Driving Even More Value

An article written for Windows Active, January 2024 edition

For leading independent hardware supplier Carl F Groupco, the depth and breadth of its hardware supply is just one part of a comprehensive offer that adds value to its customers. Sales Director John King explains why Carl F Groupco’s product testing support perfectly sums up its customer-focused approach and the added value benefits the business offers. 

Carl F Groupco has always been built on the strength of our customer care and service that’s underpinned by a belief that we’re here to support our customers’ success, not just our own turnover. 

The way we live up to this commitment is why many industry-leading fabricators choose to source from us, despite having the buying power to go directly to the manufacturer. At the same time, our commitment to serving all fabricators to the same standard, whether they want a single pair of hinges or an entire pallet’s worth of hardware products, is why many of our customers have been with us for 20 years or more. 

A perfect example of the way we work with our customers is in our product testing support. It’s a service that’s coming to the fore right now as the industry switches to PAS 24:2022. It adds so much value because it’s a complete offer that starts with product selection and sampling, and covers manufacturing, testing and post-test advice.  

Our team provides hands-on supports throughout the entire process. We also enlist the support of hardware manufacturers’ technical experts as required.  

Our pre-test fit-up process not only covers the products supplied by Carl F Groupco but also additional elements such as screw selection and reinforcing requirements. We train operatives and generally offer support wherever it’s required too – our focus is on doing everything required to help ensure a successful test result. 

On the day of the test itself, we’re always by the side of the fabricator at the independent test centre so we can answer any last-minute queries.  And once the test result has been received, we’ll review them with the fabricator and offer advice on next steps if necessary. 

Our service adds so much value because of the expertise and experience of our staff. Nearly two-thirds of our team have been with us for more than ten years and everyone receives regular training both internally and with our hardware supply partners to continually increase their knowledge to stay ahead of the curve. 

We’ve recently worked through our testing process with Affordable Window Systems. The UK’s leading supplier of aluminium and PVC-U windows and doors enlisted our support to gain PAS 24 accreditation on its new flush casement window using the Yale Flush Sash Shootbolt system

Gary Adshead, Health, Safety and Quality Assurance at Affordable Window Systems, said: “The support provided by Carl F Groupco throughout the PAS 24 testing significantly streamlined the process for us. Their team collaborated closely with us and our various partners, facilitating the coordination with hardware manufacturers, profile and fixing suppliers to ensure the best test outcome. We often run indicative testing with Carl F Groupco to address potential issues and ensure a successful first-time pass, as shown in our latest flush casement project."

Gary further added, "Our partnership with Carl F Groupco dates back to 1992. One of the reasons we continue to work with them is due to their collaborative approach and consistent delivery, especially during critical moments. Their team actively engages with us and understands the needs and complexities of our business.”

It isn’t just our testing support where our service levels shine.  

We stock 57 hardware brands, including all the major hardware brands, and we pride ourselves on our strong relationships with them because we know how much it helps our customers set themselves apart. It encompasses the support they give us when helping our staff extend their knowledge and our customers gain the product accreditations they need. It goes further too, into bespoke hardware solutions and preferred statuses. 

For example, our recently launched enhanced variation of the Iron Guard 3* Cylinder by Federal offers additional functionality and delivers even more value. The advanced features include a patented firing pin mechanism, a cam that will lock itself down to prevent unauthorised access and a unique trap pin that fires into the plug chamber to lock the plug and prevent access in the event of attempted picking or bumping. 

Then there’s our recently announced Preferred Partner status for the Cotswold Friction Stay range from Cotswold Architectural Products, the world leader in friction stays. It’s a significant milestone in our 15 year history with Cotswold and is testament to the mutual trust and collaboration in embracing innovative hardware solutions. 

In an industry where the significance of added value benefits cannot be overstated, our service and support stand out as the driving force behind our consistently high customer retention rates.  If you’d like to talk to us about how our value-added benefits could help your business in 2024, get in touch today. 


An article written for Windows Active, January 2024 edition

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