Mastering Consistency

Things are looking increasingly tough out there, yet it is not all doom and gloom writes Wayne Heath, sales director at AluK, who believes there are opportunities for the fabricator with the right story.

Consumers are tightening their belts as prices continue to rise along with interest rates, plus a crumbling pound and inflation still not at its peak.

So, this could be a tough year ahead for the whole of the windows and doors market. The cost-of-living crisis means lots of consumers are already cutting back on their discretionary spending.


Aluminium is protected

It’s true that the aluminium market is likely to be better protected than PVC-U, given that buyers generally tend to be more affluent and aspirational, however, I think we will see things get even more competitive – and not necessarily just on price.

You need the right product offering and a proposition that represents consistent quality and value. Today’s tech savvy consumers research virtually everything online before they make any kind of purchase. They want certainty that they are spending their money wisely – whether the driver for their  investment is better energy efficiency, more natural light, improved security or aesthetics.


Digital marketing

Having an effective website and digital marketing campaign, which increases understanding of your business and builds trust in your brand and the quality of your products and service, is absolutely key to generating enquiries.

When it comes to winning that business though, there has been a shift from old pricing models based around discounting of inflated list prices, towards non-negotiable pricing with discounts based almost exclusively around order size and economies of scale.


Retail heroes

Love them or hate them, we could probably all learn a lot from the likes of McDonalds and IKEA which have absolutely mastered the art of consistency – with the added attraction of transparent pricing and reliable customer service. When you go into one of their outlets, you know exactly what you will be getting and how much you will be spending.

In the second-hand car market too, big names such as Cinch and Cazoo have pioneered a transparent pricing model, so we have all very quickly come to expect that whatever we are buying.


Consistency gives a competitive edge

For years, I think there’s been far too much smoke and mirrors around pricing in our industry – from the systems company all the way to the installer and the homeowner and that just won’t be sustainable in the current market. Buyers at every point in the supply chain simply want suppliers to offer their best price based on consistent quality and optimum service efficiency. There is certainly a competitive advantage available right now to companies that are quick to recognise that.


Picture: Wayne Heath, sales director at AluK.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
04th January 2023


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