The double glazing industry has just got a lot smaller in the past 12 months. There has been various company takeovers and buyouts; Veka bought Halo, Epwin merged with Latium and most recently Ultraframe bought Quantal and Synseal bought K2. How much more consolidation is left for the industry?

About 18 months ago I said that the industry needed to consolidation to survive. I made the observation that there were too many companies in this industry to survive in it’s current guise. There needed to be some room making to make sure that the sector didn’t crumple under it’s own weight. This meant that some companies that were on the edge needed to go, and that some would have to be taken over by the bigger companies that were in better financial health. And so this has happened.

I don’t think there can be many more major buyouts. I think the industry has one, maybe two more left in it over the next 12-18 months. But one also has to question the effect these actions have. Yes the industry is probably better off in the long run, but what about the companies that this affects?

Takeovers almost always end up with redundancies. The company taking over swallows up the manufacturing processes, cuts the workforce and eventually streamlines the whole thing until the only thing that is left is the brand name and product which is owned by the purchasing company. This obviously is no good for those who worked at the bought company.

So yes, for the sake of the wider window world, consolidation is necessary and good, but it must also be remembered that there is a personal side which sometimes doesn’t get the coverage it needs. Can there ever be a way to truly merge companies without the negative effect of job losses, whether it is in the short, medium or long term?