It’s that time of the week where we look back at the stories covered here on DGB, as well as catch up on a few other  industry nuggets that I didn’t cover on here as well. I can’t believe where time is going, this is already my fifth weekly review!

Why DERS Didn’t Go The Same Way As WERS

Monday morning saw me tackle the issue of DERS (Door Energy Ratings) and why they haven’t taken off. Whilst WERS have done reasonably well since it’s launch, despite them having quite a few outspoken critics, DERS have pretty much failed since they were launched.

So if there is doubt with WERs, there was always going to be doubt about Door Energy Ratings. You see some companies, not many, but some, giving out an energy rated certificate when someone orders a door, which is fine. But you see many more giving the U-Value of that door upon order instead. Again, because it is more accurate. It’s a sign the door industry saw DERs as a less attractive selling point that U-Values. Again, that is something I would agree with. There was something of a ring to “Window Energy Ratings”. It was easily marketed to a general public that was already used to seeing the A-G certificate of energy ratings. Maybe for a doors it was a stretch too far?

I chose to cover DERS as the subject hadn’t really come up in the industry media for a while, so I thought I would fill that gap. I also knew that any post with “WERS” in them would draw a comment from DGB regular Kevin Ahern ;-)

I won’t let you down DGB , a post with WER in the title is always going to rattle my cage !

Why didn’t DER’s take off , very simple really , they were of no real use to anyone , there was no real reason to promote the thing it carried no benefit to those promoting it .

WER’s on the other hand is a completely different story , WER C rating was/is probably the only way of getting compliance to the building regs when using Pilkingtons K glass . Now, call me cynical , but this scheme had to be hammered home by those that needed it for compliance , so ask yourself who promoted this scheme and look for the money . Don’t let anyone make you think that the GGF/BFRC where doing this for the good of the public.
I would have thought it very important for WER to succeed , if it didn’t, Pilks may have had a very restricted home market for K.

On the point of WERS and DERS, I have to say I am on the Kevin side of the fence on this one. I am also a big fan of U-Values. I feel they are more accurate, more reliable and more useful when we’re talking up the energy efficiency of doors.

The North-South Divide Still Exists, And It’s Getting Bigger

Tuesday’s post saw me cover an age old debate, the North-South divide. After the Scottish referendum, the subject of more devolved powers for individual regions and countries was a hotly discussed topic. So I thought this was a good time to pour over the North-South split in the UK and how the immense pull of London is causing damage to the rest of the UK.

Remember when George Osbourne announced that plan in the summer to connect the major cities up here and create a Northern powerhouse? Wondered why everyone up here made sch a big deal about it? It’s because this is the first properly major business investment we’ve had up here for a long time! He wants to connect Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield by investing up to £18bn in new transport networks, science and manufacturing investment. This is the level of investment we’ve needed up here for a long time. We’ve often been ignored as London has always taken the interest and money from investors both inside and outside the UK, while many other areas have been left to battle over the scraps. This cannot continue.

Throughout that post it probably did sound like I was having a moan, and in all honesty I was. But that fact is London and the South East gets far more attention business and investment wise than in any other part of the UK. If the Government wants a balanced and fair recovery where all can benefit, the issue needs to be addressed.

Review: September 2014

This week also saw me recap the month of September as we said goodbye to yet another month in this very busy year. A bit of a mixed bag September. The after-school effects have been a little late to kick in, although I get the feeling things are moving a bit quicker now once again.

September was an odd one. The weather was actually OK. We had hardly any rain. Temperatures were way above average and even the sun came out for a lot of the month. Now, sometimes we think good weather helps business. But actually it sometimes works against it. For example, high street chain Next has issued a warning about it’s profits as they have said the good weather has kept people away from the shops, with people favouring the coast and entertainment destinations over the past few weeks.

These reviews are a good way for me to reflect personally on the month, as well as looking at it from an industry perspective. The end of year review is looking like it’s going to be a meaty one!

Industry To Enter Longest Period Of Growth In Decades

On the first of the month came the “hurrah” moment. On Thursday I was able to report on some very positive news and figures released by Palmer Market Research. Their latest report suggests that the industry is now entering a long period of sustained and strong growth.

For the first time in a long time, market research companies are now able to tell us that we can expect continued good news for a reasonable amount of time. Despite a poor first quarter in 2013, the market very quickly turned itself around and it hasn’t really looked back since then. It’s still important to remember though that not EVERY company is experiencing this upturn. There are areas of the UK still lagging behind when it comes to the economic recovery. But generally speaking, things are looking up.

Rather than just report on the figures in simple text format, I thought I might jazz things up a bit and use some funky graphics to help illustrate the positive nature of the news. I am trying to integrate more easy-on-the-eye features within my post to try and keep them fun and different.

It has been great to be able to report on news like this. So many times my posts have been reporting on the bad stuff, predicting the problems of the industry. But it is news like this which I’m sure provides light relief for many.

It’s A K.O For K Glazing

The second post to be published on Thursday was a promoted content post kindly provided by the team at Purplex.

After 30 years of installing beautiful uPVC products to the retail and supplying directly to the trade, K Glazing were looking to grow their brand, and that’s when they discovered Purplex. After a marketing review to get the ball rolling, K glazing were found to be an ideal candidate to benefit from the Purplex Advantage installer initiative.

Great to see installers benefiting from the sterling work Purplex is doing.

Should Fabricators Start Making Everything?

Last but not least, on Friday I posed the question about fabrication and if there was room in the industry for a new type of fabricator which had the capacity and capabilities to produce windows and doors in PVC, timber and aluminium systems.

Here’s the problem. To be able to sell, two, three or even more types of window and doors system, it means the installer has to buy from individual fabricators. The logistics involved with that are massive. Pricing systems for all three would be different (although simple online pricing such as the one developed by Truemans would help), ordering would be different for all three, there would be more reps from fabricators, more meetings. You get my point. Even though it causes a lot more stress to buy from different suppliers, installers are unable to ignore the opportunities and go ahead and get stuck in anyway. This is where I think there could be a gap in the market to fill.

It was an unrealistic idea, even I knew that when I was writing the post. But I still think in the back of my mind that if a company can find the right formula, has the right amount of cash and smart people to organise it, a super-fabricator of this type might be possible.

Elsewhere In The Industry…

The G Awards finalists for this year have been announced. Click here to read the shortlists.

Synseal announced exactly what their mysterious new Warmcore product was. Click here to discover more details.