Despite a sharp, and well documented, rise in demand for aluminium within the domestic market, many installers are still cautious about entering the world of aluminium.
Since launching its REAL Aluminium solution earlier this year, Customade has been steadily educating installers about the wealth of resources that are available to help them move into aluminium with confidence.
Claire Miller, Customade Group’s Marketing Manager, explains: “Many installers are hesitant about aluminium because, historically, it was difficult and complex to price and the lead times were painfully long. We wanted to help those installers to unlock the enormous potential of aluminium and benefit from the higher profit margins that it can bring. Our complete ‘REAL Aluminium’ solution delivers all the tools an installer needs to take their first steps from PVC-u into aluminium.”
In the last 18 months, Customade has increased aluminium output by 80% and is taking on new members to its REAL Aluminium Installer Network every single week.
One installer who is reaping the benefits of the new aluminium supply model is Ross-on-Wye installer Monmouthshire Conservatory Company. Exclusively, a PVC-u installer when it was established in 2003, Monmouthshire made tentative steps into aluminium four years ago. Although Monmouthshire had a good rapport with its aluminium supplier, the firm found that it was waiting several days for quotes and many weeks for deliveries. With unpredictable lead times, the firm couldn’t plan installations and sometimes ran over on projects.
Chris Atwell, Owner at Monmouthshire Conservatory Company, says: “Our first experience with aluminium was pretty frustrating, but sadly those lead times were typical back then. There was no better alternative, so there were restrictions on how much we could grow the aluminium side of our business.”
Monmouthshire began installing aluminium glazed roofing systems from Customade’s sister company Atlas Glazed Roof Solutions and heard about REAL Aluminium soon afterwards. Convinced that it could overcome their aluminium supply issues, the company switched to Customade for the sole supply of aluminium. Since the move to Customade, aluminium has grown rapidly for Monmouthshire and now accounts for around 50% of its business.
“We immediately invested in Customade’s pricing and quoting software and this gave us complete control over our quoting for the first time. We went from outsourced pricing taking several days to being able to produce quotes instantly in-house. This had an enormous impact on how quickly we could win business. Our product lead times were previously up to nine weeks, but they have been cut down to just 14 days on standard stock colours. This leap helped us to complete jobs far faster than ever before.”
Customade provides all REAL Aluminium installers with a comprehensive showroom and marketing support package. It includes the 36-page luxury REAL Aluminium brochure, which is the UK’s only retail brochure dedicated to the full range of aluminium fenestration products. Monmouthshire has every brochure personalised with their logo and company details. Every customer that makes an enquiry or visits Monmouthshire’s showroom at Pengethley Garden Centre in Peterstow, receives a complete suite of literature on REAL and Atlas products.
“Because we supply a complete portfolio of windows, doors and roofing products from one source, we have been able to cross sell to customers more easily,” says Chris.,em> “Having a professional set of literature that covers every element has definitely helped us to win business because we can stir the customer’s imagination and show them what they can achieve on their own home.”
Among Monmouthshire’s showroom displays are an Atlas conservatory and an Atlas Skyroom, which are equipped with a selection of REAL Aluminium windows, doors and bi-folding doors.
To find out more about REAL Aluminium, please call 01453 826884 or visit www.real-aluminium.co.uk.