The first weekly review I did last week seemed to go down very well, so I guess this is going to become a bit of a permanent feature over the coming months!

Hello and welcome to the DGB weekly review. My little round up of the stories covered on DGB over the last working week. Lets begin shall we?

Barrier Still Remain Before Triple Glazing Breaks Through

This was my look at the issues still holding back triple glazing. Although the industry seems to have acknowledged the issues at hand, thanks for the Triple Glazing Question debate in April. But getting around those problems is easier said than done:

Unless you’re Everest and claiming to give it away for free, you’re charging more for triple glazing. It’s a more expensive product to make of course so that’s natural. But, the UK is still getting over a pretty sharp recession and many households are still keeping a close eye on what they’re spending. That means right now standard double glazing to an A rated standard remains a more attractive purchase. And if I’m a homeowner that would would make sense.

Price, climate, flimsy USPs are all holding back the progression of triple glazing. The TGQ helped to identify the scientific problems too. It highlighted that in reality, triple glazing is only worth bothering with if the units are 40mm wide or wider. Problem is, there’s not that many profiles out there ready made for such beefy units.

Still a lot of progress to be made in triple glazing I feel.

National Fenestration Awards Shortlists And Voting Goes Live

This week the National Fenestration Awards has released this year’s shortlists. After a seven month long epic nominations phase, which drew over 200 nominations from all sectors of the UK fenestration sector, voting to decide the winners has now begun. The reaction and energy the voting has created has been truly overwhelming. As the founder of the NFAs, it has been a humbling experience to see all the lucky finalists be so proud of reaching the final phase.

The next step of course is now the voting. If you want to go straight to the NFA Voting page then click here. All registered users on the NFA site will now be able to vote for who they think should be winners in each of the 13 categories. There is a simple survey style sheet on there to keep things straightforward. Though it is important to remember that once you click the “Finish” button, you can’t undo it. So vote wisely and vote in as many as you want to.

The voting will remain live up until the 1st December. My tip would be to get it done and out of the way now, so you don’t have to rush at the last minute to get it in!

It has been amazing to see so many of the finalists showing off their finalists logos. I have seen them on Twitter profile pictures, on websites, at the bottom of emails and I’ve heard that some are going to be putting it on their literature too. If last year was an experiment that went better than expected, then this is the year the NFAs really arrive and make their mark!

Keep those votes coming in. We’re already close to eclipsing the number of votes in a week than what we had in the whole of last year!

Solar Panel Bi-Fold Doors: How Soon Will This Become A Reality?

Wednesday’s piece was a guest post from TWR Bifold, via the guys at Purplex. You may have seen recently a development in solar technology where scientists have been able to develop a completely clear solar panel. The industry was quickly buzzing online about the possibilities of this new tech and how it could change the way we using glazing around the world.

Transparent solar panels could create a truly energy self-sufficient house, as they could be installed practically anywhere on the outside of a home without being obtrusive. Bulky and cumbersome opaque solar panels could become a thing of the past, with transparent solar panels installed subtly in windows and glazing.

Not only will this reduce energy bills in homes, but if enough energy is generated property owners could sell the excess electricity back to the grid and actually start to recoup the installation cost of their bi-fold doors. In the future, bi-folds could be a money-making asset for homeowners.

As the post points out, the new tech opens up a whole world of possibilities for our industry, and the home. But right now, the tech is still in it’s very primitive phase and has a way to go yet before we can start making the most of it. Still, a very handy development to have in the locker!

Guarantee Lengths Should Be Realistic, Not A Flimsy USP

This one I had in the locker for quite a while. Thursday’s post had been stuck in draft until I could figure out exactly how to get my point across. The reason being some people strongly believe in longer guarantees, some don’t. I had to try and get my own view, that ten years is long enough, across in the right way.

A guarantee is of course a promise from the company to the customer that should any faults with the product or workmanship occur, or if there is to be any remedial work to be done, within a certain period of time, then the company will do that work free of charge. But that promise costs money. It costs wages to send an engineer out to rectify the issues. It costs to run the vehicle they use. It costs whatever spare parts or materials that are needed. This is a ten year promise that could get quite expensive should there be an installation with regular issues. So why would a business want to risk extending that promise even further, when our standard industry warranty is already longer than anything else?

As it happens, I had a couple of DGB readers comment to say that they agree with my own stance that ten years is long enough. I do believe though that our industry puts unnecessary pressure on itself by offering mammoth guarantees from companies younger than the length of the warranty being offered.

Why Being Made In Britain Is Going To Increase In Importance

Friday saw two posts going live. The first looked at the growing importance of the “made in Britain” tag within our industry and how it is going to help become a massive sales tool in the coming years.

Say both of these: “made in China” and “made in Britain”. In yourself you know the second one sounds better, and that’s the drum we need to be banging more in front of customers. I know not every nut and bolt in every window and door isn’t made in the UK (yet) but plenty of other items are. Panels, frames, traditional ironmongery, thresholds etc. All major component of what we sell, made right here on these shores. It is that which we need to be making a great big deal about.

The industry is quickly understanding the importance of being able to tell customers their products have been made in this country. As attitudes towards Europe continue to sour, I can only see British sentiment increasing.

Theo Paphitis SBS Success For Value Doors UK

Last but not least it was a pleasure to write about DGB residents Value Doors UK and their social media success in the weekly #SBS (Small Business Sunday). This went live at lunch time on Friday afternoon.

Each and every Sunday Theo holds #SBS or Small Business Sunday. This is where small businesses Tweet @TheoPaphitis and tell them about their business in one tweet, including the #SBS hashtag. Businesses have to do this between 5pm and 7:30pm. Theo picks six winners each week and rewards them by retweeting them to his 400,000 followers. Previous winners have reported much higher website traffic, increased media awareness and increased sales.

Last Sunday, DGB residents Value Doors UK were the latest to join the successful SBS club after Theo Paphitis retweeted this tweet:


[xyz-ihs snippet=”VDUKSBS”]

This tweet has since been retweeted to Theo’s 444,000 following, exposing Value Doors UK to a massive potential new customer base. Even at the very least there is a possibility that 444,000 new people and businesses are now aware of Value Doors UK and what their business is all about. This in itself demonstrates the power of social media. From one tweet with a very small hashtag, to being shown off to nearly half a million people and businesses!

As I said in the post, our industry doesn’t always this kind of positive exposure, so to have a DGB sponsor fly that flag for us is fantastic!

Elsewhere in the industry…

  • Entries for this year’s G-Awards closed on midnight Friday. One of the industry’s showpiece events starts to chug back into life as we enter the last quarter of the year.
  • As the Scottish independence referendum gears up for a final week, the business world is now speaking up about it’s concerns should the result be a “yes”. You can read here what Scot Colin Torley, Sales & Marketing Director at VEKA, thinks about the upcoming vote.