Capitalising on the opportunities and navigating the perfect storm

With current and recent challenges having a huge impact on the industry, John Crittenden, Managing Director of Carl F Groupco, looks at the landscape and what fabricators and installers can do to minimise the impact on their businesses.

These are challenging times. Rising material costs and major product shortages have been a feature of the industry over the past couple of years. And they continue to remain a feature now, with external factors putting constant pressures on raw material supply and pushing up costs throughout the supply chain.

At the same time, the post-pandemic boom is behind us, with clear signs of a market slowdown as the rising cost of living causes buyers in certain segments of the market to delay investment in their property.

Against this backdrop, fabricators and installers will be looking at ways to minimise the impacts on their businesses. There are two things that need to be done.

To combat the turbulence, you need to ensure your supply partnerships are robust and reliable. In a world where turbulence is expected, you need to work with partners that offer supply chain stability and product availability.

To minimise the impact of the slowdown, you need to focus on the areas where there are still growth opportunities. In the current market, it’s products that offer superior specifications, aesthetics or sustainability among other features.

The good news is Carl F Groupco delivers on both factors.

As a true independent hardware supplier that’s been in business for over 70 years, we have reputable business stability that has seen us thrive and survive through various market and economic peaks and troughs over the decades. We have distribution centres in Peterborough and Cumbernauld, which enables us to hold a breadth of stocked products few can match. And we offer a nationwide delivery, including to the Scottish Highlands and offshore islands.

We have long-standing relationships with Europe’s most innovative hardware manufacturers and stock the UK’s largest ranges from names such as FUHR. It means we have the flexibility and competence to ensure our range always reflects current market trends in this dynamic industry. And the sharp upturn in our sales of hardware for niche and growth areas reflects where the market is focusing its attention at the moment.

For example, for aesthetically-driven projects, the new patented Release and Turn (RT) handle by J Banks & Co Ltd offers a unique slim, compact design perfect for securing windows without obstructing internal blinds and fittings. Designed and manufactured in the UK for the British market, the handle is suitable for use on aluminium, PVC-U and timber windows. It is available in a range of durable powder coated and plated finishes with diecast colour matched screw covers supplied for next level aesthetics.

For perennially popular sliding doors, innovative Inowa sliding door hardware offers enhanced functionality and high-security options and is designed to fit both aluminium and PVC-U sliding doors including the popular Aluplast Smart-Slide door system. Similarly, the Alversa Tilt and Slide hardware is also popular and works on all profile materials.

And with the sudden increase in demand for trickle vents as a result of the updates to Part F of Building Regulations in England, we have a range of Part F-compliant vents from RW Simon, Glazpart, Greenwood and Yale. We also stock the new Simon Acoustic ventilator range from RW Simon Ltd which are designed to assist fabricators and installers in creating aesthetic solutions for all acoustic requirements, while still meeting the latest updates to Part F [ventilation] and Part E [resistance to sound] of the Building Regulations in England for both new build and refurbishment projects.

The industry has weathered turbulent times before and it will do it again. But to put yourself in the best possible position to emerge stronger than ever before, you need to be proactive in protecting your business. When it comes to your hardware supplier, Carl F Groupco is the partner you need.

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