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INDUSTRYNEWS


MASCO WINDOW GROUP COLUMN


Firstly a very happy New Year and welcome to the first of what is to be a regular MASCO Window group column. I have a feeling many of you like me will not be too sad to see the back of 2011, which for a variety of reasons was a difficult year for many within our sector.


So the important thing to do is not dwell on it, we will all already


have had an opportunity I am sure, to read many better reviews of the high and lows than I can give. Instead let’s look forward particularly if like me you are an optimist, because I think this could be an exciting and defining year for our industry.


In the future I look forward to introducing many of our experienced and dedicated staff to you in this column sharing a wealth of information and knowledge on a variety of issues. As an extruder, fabricator and glass manufacturer we supply into all sectors of the industry whether its new build or retail companies, trade or installers through trade counters. We can share our views on the possible opportunities presented by the green deal as the consultation is completed and in a small way strive to explain some contentious issues that often exorcise our sector, from price erosion to the inevitable raw material increases and burden of changing legislation.


The MASCO UK window group comprises Griffin Windows, Premier Trade Frames, Cambrian Windows, Duraflex and Techniglass. Before acquisition the individual companies had all shared fairly similar histories, primarily owing their success to the drive and determination of successful entrepreneurs. MASCO as a worldwide company has followed that pattern, which was established by its founder and seen the company maintain a Fortune 500 position.


That spirit lives on in the UK window group under the leadership of the group CEO Wayne Devine, who had previously owned Griffin.


We run the business to make money, we have too, previous success doing so was why the companies were bought. But to have any chance of this we have to market products that appeal to consumers, they have to be attractive secure and offer good value. We have a very active new product development division as well as a dedicated marketing department in house, working together to discover what customers want whether it is range completers or something innovative and unique.


In fact it is the cornerstone of our value proposition to make sure that


working with our partners such as Pilkington and Yale for example, we offer kerb appeal security energy efficiency and above all value for money.


Company failures, phoenix start up’s and debt leaden companies often feature in the press, and there is a reluctance to discuss making profits by many worried that it will be viewed as advertising your products are too expensive, how daft, I can see little value buying from an organisation that can’t afford to invest. Shareholders, people like me and you either independently or through pension funds rely on company profit for our future. Managing our business well enables us to do many things with MASCO help, such as invest in people, marketing plant and equipment.


That investment in turn is to the benefit of all our customers, who, maybe, could buy the odd product cheaper but who in the long run


54 « Clearview NMS « January 2012 « www.clearview-uk.com


discover that knowing the value of something is far more rewarding than just knowing the cost of it.


Generating leads and speculating about whether the much vaunted


‘green deal’ will be the saviour of the industry is what I want to finish on albeit in this piece briefly, as the subject could take up many more column inches when you consider the consultation document was nearly three hundred pages and the impact assessment and code of practise was a further 500 between them!


Having spent many days and hours during last year reading about it,


attending paid for seminars and free ones courtesy of the GGF and getting exposure to DECC through the involvement of the BPF I could give a simple answer, but that would be very much only my opinion!


The actual answer will be far more complicated in the long run, and the success of the green deal will be very much reliant on lots of factors, some of which we will address in future articles as it develops. It is the government’s intention that market forces will decide the success of the initiative despite the fact that they have signed up to non-negotiable carbon reduction plans. That feels to me like at some time in the future punitive measures will be introduced to persuade those consumers who didn’t take a hint!


As it stands, on their own, replacement windows aren’t likely to be enough under the all-important ‘golden rule’ to qualify for green deal full funding, and I can’t help wondering that when you are charged 5% VAT to buy energy and 20% to save it, we might be missing something that would work much better as an incentive particularly in the hands of an innovative industry such as ours!


Whatever the opportunity is at the end of the consultation, MASCO Group Company customers can be assured that we will be able to put them in a place to take advantage. An example of our willingness to invest to do this can be experienced however right now.


January sees the launch of a consumer website for our Safechoice brand go live, guaranteed a top three, first page Google unsponsored ranking across the country, the site is designed to attract consumers to the values of Safechoice. Since the launch of the product and support material at Eco Build our customers have been busily changing showrooms and using the marketing package in readiness for the support and interest the site will bring. If you are a specialist retailer too maybe you could benefit as well!


Now the introductions are over next month’s column can focus on a more detailed explanation of the issues we hope will interest you, thank you for bearing with it!


To read more news, log onto www.clearview-uk.com and join in our Forum discussions.


‘I think this could be an exciting and defining year for our industry.’


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