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In a changing market, is it better to buy in?

Recent decades have seen the rise of the ‘one stop shop’ fabricator who tries to do it all. But with continuing market disruption, is this approach still feasible? Not according to Dekko Window Systems Sales Director Kurt Greatrex…

Dekko Kurt Greatrex

Since the start of the 21st century, an increasing number of fabricators have pursued a more comprehensive manufacturing approach.

Initially rooted in a limited range of core products, these businesses have diversified over time into a wide array of specialised offerings.

For a time, this expansion strategy was quite justifiable – the home improvement boom spurred by the pandemic, for example, created a huge demand for products like bi-fold doors, sliding doors, roof lanterns, and glass balustrades.

To take advantage of this increased demand, the most logical course of action for fabricators was to allocate a dedicated section of their factories to begin manufacturing these niche products alongside their primary offerings of windows and doors.

But in the last two years, a combination of the effects of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, rising energy costs and a cost of living crisis has suddenly made this approach much more difficult.

Market consolidation

Research by Insight Data, the market’s leading specialist data supplier, shows that there’s been a steady decline in companies active in the market – in 2021, the number of fabricators and installers had dropped to below 14,000 firms for the first time on record, with over 700 companies being removed from the Insight database.

Some of these would have gone bust, while others simply retired and closed their doors, the impact of the pandemic being the final straw.

But many would have been the subject of a takeover or merger, particularly as companies utilised low-level acquisitions as a way of acquiring staff and resources.

The benefits of buying in

In the light of all this, it’s no surprise that we’re starting to see fabricators turn away from that ‘one stop shop’ approach.

When it’s hard work just getting your core offerings out the door, do you really want the added hassle and expense of making bi-folds, roof lanterns or sliding doors on the side?

Or is it a distraction you just don’t need at the moment?

When it comes to specialist products, I believe there’s a compelling argument for not making them yourself, but buying in from a dedicated manufacturer – like Dekko – instead.

We offer a very comprehensive range of high-end products, everything from Räum windows and doors created from sleek aluminium, to Kubu Smart Security Sensors, the very latest in app-based door security.

Residence Collection windows and doors, on the other hand, are premium products aimed at those with period properties and are regularly approved for installation in conservation areas as replacements for traditional timber.

Finally, if you’re looking to supply a top-quality front door that will withstand the worst of weathers while maintaining a fine appearance, look no further than our Infinity PVC range – and especially our new fully seamless window, manufactured using unique graf weld technology, and a world first product exclusively from Dekko.

All of this is backed up by our unique marketing support package, Make it Yours, which provides online support, bespoke marketing materials and showroom support, all designed to create a marketing package for our installers that directly targets their specific customer base.

Consistent level of quality

Working with a specialist like Dekko, you’re guaranteed a consistent level of quality that you’d never get from making a small number of specialist products yourself as a side-line.

Additionally, by buying in, you’re benefiting from being at the forefront of product innovation –  such as our Infinity seamless window which features cutting edge welds with no need for corner cleaning or colouring in knife welds – without the hassle of research and development, and expensive set up costs.

In an ever-evolving industry marked by shifts in demand and external challenges, the ‘one stop shop’ fabricator model may no longer be the most viable path to success.

Market consolidation has underscored the need for adaptability, with numerous companies either closing their doors or opting for mergers and acquisitions to weather the storm.

In this new reality, the benefits of buying specialist products from dedicated manufacturers are becoming increasingly evident.

With a comprehensive range of high-end offerings, we can ensure consistent quality, providing a compelling alternative to the challenges of trying to do it all.

As the industry navigates these uncertain waters, partnering with a specialist like Dekko may well prove to be the key to sustainable success and customer satisfaction.

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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. They stock an extensive range of PVCu and ancillary products to give installers easy and convenient access to all the necessary hardware.

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