Many home improvement companies have been slow come up with 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 expenses rather than investigate new solutions. The market is beginning to change though, mainly due to quantum leaps in technology, composite door manufacturing as being a prime example.
Composite doors are recognised as being superior to straightforward 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 point out that when faced using a choice of a new family saloon or an innovative new Rolls Royce for upon the same price, the choice, for many, is irresistible!
Anyway, I’m well known locally for my marketing experience, in particular assisting new business start-ups we was delighted to answer the call for a house improvement company in Devon that has for decades been retailing UPVC doors and windows. They were interested in selling composite doors as the demand for them amongst local residents was growing quickly.
The principal cause this was appropriate that the large players in the redecorating 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 cost of switching the main focus of door retailing to a composite doors range and away from UPVC, which is what all of rivalry were offering. Entering into the fast growing composite doors market seemed a good move but you won’t of outfitting a showroom was beyond reach. So the first thing we did would be to get onto Google, find out who the players were in composite door manufacturing and supply and then placed both of them to the analyze.
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 difference between the door manufacturers here as virtually all 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 mention that with the development of British Standards in the composite manufacturing industry, the manufacturing processes were extremely similar.
Where some companies fell down though was when we asked them everything they were going test and do to help us to sell items. The lack of marketing 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 increased 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 were see which door manufacturers would allow us to to stock a showroom with sample products, provide reason for sales materials and help us to obtain 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 going to be ordering from tennis shoes suppliers for years, so why should they not share the actual world start-up cost?
There were seven companies that were willing to help, either by proving a ‘credit’ while on the cost of product samples or just proving samples free of charge. Two companies totally outshined in conversation with and my Devon-based door supplier has signed up with both of them:
Door-Stop International, tipped by many people to become the market leader in the near future had obviously done their homework as well as supply cutting-edge technology such the own-brand website which retailers can use for in-home demonstrations as well as advertising and marketing tool. This website has a design feature that allows potential purchasers to find the style, colour and furnishings for their ideal door and packed with shows the finished design and price instantly, even including a respectable ordering unit.
Nick’s Building Supply
11100 Broadway, Crown Point, IN 46307, USA