Adrian Barraclough, Chairman of Quickslide, continues his Onsite with Ade series. This month, he offers some tips to make sure you supply your clients with exactly what they want.
In contrast with the past couple of years when we have been suffering from various challenges imposed by one Global problem after another. This year I am delighted to give you an earworm and have Jimmy Cliff’s reggae classic ringing in your ears all day. Why am I so happy? Because at the risk of tempting fate everything is alright my friends….
Production, pretty much across the board in the window and door business is back up to strength (or should be!) with lead times the best they have been for years, a full range of options and that very pleasant if finnicky Mrs Jones able to pretty much get what she wants in time for when her in-laws descend on her and hubby Ken, for Christmas.
Of course, you must order in good time but as long as you do, there is nothing affected at the time of writing that should compromise your customer’s order…glass is fine, we have all the latest hardware, PVC-U and Aluminium profiles, colour and fabulous Heritage frames …whatever your customer wants, at least in terms of windows and doors, you can tell them ‘YES!’
As long as…
The usual, common-sense stuff really. Whilst our lead times and those of most well-established frame manufacturers are as good as they have ever been, make sure you are aware of them and plan accordingly. Common sense, right? Well for you maybe but every year temperatures rise because Mrs Jones is screaming at you because you overpromised without checking if it was possible to fit the new front door…in pink…inspired as she was by the Barbie movie and all because her niece would love it when they turn up on Christmas Eve…
Follow these tips:
Standard is always best. But now we can supply you with a Barbie front door and even with matching windows if you want. It may take a few days longer but when in recent years the industry has struggled to provide some of the basics, currently it’s all working like clockwork. So, as you get closer to the festive season – in fact when you have finished reading this might be a good time – check lead times with your favourite supplier and arm yourself in advance of any discussions with customers, to manage their expectations. Don’t over promise! It will cause you more grief than if you walk away.
Armed with that basic rule, there are some things that can give you – and therefore your customers – extra reassurance. Choose a firm that has its own exclusive delivery fleet for example, which avoids almost inevitable delays experienced by the massively stressed commercial distribution networks at this time of year.
Use a supplier that has more of its services in house, such as IGU manufacture, Colour-bonding, woodgrain lamination, profile bending and so forth. It will also get you Mrs Jones quote that much quicker too if you know her door is being painted in the same factory as it’s made in.
And then the common-sense stuff: Transparency – we display all lead times online so that you can communicate these with Mrs Jones and your other customers. To you it’s common sense but you would be surprised at how many builders believe that if you ignore it, it might go away. It doesn’t. Ever.
Because a hole in a wall and forecasts for a White Christmas are an amazingly unpopular combination.
For further information on Quickslide visit Window & Door Suppliers West Yorkshire | Double Glazing Manufacturers (quickslide.co.uk).