MPS has seen significant growth through the manufacture of its own aluminium product, while buying in PVC-U.
“The growth we have seen this year has been exceptional. We’re up by around 25% or more”, says Malcom Sansom, Owner, MPS.
He continues: “A big part of that is aluminium – we’ve seen massive growth in demand for bi-folds and sliding doors but PVC-U has also grown alongside that, particularly higher end products, for example flush casements. We seem to have got our offer right.
“The decision to buy in PVC-U product and continue to manufacture aluminium was a big part of what we’ve been able to do in aluminium”, he adds.
MPS began buying in frames from Emplas in September 2001, the decision part of the South West retail and commercial specialists strategy to bring increased focus to those areas where it could add maximum value, while minimising overheads in other areas of its operation.
Malcolm continues: “We recognised that we couldn’t manufacture PVC-U and make any margin anymore. Our overheads were simply too high and we didn’t have the infrastructure to do it effectively.
“You only need to walk around Emplas to see the investment that it takes to deliver the right quality but also to do it consistently. It didn’t make sense for to carry on manufacturing our own PVC-U product.
“Aluminium was and is different. It’s not being manufactured at such high volumes and it gives you a higher margin. It makes sense for us to manufacture it because that gives us flexibility but that wasn’t the case with PVC-U, the figures didn’t stack up.”
MPS works across both retail and commercial markets, supplying housebuilders throughout Devon and the South West, including the supply of both product types. “We’re now up to around 55% commercial”, continues Malcolm “and we’ve developed a reputation for delivery working with some big developers.
“This has also been an important driver in our overall growth. We’ve picked up one commercial job, then the repeat business on the back of that from hotels through to new build housing and refurbishments.”
This has included the supply of an hybrid mix of product, including aluminium alongside PVC-U foils. “We supply a lot of anthracite grey on white Optima windows alongside the aluminium doors that we manufacture”, says Malcom.
“We tend to see the higher end PVC-U products as delivering growth, so foils and flush casements, although we still supply a lot of white.”
Emplas announced the expansion of its ex-stock colour range at the end of last year. Cutting lead times and reducing costs it’s new offer, has been carefully designed to support installers in tapping into growing end-user demand for premium foiled finishes.
It means that foiled Cream, Anthracite Grey, Anthracite Grey on White, Black Brown, and Black Brown on White are now available as ex-stock standard colours.
Sitting alongside existing ex-stock foil colours including White, Golden Oak and Rosewood, Emplas’ most popular foils are now available in lead times of 10 days or less.
Emplas added, the Optima Flush Casement to its core Optima offering last year. It features a defining flush casement finish, mechanically jointed options, traditional top and deep bottom sash rail options and heritage dummy sash on frames with fixed lights. It’s also available with integrated hardware including monkey-tail handles and dummy peg stays.
With a simple chamfered finish to the sash externally, the outer-frame is available in either the Optima sculptured (QS) or chamfered (QC) finish internally. Available in 28mm glazing with astragal bar options, Optima Flush is supplied by Emplas as a WER A+ window as standard. Typical U-values start at 1.4W/m2K.
The other area of growth reported by MPS is in glazed extensions. “We’re doing more and more glazed extensions. It’s been a real growth area and it gives us the pull-through on aluminium products”, says Malcolm.
Emplas also offers a comprehensive support package to make that process run as smoothly as possible, launching EVA, the Emplas Virtual Assistant, in 2016.
It features automated quotations, remote placement of orders and subsequent order tracking, facilities to check invoices and CE Marking. It also includes a lead management tool is designed to give retailers full visibility of exactly where the lead is from initial enquiry, quotation and ultimately through to conversion into business and completion.
MPS has also exploited EVA’s Quotation Pack, software, which creates detailed and professional quotes in a matter of minutes, pulling in relevant certification, accreditations and product specifications from minimal data input.
This in automatically pulls-in the customers’ logo, and their details as relevant including accreditations and memberships of professional bodies, specific to them.
All they then need to do is input the relevant quote details including price, how long it’s valid for and then select the product specification from a tick-box menu. The system does the rest cutting the time taken to create a professional to a couple minutes.
“The decision to buy in PVC-U and concentrate on the manufacture of aluminium has been key to the growth that we’re seeing.
“I’m not going to say it’s always perfect. Things sometimes do go wrong but overall our relationship with Emplas has been good and we see our partnership with them as an important element in our long term growth strategy.”