The market is going through a period of extreme change and we believe there are many very important issues to think about. Many, if not most fabricators, installers, hardware, machinery, software and systems companies will have to change direction, and how they go about things. So we set out to spark an industry wide debate. As a first step, we invited a number of people from different sorts of companies from various parts of the market to hold an initial debate. As co-sponsor, The Glazine offered to make the actual debate available so everyone can see what others say and take part. So, via the power of the internet, as Barry Dunlop requested in his comment on the debate, we can get everyone to contribute.
Not everyone could be invited to this first stage debate, I wish they could. If you get too many people around a table you don’t have a debate, you end up with a lot of noise, or a lot of people listening to a panel of speakers and asking questions afterwards. And we do agree that the debate needs to be wide open to the industry. Rightly or wrongly, and it is too early to tell if we’ve chosen the right way, that’s what we intend and why I hope as many take part as possible. We need active agreement and disagreement on the issues, not the format, and we need action from the industry, not point scoring.
We didn’t have five of the top systems companies there as someone commented, but Rehau, Spectus and WHS Halo were represented, and we did have some fabricators. We were short of installers, but we hope many will contribute their views. We aren’t aiming to organise or tell installers or anyone else what to do, as someone suggested – the aim is to get people thinking and talking. We did have one of the broadest based industry groupings that I have seen discuss key issues.
Many who were not invited, because we were already oversubscribed, or were invited but couldn’t make the day, asked us to add them to the list for next time. Even some, who’ve written disapprovingly in Fenestration News, asked to be included.
We may not succeed in sparking an industry wide debate. I hope we do, for the sake of the industry.
Managing Director, Spectus Window Systems