The meeting I had at Eurocell last week shed a lot of light on where the industry is going in the next few years. Most of us in the room that day talked about the amount of business they were doing in coloured windows and doors. And more than just standard foil colours, but spray finishes as well. It seems the consumer is becoming quickly educated in what is physically possible now. And that is something that manufacturers need to address.

As the meeting meandered towards a finish, the subject of stocking colours came up. The overall feeling was that manufacturers need to start taking on more colour options. At the moment, if a customer wants a particular type of colour for their windows and doors that isn’t in stock, then they would have to be sprayed to get that desired effect. But going forwards, I do believe that all manufacturers need to start stocking more coloured foils. Supply and demand, as well as storage space is obviously going to be an issue to sort out, but as the demand for colour grows, installers are going to want to be able to source all sorts of colours from their suppliers, rather than it be down to them to sort out getting that colour for the client.

For example, over half the engineered doors we order from John Fredericks we get sprayed now. Our customers have suddenly become very specific in the particular shade of whatever colour they want for their windows or doors. Which from my own point of view is great. It means they are actively showing an interest in their purchase and not just tyre kicking. But, to have our doors sprayed does require some extra logistical work which in all honesty we could do without. We’re busy enough as it is, so if in the future our suppliers could stock the shades of yellows, reds, blue, greens and other more specific colours we’re being asked for, it would make ordering more simple and reduce lead times on some of our products.

At the moment, the demand for coloured products is steady, so isn’t putting too much of a strain on the business. But, as the industry continues to evolve and the trend for colour from the consumer increases, suppliers really do need to think about stocking more and more colours. Companies like Renolit who provide the coloured foils should be looking to nurture this growth in colour now by working with all their manufacturers to bring more and more choice to our suppliers. Either that, or manufacturers need to invest in on-site spraying facilities.

Personally, I think the best thing for suppliers in the next few years is to invest in their own in-house spraying facilities. To be honest, every major regional and national supplier should have their own spray shop. Given the popularity of colour and it’s trend to go shooting up over the next few years, I think it would be prudent to invest in this sort of facility. It probably won’t be cheap, but imagine being able to provide any colour possible, on a decent lead time, without having to worry about sourcing a particular type of foil. This is what I would do personally.

What do you guys think? Should Renolit be working with our suppliers to be providing more coloured foils? Should suppliers be getting their own spray shops so that they can provide every colour possible? Should the industry be doing both? Is colour proving to be a popular trend at your business? All comments welcome in the section below.