VEKA plc, already the number one PVC-u system choice for UK public sector specifiers, has recently achieved another major coup: The company has announced that it has been chosen as the sole window systems supplier to the Places for People Group, the largest private social housing provider in the UK, as part of a three-year contract. VEKA windows will be supplied for major regeneration and new build projects via three of its fabricators, also appointed by the Group as supply partners: Norfolk based Ashford Windows Ltd, Sash Products of Barnsley and Sovereign Group, based in Lancashire.
The Places for People Group provides a range of regeneration solutions across the UK and is also the country's third largest builder of new social housing developments. With its own commercial arm, housing management expertise and a strong track record of community consultation, it offers a one-stop-shop approach for local authorities as well as public and private partners. The focus of the Group is to improve existing neighbourhoods and create new ones, providing well-designed, mixed tenure areas which offer a range of homes for rent and sale, as well as high quality childcare facilities, job and learning opportunities and access to financial services. The Group employs around 1600 people, has Support Centres in London, Preston and York together with 25 local offices around the country and is currently responsible for around 52,000 homes in England, Scotland and Wales.
The Group operates on the basis of national supply agreements and partnerships and has already established deals with a number of national main contractors. However, recently the Group turned its attention to window procurement, believing that it could get a better deal for its residents and achieve 'smarter specification' through working with a single PVC-u systems supply partner. With this in mind, it sought out a number of major UK systems manufacturers - including VEKA - and selected a number of their fabricators who could work on a national basis, inviting all the companies to submit initial proposals and enter an interview process.
Following a tough initial selection process, VEKA was one of the two companies short-listed for the final stage. Having interviewed VEKA and approved the technical benefits of its products, the Places for People Group then set up a residents' committee to interview both the systems suppliers and their fabricators to ascertain which would deliver the best service. According to the Group's David Wint, VEKA and its fabricator partners proved the clear choice:
"VEKA's products impressed everyone here, but at the end of the day it's the fabricators' performance that can make the difference between success and failure. The three VEKA fabricators made a real impact on our panel with their professionalism and ability, and we knew we had our winning team."
The partnership charter between VEKA, its fabricator partners and the Group was signed recently; with a two year extension on the three-year deal a strong possibility. VEKA has also helped sponsor a promotional video for customers of the Places for People Group that features Blue Peter presenter Diane-Louise Jordan.