When it comes to the amount of choice, we’ve never had so much of it. As a means of selling to the end user, it’s fantastic. It means they can have a set of windows and doors tailored exactly the way they want them, right down to the colour of the wood grain finish and the style of door hardware. But whilst the homeowner gets to choose from endless configurations, the implications of that in the background are far bigger.
The amount of choice and the huge amount of infrastructure required to make those choices viable is massive. Think about what is needed when a new product is released. Manufacturing lines have to be set up, which means equipment has to be bought, installed and staff trained on how to use it. The product itself has to be bought in and stored somewhere safe, away from damage, but easily accessible for production. Hardware has to be sourced to fit the new product, in a variety of styles and designs – and tested of course. The think about the other end. Marketing has to be created to give to customers which explains all the benefits of this new product, what options are available and all the technical aspects of it. Then sales staff need to know what you can and cannot have with a new product. I could go on, but you probably get the picture.
So imagine the scenario for manufacturers who do more than one type of product. Imagine the headache for those who supply PVC, aluminium and other materials too. The work that has to go on in the background must be immense. And that it where we all need to probably take a step back and take stock.
The industry has been racing at break neck speed over the last few years to push out the latest and greatest in windows and doors. We have seen our market evolve so quickly in such a short space of time. But we have also seen some products brought to market without the proper infrastructure behind it. I know this from personal experience in selling some new products recently. Without the groundwork done in the background, the selling of new products is made far more complicated and throws up a ton of queries when it comes to order. Knowing what is available and isn’t on new products then becomes very difficult and can sometimes jeopardise the sale.
Getting all the work behind the scenes finished is key to diversifying your product range. Launching a raft of new products and services half baked is only going to cause problems and hurt the launch of the new lines initially. Planning is key!