The kids went back to school. Summer came to a close. Silly season began in earnest. Every single September, without fail. It’s the firing gun in what is the sprint to the end of the year and the rush on all sides to cram everything in.
This is my brief look back at September in UK fenestration, my own review of DGB during the month, and a look ahead to what October may bring.
Silly season begins
You can time it to the very day kids go back to school. No exaggeration. It’s as though a mental switch is flicked back on with the general population to remind them that things at home need doing before Winter and Christmas.
That’s exactly what we had at our place. Sleepy August, then boom. All the pent up leads and sales came flooding back in. If you observed social media and listened to what fabricators were saying about production, this was the case for much of the sector. For us, our lead time went north very quickly. It wasn’t long after September where we were pretty much fully booked up to the end of the year and looking at fitting into January. It’s nice to have that nice big buffer of work, but we did have to manage the expectations of home owners and warn them that it won’t be a quick turnaround when it comes to fitting.
It’s no surprise though. Every year is exactly the same. Quiet August then very busy September as families get back to their normal routines. It does create a bit of a headache for installers though. There’s suddenly a lot more time pressure. More organisation and communication is required to manage the busy period. Installers can’t promise to all customers that all their orders will be installed before Christmas. It can’t be done. So schedules have to be managed and home owners have to be realistic and understand that they probably left it too late.
Silly season ends around the end of November. So at the time of writing we still have around 6 weeks to go. You can count on it dropping off significantly at the start of December. But at that point it rarely matters as orders won’t be fitted until after the New Year anyway and by now the fitting schedules should already be full.
Personally, I’ve never understood the mentality of having to have new windows and doors fitted before Christmas. How much would it change in real terms if new windows and doors were fitted in the New Year? It’s only a matter of a couple of weeks. It’s all for superficial reasons. Still, it will never change, and home owners will always insist on work being completed prior to Christmas.
The big story
There was really only one major theme that ran through September on DGB and in the industry and that was the ongoing saga that was Safestyle. There was a new appointment to the board, designed to help with the turnaround of the business. But the bigger news was the deal with SafeGlaze UK to settle the litigation case that was closely being followed by many industry watchers.
Upon the news, the Safestyle share price shot up, in what was a rare win for the embattled company. There have been further developments with this since September, with any new news being covered on DGB. You can catch up on the Safestyle story by checking out the list of most read posts further down this page.
There was also big buyout news in the hardware sector, where it was announced that there had been a major management buyout at UAP by Maven Capital Partners to the tune of £2om. With that cash injection, UAP hope to step things up another gear or two, and build on the solid foundation they have worked to build. You can catch up on that particular story by clicking here.
How DGB did
Each month I provide a breakdown as to the performance of DGB, and this month is no different. Things plateaued a little last month…
In all honesty, this was me in burnout. The National Fenestration Awards were nearing the end of the nominations phase, with the finalists being announced. The amount of preparation work, including website changes, scheduling of social media posts, logos etc, it’s a mammoth amount of work when you consider that it’s myself, my wife and business partner doing it all. So I had to focus less on DGB and more on the NFAs to make sure the awards transitioned relatively smoothly into the voting phase.
Aside from that, I was completely out of energy. Motivation to create new content was low. I usually have at least one period like this per year, and this was it. Thankfully I’m feeling a bit more like myself again and ready to hit things hard. Also happy to say that at the time of writing this post DGB has reached officially it’s best year in terms of page views, visitors and unique visitors. Targets are going to be hit well in advance, and I’m hoping to break 300,000 page views in a single year by the end of this year.
Top 5 most read posts
Here are your top 5 most read posts published in September:
Look to October
I’m cheating a bit really, because we’re already well into October so I already know what the best bits of it were! But, we have the end of the 2018 National Fenestration Awards voting phase, which means Winners Week will begin soon after that, where we announce the 24 winners of the 2018 campaign, so that will set social media alight like it normally does!
We had the Exhibitor’s Day for the 2019 FIT Show. Silly season really gets into full gear. Major Safestyle news was announced. The October review is going to be a packed one!
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