Wellingborough-based trade fabricator Emplas has signaled ambitions for significant growth through product innovation and new retail support.
Speaking in front of an audience of more than 100 installers and press at the Emplas Customer Conference, managing director Kevin Johnson and development director Mike Crewdson, outlined the trade fabricator’s plans to expand its offer to installers.
This included product innovation and new colour offer from Emplas’ major supplier Profile 22, giving the fabricator rapid 15-day turnaround on non-standard foiled products.
The specialist trade manufacturer also announced the addition of a new GRP composite door range from Distinction, while product developments were also outlined from Yale and Ultraframe.
Johnson explained: “There are obviously challenges and the market does remain difficult but we wanted to get the message out there that we are still very much around, that we’re planning for the future and that we will do our very best to support our customers in winning business.
“The product range that we have is now absolutely complete. I don’t think we have ever had such a comprehensive range and our retail support is second to none. We could all sometimes do with reminding that business is there to be won and that is what today is about.”
This was a theme developed by many of the guest speakers. Rob McGlennon, sales director at Profile 22 parent Epwin Group Extruded Products Division, highlighting that despite contraction, market figures showed that more than 145,000 PVC-U building products were sold each week.
In a similar vein Chris Champion, Distinction highlighted rapid growth in the GRP composite door market as it became a mainstream retail proposition.
This included the preview of the Emplas door configurator, which enables installers to upload an image of a property and ‘overlay’ different door styles to preview door options to homeowners.
Customer engagement formed the other major strand of the presentations. This was something apparent in abundance in the final and closing presentation from Crewdson.
He began by highlighting areas of product innovation and development. Emplas’ decision to reinstate the FC60 60mm system in response to installer demand, alongside the rapid turnaround on bespoke foils already highlighted and a decision to carry Profile 22’s light weight fully recycled ‘swarf-free’ RCM reinforcement.
Crewdson also reiterated the company’s plans for consultation on changes to its conservatory specification, something developed earlier in the day as Emplas unveiled plans to ‘engineer-in’ greater margin to its conservatory offer through changes to its specification.
He also flagged Emplas’ accompanying conservatory retail campaign ‘Light and Space’, and other areas of product innovation, including new ‘traditionally’ tiled garden room roof options, new veranda and lower cost orangery cornice system.
Much of this development, he pointed out, was drawn on Emplas’ own experience through its dedicated retail proposition T&K. Operating solely within Northamptonshire, Crewdson explained that the business gave the trade fabricator unique insight into the challenges faced by its installer customers.
He said: “Having our own retail operation gives us a real understanding of what our trade customers face on a day-to-day basis. The challenges are the same and the opportunities are the same, it’s a stand-alone business, it isn’t propped up by our trade business - it needs a 2:1 lead conversion rate.
“On that basis we have had to become good at what we do and we make that experience, from advertising and door-to-door through to direct mailers and retail literature available to you, Emplas installers. It’s tried and tested.”
He also highlighted the findings of an independently conducted performance benchmarking exercise, comparing Emplas’ own performance against the wider industry.
Results, amongst others, revealed that product quality was rated good or excellent by 98.7 per cent of respondents compared to an industry average of 78.6 per cent. Complete and on time deliveries similarly gave Emplas 97.2 per cent compared to a 71.4 per cent industry average.
Crewdson added: “We place huge emphasis on support and quality control. Customers ordering 25 or more windows a week get their own branded tape on the windows they order, there are no other brands, we give them their own retail literature, we give them their own dongle and online ordering software, which from next year will also include live order tracking, we’re committed to doing absolutely everything we can to support them.”
To find out about Profile 22’s advanced performance energy efficient window and door systems visit www.profile22.co.uk or call 01952 290910.