Retail specialist, Global Windows, has said it is committed to setting new standards of customer service after announcing a new supply partnership with Emplas. Set up in 1995 by Russel Hulme and headed today by son Liam and joint-managing director Billy Hawes, Global Windows specialises in home improvements in Sheffield and throughout Yorkshire.
After approaching three-decades in manufacturing, the company took the decision to come out of fabrication at the end of last year and buy-in its casement and door product range from Emplas. Liam said the decision had been driven by a commitment to bring increased focus to its retail operation, offering improved levels of service to homeowners whilst increasing its product offer.
Liam said: “Fabrication wasn’t working for us anymore. We were buying in bifolds, buying in VS, but we were holding on to own-manufacture of casements when it didn’t make sense to.
“We didn’t get the service we needed to meet the demands our own customers were placing on us. We weren’t getting the reliability in supply. We were a small player without real influence on our supply chain. Retail is changing and we need to respond to that change and to make sure that we are setting the standards for service to the end-user throughout Yorkshire. We want to reset the bar.”
According to figures from Insight Data, the number of uPVC fabricators has dropped by 46.5% since 2008. Painting a ‘worse-case scenario’, it says that this decline could continue so much that by 2024, there could be as few as 800 fabricators left in the industry.
As a large fabricator but one that remains family-owned and investment-led, Emplas has developed an extensive programme of support for fabricators considering moving out of manufacture. This includes not only a highly flexible product and service offer but also a dedicated lead generation service, delivered through its installer network.
Liam continued: “There are a number of big fabricators and they have impressive setups but Emplas had had more. It had online ordering, it had EVA, the support, the 3D factory tour, videos, marketing material but there was also a cultural fit as a family-owned business.”
By stopping fabrication, Global Windows has been able to repurpose its 336m2 former factory floor as warehousing and a new showroom. The former shop-floor workforce has been reallocated to its seven installation teams.
Liam concluded: “It’s been an opportunity for people to get off the factory floor and work with new people to learn new skills. We want to be in a position where our competitors are playing catch-up with us and where we are setting the standards for service, not the other way around. That’s what our decision to stop fabrication has been about. To focus on what we do, which is retail, and bring a better service to our customers.”