A clear vision of how to run a company

While manufacturing quality products is, first and foremost, what Glazerite UK Group Ltd is all about, the Wellingborough-based windows and doors company is clear in how it wants its business to be run for everyone’s benefit.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. the company was founded in 2000 by John Hewitt and Jason Thompson. The initial stated aim of reaching a manufacturing rate of 40 frames a week has been well and truly surpassed, but what is even more impressive is the way the firm, which has its head office on the Finedon Road Industrial Estate, has grown and developed.

Glazerite UK Group Ltd was born as a result of the need to do things differently. The stigma and tarnished reputation of double glazing as a result of years of high-pressure selling gave the perfect opportunity to shape a business and customer base with a common goal to become best in class. From fair pricing (with no heavy discounts) to great products, installed to a brilliant standard, these were all integral to the success that has now been achieved.

Across two sites in Wellingborough, another in Peterborough and one in Bolton, as well as a trade counter operation in Bristol, the Glazerite team of more than 230 people now has the capacity to manufacture around 3,000 frames per week for double glazed doors or windows for trade customers.

A surge in demand that accompanied the lifting of lockdown restrictions has seen the manufacturing plants, where social distancing is observed at all times, working flat out to fulfil not just orders that were put on hold, but also new ones that reflect the fact that life is beginning to return to normal.

The range available from Glazerite is a far cry from the days when you’d choose a white window or uPVC door, your glass and furniture. There are so many considerations for the homeowner now, from energy efficiency, security, aesthetics and even technology with the introduction of smart locks. Installers can choose from a wide range of profile systems, including VEKA and Halo products and Residence Collection, including Residence 9, a modern window system designed to replicate 19th Century timber windows – so authentic in its detail its often approved for replacement of timber windows in conservation areas.

Windows include casements, FlushSash, vertical sliding windows and tilt and turn all manufactured with multipoint locks and an easy upgrade to Secured by Design where required for added reassurance. Meanwhile, the door range is comprehensive with composite door options to give homeowners a unique focal point for their homes and fitted with the Ultion Diamond Secure cylinder as standard for ultimate peace of mind. With patio doors, French Doors and bifolds also available - offering homeowners the flexibility of opening their homes into their gardens. Colour is also a factor. With 29 colours available, the Glazerite range offers something to suit every property type and taste.

Jason Thompson said: “We offer one of the widest product portfolios in the industry to trade, it’s important to us that they never have to lose out on a job through lack of specification.

“The industry has come a long way, in the last decade in particular, and thanks to an explosion in technological advancement in how we manufacture products, the homeowner really can have anything they want for their home. FlushSash windows are a high growth product and this is where we have placed some of our investment this year in the machinery to manufacture them with authentic butt joints to replicate original timber frames. We offer three types of FlushSash so there is an option for every budget.

“There is a real demand for patio doors as they’ve made a massive comeback in the last year due to the great sightlines that can be achieved, and orders for bifolds are on the up since the lockdown period. One thing we have noticed is that with the breadth of products and many options available in colour, glazing and hardware showrooms are more important than ever. They really are a key part in showing the homeowner the options available and in particular with some of the doors the ease of operation.”

A restructuring within Glazerite has seen Jason move to the role of CEO, and the company welcoming Robert Brearley as its new Group Managing Director. John Hewitt remains Chairman of the firm, but has decided to take something of a back seat due to other commitments.

John founded the charity We Mind & Kelly Matters after the death of his 24-year-old daughter, Kelly, who took her own life in 2018. The charity aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and support other charities, such as MIND, as they support those who struggle with depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies.

A John O’Groats to Land’s End cycle challenge, nicknamed Kelly’s Heroes, took place in August, spearheading the charity’s fundraising efforts, and John is keen to devote as much time as possible to keeping that fantastic start going.

Meanwhile, Jason, Robert and the board will oversee the ongoing development of Glazerite, where investment of around £1m has been ploughed into improved processes and equipment to meet the need for modern, efficient and attractive products.

Glazerite’s doors, for instance, are Kubu equipped, which enables the use of Smart Locks. With a simple upgrade to a home hub, homeowners can check the status of their door locks and keep tabs on anyone going in and out, for peace of mind when you’re away from home. Whilst the Ultion Smart lock available tracks the operations of the door but will also let the homeowner open or lock their door from their device.

Jason added: “It’s technological features like that which keep us at the forefront, to be able to offer installers that facility as an add-on to an excellent range of products is very important to us.

“Installers are our link with the market and we like to think we do our very best to make sure they are making the most of their business opportunities, which, of course, benefits everyone.”

This includes offering a free marketing support, particularly aimed at small businesses where additional spend on websites and advertising may be prohibitive. Glazerite offers installers a website design service and assistance with social media, so that they can promote themselves and their products.

Group Marketing Manager Michelle Wright explained: “Our installers have a hard job in standing out from the big budget nationals. Most of the smaller installers rarely have marketing budgets, so we try to support them in any way we can to put them on a level playing field. We build them branded website and support them with their social media posts to make sure they are visible in their local market.

“Word of mouth plays a big part in the promotion of our installers, they do a great job and that speaks volumes. When recommended the first thing that person will do is look them up online. We do still find though that traditional marketing such as brochures is more important than ever with homeowners, so we produce a full set of retail brochures without any Glazerite branding, so that installers can use them as their own with a professional first impression to pass on to their customers.

“In response to COVID-19 we adapted our marketing to show a complete change in tone and style and supported our installers to get back to work in alignment with the new guidance by producing a document and online toolkit with all the templates and resources they’d need to support them. Lockdown also seen the need for digital brochures for our installers to use with their customers, which we’ve now rolled out.”

Jason added: “From the start, our vision was to build a company that excelled in service and product quality and that is still intrinsic to the values of the business today. With a great workforce and strong management team the business has gone from strength to strength, putting us in a great position to take the business to the next level.”

Contact Glazerite on 01933 443222, email sales@glazerite.net or visit the website www.glazeritewindows.co.uk.