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ISSUE NO.14 Winter 2004

you have a date with EVie… Conservatory roof fabricators considering switching to Synseal are invited to tour our 2

421,000 ft Synseal site in Sutton-in-Ashfield. Although everyone seems to go away impressed by what they've seen, many want their installer customers to be involved in the process and co-own the decision to change. The EVie is a specially designed vehicle that will be used to present Synseal's Global conservatory roof system in the field, wherever you are. To prepare for an EVie date we send out a book so prospects get the most from the visit. The first half of the matt brochure runs through what EVie needs and what to expect. Considerations, like for example, her requirement for a big space -11.5m x 5.5m - and a power supply is an advantage. The second half of the book shows internal shots of EVie in action. The pictures of the showroom area displays two roofs - one fully assembled and the other partially assembled to allow customers to get a feel for the ease of installation. It also features demonstrations on specific areas of the roof, like the box gutter, jack rafter sections and a choice of gutter

the SYNSEAL times the times

systems. You can also see the interactive touch screen with trade and c o n s u m e r presentations. And the adjoining presentation and meeting room that includes a drop screen overhead projector presentation, sound system and climate control, as well as meeting table and catering facilities.

new window suite revealed Despite slower markets in the final few months of 2004 it's been a good year for Synseal fabricators in windows and conservatories. The strength of the Shield system and service has enabled customers to grow when others are struggling. The conservatory growth that we have handled is unprecedented. As recently reported in the Financial Times, we moved into second place during the year and with current growth rates are poised to take leadership. One or two exciting developments in conservatories should help customers achieve this, but until 2005 they are under wraps.

And, on the middle pages of the book, just for fun you'll find an executive stress buster, a card press out of EVie. So you can build your own EVie… for your desk!

in our customers'

words

Learn more about SynerJy on pages 4 and 5

Regardless of how right or wrong the Chancellor’s bullish predictions for the economy in 2005 may be, our launch of the fully sculptured, single leg bead SynerJy suite will firmly tip the

Many of you may well have seen some of the window company profiles that make up our most recent advertising campaign in the trade press.

balance in favour of Synseal users. From launch it is, without exaggeration, the first complete window and conservatory system in the UK, and it will give fabricators a clear advantage

This popular series of ads feature case studies of some well known industry names who have switched to Global and Shield and noticed an immediate and significant pick up in sales. What you may not know is that there are a dozen of these case studies in which our customers demonstrate with facts and figures in their own words, just how much of a boost their businesses have had since switching to Synseal.

in the market however tough things get. It does things fabricators of other systems can only dream about, including seamlessly

integrating

windows,

doors,

patios

and

conservatories. Because conservatories are so important, I believe window systems that do not make adequate provision for conservatories are incomplete. Even if a couple of dedicated sections are provided to zip them together, the visual impact of sightline and colour synergy with a complete SynerJy system

While anyone can say how good they think they are, hearing it from the people who matter, our customers, is really something special. That's why we've pulled together the complete series of case studies and published them in a brochure so that everyone can see the tangible benefits they too could be enjoying with Synseal. For your free copy, please call Phil Else on 01623 443 200.

SynerJy, our 4th generation system, is a step ahead as you'll see from the detailed write up in this newsletter. It will make it easier for our customers to fabricate, install and sell than any other profile system. 2005 could be your best year yet!

FM 31451

SYNSEAL EXTRUSIONS LIMITED, COMMON ROAD, HUTHWAITE, NOTTS. NG17 6AD

TEL:

01623 443 200

email:

sales@synseal.com

FAX:

01623 550 243

www.synseal.com

BS7950/7413 KM 41324

If you would like extra copies of The Synseal Times for your sales teams, showrooms etc. Call Phil Else on 01623 443 200

Nick Dutton. Sales & Marketing Director

rs to ct ries w s s

cannot be matched.

e u m d o t s pro e u c n


In many product sectors, from computers to cars, the rate of product development appears to be accelerating. But few 'new' products are truly new. Look under the skin and a number of 'new' products turn out to be mutton dressed as lamb, existing products refreshed with one or two new features.

simplicit y and elegance in design with: It's an expensive business designing a new window system from scratch, so it's tempting to tweak a bit here and add a few features there to extend the life of an existing product. But over a period of time the addition of new features to keep up with rival systems, and patching or fixing problems that

are positive steps at both ends of the shaped profile and bead - we call it easy-manufacture sculpture to give start and finish points for corner cleaning. It's a simple feature with big benefits in hand finishing, semi-automatic or fully automated cleaning, so no additional machinery is required.

emerge in fabrication and installation introduce compromise and complexity. A systems company may save by delaying, but the cost is passed on to fabricators and installers who have to adapt the way they work to get around the quirks and limitations of the product. It's better to design a next

The window and door suite is complete at launch, so fabricators will not have to wait for additional sections. There are three outer frames, three T transoms, two dedicated door sashes, a tilt and turn vent and even a second intermediate odd leg section to provide specific sections for specific functions. Other profiles and trims ensure complete and seamless compatibility with the conservatory roof and patio door.

generation system. We'd categorise Shield as a successful 3rd generation system. According to Windowbase* more fabricators use it than any other in the British Isles. Their growth - Synseal was the fastest growing systems company in 2003 as listed in The PVC-U Window Profile Industry in the UK** - took us rapidly into equal third place with 26,000 tonnes of PVC. So rather than tinker with Shield, our starting point for designing a new system was our customers' wish list, the benefits they wanted to fuel their future growth and profits.

a major advance The result is a 4th generation system that is a major advance on other Synseal profile systems, and I believe on other profile systems too. That is some claim, so where is the evidence? We haven't thrown the baby out with the bathwater: where appropriate we retained the best of the Shield system, and added many new developments. What is unique is that, because conservatories are an important part of most companies' sales mix, windows, doors, patios and conservatories, must fabricate and install seamlessly. They must look good, but more than that the look and the lines must carry through across the range for maximum consumer appeal.

with the benefit of SynerJy Committing to the wish list at the start of the design process produced a real synergy that is not possible if the conservatory, for example, is kept separate. Put simply, synergy is where the combined effect of many benefits working together exceeds the sum of their individual effects. Most people recognise synergy when they see winning teams punch above the weight of their individual team members. The formula 2 + 2 = 5 says it all. Adopting this fundamentally different approach led to greater balance in the overall design, and a number of delightful surprises. The solution to one feature pointed to seemingly obvious, simple and elegant solutions elsewhere. Synergy described the process and the design that emerged, so the system practically named itself. We simply changed the 'g' in SynerJy to a 'j' to highlight one of the key benefits: a single leg,

or J bead, that just knocks in thus simplifying installation. The system is 70mm front to back. And it's fully sculptured with an elegant but simple shape carried through to every section, including door profiles. The upstand is mirrored precisely in the design and height of the bead to give identical sightlines throughout the suite. And you don't find yourself looking through the window at the back of a bead or upstand. Designed to house 28mm glass units only, the sealed unit sits exactly central in the frame. There is one casement sash so the same tvent can be used for externally beaded windows. Equal V notching, even with reverse butt welded joints for internal glazing, achieves an elegant balance. The result is a visually balanced, stunning window. There is only one bead for the whole suite, whether internally beaded casement, tilt and turn, or doors. So life is simpler for fabrication and stockholding.

designed to save time and money The system is pre-gasketed to simplify, and save money, in fabrication. The same lo-line gasket is used on both bead and profile. And there is a full eurogroove throughout. So, fabricators can specify the hardware they choose - simplicity again. There

designed to make selling easy It's not easy designing something this simple. Complex is easy. You just add features higgledypiggledy, and leave the unresolved design problems to someone else. The cost and compromises emerge in fabrication, installation and selling, which are that much harder. They invariably affect the look of the window too. Those who have seen SynerJy say it is stunning.

a complete conservatory system More than that, because conservatories are so important to fabricators now I believe that window systems that do not take conservatories into account are not really viable. SynerJy is the first complete system, and one that has been shaped by a whole new design philosophy. The result is a true 4th generation system that seamlessly integrates windows, doors, patios and conservatories. It will seriously affect your sales.

T h e n e w s y s t e m c a n b e s e e n a t w w w. s y n e r j y p r o f i l e . c o . u k *The authoritative independent database of fabricators and installers **Published by Michael Rigby Associates in conjunction with Godfrey Arnold Associates

Synseal don't just go to Glassex year in year out. We only go if we've got something to say. Last year we took Global, the conservatory roof for all systems, and launched Global Blue, our blue white roof colour matched for the main blue white profiles in the market. We had to call in reinforcements the stand was so busy and ended up with fourteen people manning the stand.

So how are we going to top that? We are launching SynerJy, the new window and door suite, as an addition to the Synseal family of products. And we're taking Global too. The Global exhibit will be shown in EVie, our state of the art exhibition vehicle. EVie takes up 550 ft2 but it's so easy to set up. Just drive in, and in ten minutes everything is ready for action. The whole stand is over 3,000 ft2. And, you won't miss us as we've booked B070 - right by the entrance. So come and see for yourself the new SynerJy window and door suite or simply marvel at the wonders of EVie. See you there!


the

times new business for Eurotech

spot on new ‘tie bolt’ to replace most tie bars

new starter bar houses lead trim tray

Larkhall, 17 miles south of Glasgow, is home

to

Clyde

Windows

and

Conservatories Ltd. Clyde Windows has been

“In the last three years we've increased our

a Synseal Shield profile customer for four

factory space from 1,500 ft to 18,000 ft ,

The new Global starter bar saves

years, but was still using another conservatory

even

the

roof system until seven months ago. Dax

installation process but that's

Duckett, Managing Director, explains why

secondary to the finish in the

they made the change this year: “Our

most

lead

previous supplier was doing very little for us

flashing. When the glazing bar

and we felt abandoned up here. Synseal had

more

time

specialised

on

area,

has been fastened to the wall the lead flashing simply drops into the glazing bar. The sculptured

always been a good supplier and a fabulous company to deal with, so when we decided to

2

now producing about 240 frames and 20 roofs a week. Changing to the Shield roof system has been superb. The biggest difference is the number of roofs we can make in the factory. Because Synseal's computer programme is spot on, we can just cut, prep and box roofs before shipping out. Previously,

change, there was no reason to look

with our old supplier, we had to make most of

anywhere else. Having all the components

them in the factory to check that everything

from one supplier is excellent. Everything

lined up. Now, it's just the most complicated

seamlessly connecting house and

matches perfectly and our customers are

roofs that we make in house. Synseal have

how

conservatory. The new improved

happy with the new system.

got it right.”

unpopular tie bars can sometimes be with

product incorporates the soaker

the homeowner, particularly five way tie

tray and the lead dresses directly

bar systems.

into it, not over the top. Because

top cap knocks on, exactly the same way. The starter bar leaves a perfect lead flashing line Conservatory

companies

know

the

Synseal's solution is a new tie bolt - a security

glazing bars are never drilled the

bolt for conservatory roofs. When it's used in

water can safely drain directly

the calculated positions with the new

through the channel into the

stainless steel eaves beam cleat, the tie bolt

gutter.

enhances the structural performance of the conservatory. With expected availability in March, it will not only remove the need for five way tie bars, but potentially three way tie bars in 90% of cases - making our

new 35mm glazing option - with a difference

conservatory products more attractive and easier for installers to sell to homeowners. The 13mm M8 bolt incorporates a grub screw that simply screws up through the head of the bolt and bites into the glazing bar.

This simple development achieves a

phenomenal performance. At our testing facility in Huthwaite we hung almost 1.5 tonnes in a sheer 90 degree drop from one of the security bolts! Alternative systems failed at just over the 1 tonne mark. This simple evolution of just one tie bolt has cut the excessive cost of five way tie bar systems and it's much quicker to install. Appearance and performance are improved, making the conservatory more saleable to homeowners.

Synseal has just added a 35mm glazing option to our conservatory product range. But it's a 35mm glazing option with a difference, and one that we believe outstrips others available on the market. Rather than taking the short cut used by some who simply use the same glazing bars and just reduce the depth of the top cap, Synseal has increased the height of the glazing bar to accommodate the extra 10mm of glazing whilst using the same top cap as the 25mm option. Benefits include the elimination of the usual 'squat' top cap on top of the polycarbonate. This was an important consideration in the design, because as with all our new product developments, we researched what the market wanted, and the squat top cap was flagged as the main reason people were shying away from greater polycarbonate depths.

“We started looking at Global at the beginning of the year. We were spurred on to make our decision with the ongoing changes and improvements to the system. The roof is very good technically. Synseal constantly revises the products and the range it offers and now, for example, being able to offer a traditional style gutter system as well as the swing fit keeps our customers happy.”

times

the drainage channels in global

1.5 tonnes

2

New Global fabricator Eurotech knew it had to change from its leading roof supplier to keep its competitive edge. Mark Lynch, Managing Director of Eurotech, explains how sales have improved since changing to Global: “We have customers all over the UK and fabricate 30 roofs a week. Sales have rocketed and we've gained far more new customers since we changed five months ago. Our customers have had their first and second roofs and they're confident in the system. Not only have we picked up new customers through our marketing, but the level of recommendations has gone up too.

The other obvious benefit to the increased bar height is that even greater spans can be achieved. By using 35mm polycarbonate with an increased glazing bar height, we are able to offer even greater spans than our current structural recommendations, just by upgrading the glazing specification! Of course as well as the additional performance in terms of strength and heat retention, customers choosing the 35mm option will also be well placed to stay ahead of potentially more stringent regulations on the thermal efficiency of conservatories.


Sole supply agreements have been creeping into the industry. Nick Dutton explores why they aren't always good news for fabricators or suppliers.

NICK’S IN THE CHAIR

EVie goes space age Synseal customer since 1 August 2004, Space Age Plastics Ltd Poole branch was among the first to enjoy an EVie visit. ..

Loyalty is earned, not bought.

Jason Yeo, Sales Manager of Space Age, tells us

decision for them. They don't necessarily want

why he was so impressed by EVie: “Nick

to change to a new system overnight, and

Dutton had shown us the proofs for this

that's fair enough. EVie helps us get round this

unique vehicle in one of our first meetings so I

because installers can see the whole roofs, not

knew the attention to detail that had gone

just the samples. They can see first hand

into its design. I was expecting to be

Synseal's commitment to the system. We

impressed, and I was. EVie is amazing. It's got

brought 16 existing and potential customers

everything - literally all the features and

to see EVie and over 90% are already ordering

benefits of the Global roof inside one vehicle -

Global. If I could have it outside Space Age

wherever you are in the country. When you

once a month I'd fill it with customers every

add new products for customers it's a big

time.”

strategic alliance In September The Conservatory Factory and Swift Frame formed

Bob Lilley of the Conservatory Factory

a strategic alliance to increase the business and further improve

adds: “Since moving to Global we have

the service of both companies. The Conservatory Factory supplies

doubled the number of roofs we make

Synseal's Global roof system directly to Swift's window customers.

to in excess of 50 a week. The biggest

Richard Iles, Sales Director of Swift Frame, an independent systems

advantage of dealing with Synseal is

and fabrication company, explains the benefits of the relationship with the Conservatory Factory: “We wanted to tie up with a roof fabricator so our customers could offer a complete package. With The Conservatory Factory our customers get all the technical expertise they need. Installers like the Global range because it's fitter friendly. If

that they really listen. We did our homework before joining the Synseal Global network and they haven't let us

Bob Lilley of The Conservatory Factory

down. We are a service orientated

necessary, The Conservatory Factory can take ultimate responsibility

company and, like Synseal, we're good at what we do. We recently

for the project. They tell us the design of the roof and the spacings

joined forces with Swift Frames - they recommend us for conservatory

and we make the doors and windows to suit the roof. For complicated

roofs and we recommend them for windows. We deal directly with

conservatories, The Conservatory Factory will even come to site to

their customers and, although it's early days, the strategic alliance has

survey. It was important to us to find a company who can offer the

brought in new business for both companies. We expect sales to go

same high level of service as our customers are used to.”

through the roof next year - no pun intended!”

The call from BigCompany Roof Systems' sales director came out of the blue. “We'd like you to come up to review your trading relationship. We've discovered you're selling OtherBrand conservatory roofs and we cannot allow it.” Peter Willoughby's eyebrows shot up. His cheeks reddened. Not many people spoke to the MD of FastGrow Trade Frames like that. “It's not a secret. We've promoted both brands in our advertising for months, leaving the choice up to customers. If you want to see me you can come here.” The meeting did not go BigCompany's way. “My customers are choosing OtherBrand's roofs instead of BigCompany's. We believe in giving customers a choice, and our total sales have risen considerably since we added OtherBrand. I'd be stupid to drop them. If you force me to choose, you'll be losing a lot of roofs.” It was an unhappy end to the relationship. Most of us want our customers to give us all their business. We'd be daft not to. We all want long-term one-to-one relationships where we are the supplier of choice, the only one in the frame. It's not just ego. Research shows conclusively that as in our personal lives - long-term sole-supply partnerships do best. Each partner has the opportunity to learn about each other, work towards keeping each other happy and build up trust between them. But there is a world of difference between willing relationships and enforced relationships. Research also proves conclusively that relationships break down more frequently when one partner handcuffs the other to prevent them straying. If things aren't right, if one party neglects, cheats, bullies or forces itself on the other, if the relationship is lop-sided when it comes to rewards it can't last.

glass age/2004

Fear of competition

Onerous restrictions There are examples of suppliers trying to impose onerous restrictions on their customers all around us. Most accept that winwin relationships, where both sides feel they are getting an equal deal are best. But equality looks different when one side holds most of the cards. The temptation to be a little too clever, or to take a short cut when you can, is very tempting.

An offer they couldn't refuse Take Unilever. To improve the distribution of its Birds Eye Wall's (BEW) ice creams, Unilever supplied 'free' freezer cabinets to its stockists. A seemingly generous offer, but it came at a price. The customer could only use the cabinet for Wall's ice creams. Mars, the competition, was not happy, and nor were shops who wanted to offer a choice. Unilever suggested rivals could supply their own freezer cabinets, which Mars was happy to do, but many small shops didn't have room for another cabinet. In 1993 the Competition Commission got involved and BEW agreed to change the wording in its terms of trade that prevented customers offering a choice. In the window and conservatory industry there has been an increase in restrictive sole-supply agreements. Some agreements are genuine efforts to provide stability to build proper partnerships. But most agreements to prevent competition are a sign of weakness, reactions to increasing levels of competition. Suppliers who are losing out fear the worst and try to tie in as many customers as they can.

What goes wrong when fear is the motive? Once customers sign up, suppliers may take them for granted. Once the relationship is governed by fine print, and defined by contractual obligations and restrictions rather than shared goals and mutual attraction, complacency begins to replace enthusiasm and emotional commitment.

Nick Dutton, Synseal’s Sales and Marketing Director

What if circumstances change? What if service slips and their promises are unfulfilled? What if product development is put on hold for the third year running, or their products are no longer competitive? What if they are overpriced and pad out their price rises? What if you pay on time but breach your credit limits because you are growing fast? Will they be flexible and understanding? Will they listen? What if they don't keep their side of the bargain and fall short of expectations? What if they start selling direct to your customers? You are locked in. You may become uncompetitive because they fail to keep up.

The Synseal way We believe in fairness and open dealing - it's better for everyone in the long run. Competition is healthy, it sharpens us up. Sole supplier agreements sound good in theory but can be unhealthy for both supplier and customer. However you dress it up you cannot buy loyalty, you have to earn it. You can only buy the appearance of loyalty. And what happened to FastGrow and BigCompany? One is continuing to grow; the other is struggling to keep its customers. No matter how big you are, you can't impose your own rules on a relationship if they go against a customer's best interests. To find out more call Nick Dutton

Most agreements to on 01623 443200 prevent competition are a sign of weakness.


Synseal Times Issue 14