Clearview South Feb 2013 - Issue 135 - Page 45

INDUSTRYNEWS Again, fabricators need to be looking at other factors for differentiation. And again, aspects such as security and durability will make that difference. In its Domestic Replacement Door and Window Market Report 2012 to 2016, AMA Research describes the market as ‘large but mature’. It says that volumes have been in steady underlying decline since 2008 and predicts only modest growth in value to come over the next couple of years. Of course, the economic climate has had its effect, but in a mature market, even in more robust economic times, growth can be hard to achieve. The report goes on to say that even when the economy recovers, there is very little scope for major volume growth. We also have to factor in spending cuts that will impact on social housing which may counter-balance any growth potential in the private sector. So, the market itself is not going to offer opportunity on a plate in 2013 and the challenge is to create opportunity – and yet again, we come back to differentiation. Fabricators need to look at how they can introduce innovative new components that will set their offer apart. This could be in terms of weather proofing, durability, components with industry-leading guarantees, enhanced security features and improved aesthetics – all aspects that create strong selling points that are attractive to the consumer. NEW HIGH SECURITY HANDLE New from Fab & Fix is a high security handle tested to PAS 24, amendment 11. The Berwick security handle is suitable for both new PAS 24 doors and as an easily retrofitted security upgrade to existing door hardware. ‘Something that has been welcomed as a potential shot in the arm for the industry is the Government’s Green Deal which launches in January.’ We have seen some areas of growth in the industry, such as bi-fold doors, vertical sliding windows and in the entrance door market, composite doors which continue to take market share. For the customer, bi-folds offer an obvious up-grade from standard sliding doors with the obvious advantage of being able to create large open spaces. While customers may be reluctant to invest in a like-for-like replacement, unless they have to, something that offers an attractive new feature for their home will have added appeal. Likewise, vertical sliding windows. Advances in hardware technology now mean that a vertical sliding window can achieve all of the same performance levels as a tilt-and-turn and casements in terms of both security and weather resistance. They offer all of the advantages of other styles of PVCu windows without compromising on the style that the customer wants. Yes, 2013 will pose many challenges but even so it is possible to create opportunity. Differentiation is the key. To stand out in the market, fabricators have to offer more than the competition. This can be in terms of better service levels, performance guarantees, hardware aesthetics and security and energy performance. Working in partnership with the reputable suppliers who can deliver innovative products of the right quality, it is possible to deliver those differences that will make the most of the opportunities that are out there. The Berwick’s solid extruded aluminium baseplate acts as a cylinder guard, preventing attack on the euro cylinder. The rigid cast steel M6 screw bosses and high-tensile steel screws prevent removal of the backplate, limiting the possibility of direct attack on the lock cylinder, while the chamfered base plate makes it harder to grip. Will Butler, managing director of Fab & Fix says: “The Berwick offers a cost-effective, high security solution that allows the fabricator to create a PAS 24 door simply by using a 1-star Kitemark anti-bump cylinder, rather than an expensive 3-star anti-snap cylinder. It is also ideal for retrofit situations as it offers a visual deterrent to intruders. “Ideal for the design-led home, the Berwick compromises on neither security nor style, contributing to an aesthetically pleasing entrance way.” For more information on the Berwick high security handle and other products from Fab & Fix, go to www.fabnfix.co.uk. www.grouphomesafe.com To read more, visit www.clearview-uk.com FEB 2013 45