaze are available from the customer service team on: 01226 700851.
Leading REHAU trade fabricator Euroglaze is living up to its claim of offering an unrivalled support network by investing yet again in its customer service team. Katrina Stone is the latest Customer Service Advisor to join the already strong team, bringing with her what is arguably the perfect blend of experience.
For the past 12 months, Katrina has worked on the shop floor at Euroglaze’s Barnsley factory as a window fabricator, and prior to that worked in a call centre for one of the UK’s leading mobile phone operators, so she has both the technical and communication skills which customers need. Katrina is processing quotations and orders, providing marketing support materials, and giving advice on Euroglaze’s vast range of REHAU products which includes fire rated windows and doors, Heritage vertical sliders and sliding patios as well as standard casements in REHAU TOTAL70.
A key part of her focus will be on growing Euroglaze’s local customer base. She says: “We supply customers right across the UK who love our friendly, reliable service and our exceptional product quality. Up until now though, we haven’t really targeted customers in our own area so I’m making it my mission to get our message across in Barnsley and South Yorkshire.” Working alongside Rosie Micheli, Nicky Park and Janet Walker in the Customer Service team, Katrina will continue to benefit from Euroglaze’s continuous staff training programme and the empowerment initiatives which allow every individual to make a positive difference to the way the business operates.
Visitor registration is now open! With FIT Show 2017 set to bring more exhibitors, more products, more seminars and more networking opportunities than ever before, make 23rd to 25th May 2017 your biggest business days of the year. Our Profile partners Liniar and Rehau are both exhibiting during the show. Get your tickets to the biggest trade show event for fabricators and installers in the window, door and conservatory industry. Join us for the UK's number one glass and glazing event. Register now.
Fast-moving PVCu systems company Liniar is back once more to support the FIT Show in 2017. Now under new owners Quanex Building Products, the Liniar team is sure to bring a host of innovative new products to the exhibition, in addition to allowing visitors to get ‘hands on’ and discover for themselves the high quality of the Liniar range of windows, doors and conservatories. As window sponsor of the Master Fitter Challenge, Liniar will be supplying windows for the second year running - giving finalists first-hand experience with Liniar’s advanced thermally efficient and fitter-friendly products, and the chance to witness the innovative designs that make Liniar the most sought after range on the market.
REHAU is back at the FIT Show with its most brightly coloured stand yet. The emphasis will be on REHAU's 24 foiled colours and finishes, all available on flexible lead times, and on the sales opportunities which these present to customers. Green will be the dominant colour though, as REHAU reveals more about its recycling initiatives and the new recycling model which it is rolling out in the UK. The AGILA sliding door which made such a splash at FIT in 2016 will be back, with full details of where installers can now buy the door.
A note from Euroglaze Managing Director on the start of the year so far. I think 2017 will finally be the year when the new breed of specialist trade resellers in the market fight back against the super fabricators who both supply them and effectively compete with them. I know that there has been real frustration in the market amongst distributors who have had to stand by and watch their suppliers encroach on their territories, and I think that will be good news for medium sized REHAU fabricators like Euroglaze who are well placed to offer these distributors a viable alternative.
Euroglaze’s continual investment in training our staff and in implementing the very latest lean manufacturing systems and processes means we can offer the volumes, lead times and quality which these distributors want, but with much more flexible and personalised service, and of course with a guarantee that we will support them rather than compete with them.
Just a single item missing from one delivery in the whole of last month might be judged a success by some medium sized trade fabricators, but for Barnsley based Euroglaze it remains one item too many. The REHAU fabricator, renowned for its commitment to continuous improvement, is aiming for zero items missing this month as it completes the first phase of its new barcoded despatch system. Customers ordering from Euroglaze can now be assured that all frames, ancillaries and cut items in every order have been checked, packed, barcoded and labelled, and that every step in that process has been recorded on camera so that any queries can be resolved almost instantly.
What sets the system apart is that all the items are clearly labelled with the customer’s own reference and job number and not just the Euroglaze barcode, so that they can easily keep track of what has been received. Implemented by Euroglaze’s newly appointed despatch manager Wayne Elkin, the new loading system is designed to ensure that no van can leave Euroglaze without every order being complete and in full. Pete Weston, of trade counter outlet AAC Weston in Western Super Mare, which has been a Euroglaze customer for several years, says that his business has already benefited from the new system: "We’ve got complete reassurance now that every order is complete. Obviously, this is helping us to give an even better service to our trade customers and we’ve seen a 90% drop in call backs. Because every item in the delivery is so clearly labelled and all of the bags of ancillaries are heat sealed, things just can’t get lost or muddled up. And, now that Euroglaze are videoing the whole packing process, any queries which do arise can be sorted straightaway."
Euroglaze’s Managing Director Martin Nettleton adds: "Every member of staff at Euroglaze is trained to ensure that we get deliveries right first time, but this new system gives us a failsafe and fool proof back up which goes beyond the individuals who are working here. “It’s part of a much larger programme which will see us moving more towards barcode driven production over the coming year and a more efficient paperless order processing system designed to reduce the time we spend on admin. “Fundamentally, we are always looking to become more efficient, but only in a way which benefits the distributors and installers who buy from us. We are currently, for instance, trialling the next phase of our barcode unloading system with some of our largest resellers so that we can be certain that it works just as well for them as it does for us before we roll it out across the whole of the UK."
2017 could potentially be the most exciting year in a long while for all those medium sized fabricators like Euroglaze who have seen their business model under threat from the new breed of super fabricators. That’s not just because I firmly believe that we offer better, more consistent quality and far more personalised and responsive customer service, but because the market is finally fighting back against many of the super fabricators’ strategy of competing with their customers. If you’re a third-party trade distributor buying from one of these giant suppliers, it’s understandable that you don’t want that supplier to set up a trade counter just down the road from you. Equally, if you’re a commercial installer, you don’t want to find out that you’ve lost a contract because your supplier undercut you by tendering direct.
While the super fabricators have largely had it their own way for several years, there are some very encouraging signs that the balance is now starting to shift. The number of enquiries Euroglaze has received from distributors looking to switch supplier has increased dramatically over recent months, and part of the reason that many of them give is that they feel their current supplier is standing behind them waiting to pounce on their business, rather than standing shoulder to shoulder with them helping them to succeed.
These distributors are recognising that medium sized fabricators like us can offer the quality, responsiveness and volumes that they need whilst remaining competitive on price. It’s been a challenge to communicate that, but I definitely believe that the message is finally getting through just at a time when the super fabricators are once again flexing their muscles. Our strategy at Euroglaze is never to compete with our customers but instead to focus on giving them the breadth and quality of product which they demand. Our REHAU range includes everything from standard TOTAL70 casement windows to Heritage vertical sliders and fire rated windows and doors, and all are supplied with full sales and marketing support and on short lead times.
Our Barnsley factory manufactures to lean principles which means that we are highly efficient with outstanding productivity per man and virtually zero product rejections (currently 0.7%) We currently have capacity for 1200 frames per week and the systems and processes we have in place give us the capability to take on large scale new orders without compromising on the service we provide to our existing customer base. While established trade distributors are certainly fiercely resisting the pressure from new trade counters opening up alongside them, the challenge for many of these new outlets is surely to recruit and retain sufficient high calibre staff.
The old adage that ‘people buy from people’ has never been more true and, in an industry which is already faced with a marked skills shortage, I would question whether there are even enough efficient and effective trade counter managers available to make a success of all of these new outlets. I’m certainly not arguing against fair competition though – after all it is competition which generally drives real innovation and real service improvements but I am opposed to competition with your own customers. That is surely counterproductive. In my view, if you are a trade fabricator, the way to grow your business is to help your customers to grow theirs, and that can only come from working with them and building a relationship based on trust. With so much uncertainty in the market and in the wider economy, whether you’re an installer or a distributor, surely it’s better to feel that you and your supplier are both on the same side?