Clearview South May 2014 - Issue 150 - Page 50

BI-FOLD&SLIDINGDOORS British Manufacturing Born, Bred and Bi-Fold! There is a great deal of concern in the UK that this country’s manufacturing sector has dwindled dramatically over recent years, but for one family business based in High Wycombe, this is certainly not the case. With an annual turnover of over £10m, substantial growth targets and exports to Dubai and the US, Origin is certainly a ‘Best of British’ story. Over the last 11 years, Origin, a manufacturing company of bespoke aluminium folding sliding doors, has grown from strength to strength. Neil Ginger, alongside his cousin Victoria Brocklesby, founded the company in 2002 after spotting an opportunity in the UK market for aluminium bifolding doors. Neil explained: “Before Origin I was working for my father and uncle helping to build indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Customers were constantly requesting high quality, bespoke bi-fold doors to complete the look, it was near impossible to find anything of high standard in the UK, let alone match the specifications, and some of the lead times for the doors were six, eight or even 16 weeks.” Origin was born out of sheer frustration and Neil could not resist the challenge when he spotted the gap in the market. The British company designs, develops and manufactures the Origin bi-fold door system. Neil and his team designed the Origin Bi-fold door system from scratch, ensuring even the smallest details were carefully 50 MAY 2014 considered and designed to ensure a precision engineered bifolding door system. Having previously been a customer, Neil knew what the doors needed to make them the best on the market – including high security locking and a state-ofthe-art roller system to ensure complete ease of use. Product developments remain at the forefront of the business, with the recent development of colourcoordinated weather seals adding to the doors’ aesthetics and overall performance. Neil said: “The major challenge was getting Origin up and running; unlike most other products it wasn’t possible to make a prototype because of the specialist processes and tools required. So we invested in the equipment not really knowing what was ahead. Everyone said it couldn’t be done, we wouldn’t be able to manufacture a bi-fold door solely in the UK and for me this was like a red flag to a bull – I don’t like being told that things can’t be done.” Exactly a year to the day Origin was manufacturing doors. Everything right down to the last bolt was sourced within the UK. All the mechanisms were engineered by Neil and his team – which made them the first and only company to manufacture completely bespoke, completely British, bi-fold doors. Your Lead Time, Not Ours – a bold move One of Neil’s career highlights was devising a system that has allowed Origin to remove its manufacturing lead times. “We are the first in the world to remove lead times from a bespoke manufactured product. This bold move will redefine the industry. In the past, customers have accepted a lead time of between six to eight weeks, we can have your doors delivered tomorrow if needed,” adds Neil. The concept ‘Your Lead Time, Not Ours’ is a revolution. Even the industry is still trying to get its head around it and customers can’t quite believe it. Neil remarks: “We have devised a system that enables our customers to choose when they want to receive the doors, irrespective of current demands on our manufacturing.” This system has helped Origin gain a sizeable increase in its market share. In the las t three years, Origin has seen growth averaging 40 per cent year on year and it is currently on target for 40 per cent growth in 2013. ‘Your Lead Time, Not Ours’ is based on a Reliable Rapid Response model. “This system means we never have to turn away business and always deliver to the customer’s lead time, in fact we have a 100 per cent delivery rate of which we’re very proud. Most of our competitors assume we hold high quantities of our stock, but this isn’t the case. Our system is very simple but difficult to copy; in essence you have to optimise your staff as well as your materials.” To read more, visit