December 23, 2020
In what’s been a tumultuous year for everyone, it’s no surprise that many are uncertain about what 2021 will have in store for business. What does the new year look like for the fenestration industry?
For Dekko Window Systems, a leading supplier of high-end uPVC, aluminium and timber alternative windows and doors, it looks promising. Here, the company’s Sales Director Kurt Greatrex explains why he believes the industry will continue to thrive…
If you’d have told me when we were plunged into that first national lockdown that Dekko would have one of the most successful years in its 13-year history, I’d never have believed you – but I’m delighted to report that’s exactly what’s happened.
We’re not alone in experiencing record sales results of course – the window industry has enjoyed one of its most buoyant periods in recent history – but nevertheless, we have successfully ridden the wave and we’re going into 2021 in a much stronger position than we could have ever predicted back in March.
But while the industry has experienced a very welcome surge in demand, the supply chain has struggled to cope. There’s been shortages of profile, glass and hardware, and this has had a knock-on effect right across the industry.
Dekko has not been immune to these problems of course, but I think it’s fair to say we have weathered the storm better than most. Despite the challenges, our lead times have remained stable albeit slightly extended, and on the whole, we’ve delivered a ‘business as usual’ service throughout 2020.
This is partly down to shrewd planning and operating on our part – we worked incredibly hard behind the scenes to cope with the ever-increasing demand – but also thanks to the superb performance of our suppliers, who’ve continued to deliver despite obvious pressures. Special mention must go to Deceuninck, who have continued to perform to their usual high standards despite the global resin shortage, and our aluminium partners Reynaers.
So, what are our predictions for 2021? Well, if the last 12 months are anything to go by, you should expect the unexpected. However, as I write now, a few things jump out at me.
It’s easy to forget for us in the glazing industry, but we are actually in the midst of a recession, which economists are predicting is likely to continue until the Spring. We are currently experiencing a K-shaped recovery, which is when some sectors experience strong growth and others fall flat – and fortunately for us, the glazing industry sits within the former. I predict that consumers will continue to spend on home improvements and that the glazing industry will do well.
A big factor here is the rise of home working. People have now realised that they don’t need to spend four hours per day in the car or on public transport and that they can be just as productive at home. Demand for home offices and garden rooms is only going to rise, along with general home improvements.
As I write, the Covid-19 vaccine has just started to be rolled out. This is great news for society, but perhaps not so much for the window industry – when travel and hospitality are back on the agenda, you can expect windows and door purchase to take a bit of a back seat.
Despite this, I still predict the higher end of the market will be largely unaffected – discerning consumers will continue to spend on home improvements even if they have an extended holiday in an exotic location.
Aluminium is becoming ever more popular in the domestic market, and this trend is set to continue, with wide span patio doors proving particularly popular. Our belief in the aluminium market is the reason we recently opened a new 25,000 square foot factory dedicated entirely to the production of Räum, our aluminium range. Our original 55,000 square foot factory is now dedicated entirely to Infinity, our uPVC range, and the Residence Collection, providing ample room to grow.
Smart tech is really starting to take off now, and I believe 2021 is going to be the year it really starts to gain traction. We’re offering Kubu locks as standard on all our entrance doors, and will soon be offering this on windows, enhancing the overall package.
So what does 2021 look like for Dekko?
We have a very exciting product launch up our sleeve which will be a ‘first’ for the window industry. I can’t reveal too much at this stage, but I can say it will take our Infinity range to a whole new level and give our customers an advantage over the competition.
We’ll also be rolling out a clever new software product in the early part of the year. This will help our customers sell, order and manage leads much more effectively and ultimately improve our customer service even further.
Apart from that, we are gearing up for growth right the way across the business and will be investing in machinery and people to meet the ever-increasing demands.
Finally, I’d like to sign off by thanking all our valued customers for their continued support through this strange and challenging year. 2021 looks set to be a very positive year for the industry, and we look forward to working with you all again.
From our state-of-the-art factory in Lancashire, our products are transported to installers across the UK. We strive to meet all delivery deadlines to ensure our customers are never delayed. We have three trade counters, in Lancashire, North Wales, and Wiltshire. They stock an extensive range of PVCu and ancillary products to give installers easy and convenient access to all the necessary hardware.Contact Us