Many home improvement companies have been slow to make any change in suppliers as the industry has slowed during the recent recession. Afraid to rock the boat, retailers doors and windows have chosen to weather the storm by trying to cut costs rather than investigate new solutions. The market is evolving though, mainly due to quantum leaps in technology, composite door manufacturing being a prime example.
Composite doors are recognised as being superior to plain 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 using a choice of a new family saloon or some sort of Rolls Royce for towards same price, the choice, for many, is outstanding!
Anyway, I’m well known locally for my marketing experience, in particular assisting new business start-ups and i was delighted to answer the call for an apartment improvement company in Devon that has for some time been retailing UPVC windows and doors. They were interested in selling composite doors as the demand for them amongst local residents was growing quickly.
The principal explanation for this was males that the pros in the home improvement industry, the market leaders in fact, had began selling composite doors recently and had positioned these products at the top of their price range, reflecting the superiority of composite over UPVC doors.
The first problem was the price switching the main focus of door retailing to a composite doors range and away from UPVC, which is what all of declared were offering. Moving into the fast growing composite doors market seemed a good move but you won’t of outfitting a showroom was high. So the first thing we did would have been to get onto Google, find out who the players were in composite door manufacturing and supply and then position them to the quality.
Obviously price and credit facilities were major factors, as was order to delivery turnaround, returns policy and product quality. There appeared 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 bring up that with the creation 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 the were going to do to help us to sell many. 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 long-run investment for market share has often been the bane of British Industry).
This ‘test’ though allowed certain door manufacturers to shine. The ones that we chose as suppliers were easily recognisable as companies that placed heavy concentrate on 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 be to 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 end up being cost several thousand pounds to outfit a new showroom and get initial customers, when we had been going to be ordering from gonna do it . suppliers for years, so why when they not share on the inside start-up cost?
There were some companies that were willing to help, either by proving a ‘credit’ on the cost of product samples or bring down proving samples regarding charge. Two companies totally outshined others and my Devon-based door supplier has signed up with both of them:
Door-Stop International, tipped by many people to end up being the market leader in one’s destiny had obviously done their homework and provide cutting-edge technology such the own-brand website which retailers can use for in-home demonstrations also as advertising tool. Neutral has a design feature that allows potential purchasers to simply select the style, colour and furnishings for their ideal door and many of the shows the finished design and price instantly, even including a respectable ordering place.
Nick’s Building Supply
11100 Broadway, Crown Point, IN 46307, USA