Many home improvement companies have been slow supplementations 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 changing though, mainly due to quantum leaps in technology, composite door manufacturing 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 to say that when faced having a choice of a new family saloon or a new Rolls Royce for towards 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 hence there is no was delighted to answer the call for your house improvement company in Devon that has for quite a few years been retailing UPVC doors and windows. They were interested in selling composite doors given that the demand for them amongst local residents was growing quickly.
The principal basis for this was males that the large players in the homeimprovements 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 associated with switching the main focus of door retailing to a composite doors range and away from UPVC, which is what all of the competition were offering. Moving to the fast growing composite doors market seemed a good move but fee of this program of outfitting a showroom was prohibitive. So the first thing we did was to get onto Google, find out who the players were in composite door manufacturing and supply and then placed both of them to the test.
Obviously price and credit facilities were major factors, as was order to delivery turnaround, returns policy and product quality. There did actually be little distinction between the door manufacturers here as nearly every one of those approached had many years experience with the home improvements market and recognised the need for credit facilities, keen prices and fast turnaround. Not to call that with the introduction of British Standards into the composite manufacturing industry, the manufacturing processes were extremely close.
Where some companies fell down though was when we asked them everything they were going test and do to help us to sell many. The lack of advertising support, knowledge and training was truly shameful, indicative with the slow decline in Britain’s manufacturing base (Short term thinking ,worrying about immediate costs versus long term 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 exposure of 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 help us to stock a showroom with sample products, provide point of sales materials and help us to get the word out locally about the superiority of composite doors over UPVC doors. Our reasoning was that might cost several thousand pounds to outfit a new showroom and get initial customers, when we had been going to be ordering from the same suppliers for years, so why especially if they not share in the 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 you need to engage and my Devon-based door supplier has signed up with both of them:
Door-Stop International, tipped by many to become the market leader in the longer term had obviously done their homework and deliver cutting-edge technology such the own-brand website which retailers can use for in-home demonstrations also as a marketing tool. This website has a design feature that allows potential purchasers to simply select the style, colour and furnishings for their ideal door and the website shows the finished design and price instantly, even including an online ordering gym.
Nick’s Building Supply
11100 Broadway, Crown Point, IN 46307, USA