In a week of awards, acquisitions and appointments, it’s time to take another look back at the stories covered on DGB…

Kevin Ahern: “DGB Losing It’s Individuality”

The week started off with some honesty from a regular reader. Some of you will know of Kevin Ahern. He’s been a long time commenter on DGB and tends to pop up whenever the subject of WERs and the BFRC is covered here on DGB. However it was a more personal comment of his that grabbed my attention, so much so that I decided to base the first post of the week around it.

I’ve been away for the last few days in North Wales having a few beers and listening to some bands. There wasn’t much signal there hence not much Tweeting. But I did come home to an interesting comment from DGB regular Kevin Ahern. Here is his comment in full:

To be honest DGB , I pop in regularly to see what you have to say , but it is becoming a lot less of a blog and more of a sycophantic mouthpiece for those that give you money , I can read press releases all day in the free mags that keep filling the office bins , but to offer a bit of perspective I would like to see a lot less PR and a bit more gut reaction. I am sure this costs money , my hobbies do , and by all means put ads on the site , but the editorial seems so far geared to the sponsors that I think the ‘blog’ is losing its individuality.

I like Kevin and his comments. He doesn’t hold back and isn’t afraid to go against the grain in the face of what other commenters are writing, it’s what makes for great debate. And hand on heart, I agree with a lot of what he has to say about the site. There is more promoted content on now than there was before I started advertising options. And if Kevin is thinking it, then chances are a few of you are too. So this post really is a personal explanation of why DGB is why it is today.

I wanted to use Kevin’s comment to not only respond to him, but to also explain to readers why I have taken the site in the direction I have. As the site has become more popular and the readership has increased, it has become increasingly more difficult to please everyone. I guess that is what comes with the territory, but this was a chance for me to set my stall out and explain a few things. You can read the rest of that post by clicking the big blue button below.

Door Supermarket Latest To Join DGB

Monday also saw me announce an extension to the DGB family, this time in the form of a company called Door Supermarket. This is a business based firmly in the doors market, aimed at the DIY and homeowner market.

Based in West Yorkshire, Door Supermarket operate out of a 12,000 square foot factory in Leeds which doors of all kinds, including PVCu,Rockdoors, French and sliding doors, garage doors, stable and fire doors. As a business, they aim traditionally at the trade and retail sectors, although they do have fitting teams on hand should the customer want the door they have just purchased to be fitted by them as well.

They’re also a seller of garage doors and have their own installation service should someone want their door fitting they have just bought. I am glad to have them on board and look forward to posting content about the business for the coming 6 months.

Solidor Announce Joe Martoccia As New Group MD

It’s been a busy week this week in the industry, and on Tuesday, the pace kept up as Solidor announced the first of what will probably be a whole raft of new appointments to the group. The first to be announced was Joe Martoccia, about to finish his current term at Ultraframe.

I know Joe myself personally, and I have always found him to be a professional at whatever he does. Always willing to support the new guys and new initiatives in the industry, something the industry’s biggest don’t always do. Solidor and the DW3 group have a good team member in Joe and I am sure he will do there.

As Gareth eludes to in the press release, having a top team in place to manage the growth and transitions is vital. If the growth the DW3 group is a fast and expansive as some of us expect, it is absolutely key to ensure that they have the right members of staff with the required knowledge to oversee growth.

As I talked about in the post, I know Joe personally and have always been impressed by his professionalism and work ethic. He supports new companies, new ideas and new people. If only other parts of the industry were as open minded and forward thinking as that! Joe is going to play a key and hopefully long term part in the growth of the business. His previous experience and skills will make him a vital member of the growing Solidor group.

Synseal Buy LB Plastics And Manse Masterdor

Another day another acquisition. This time it was the turn of Synseal to flash the cash and buy up what would be classed as a pioneering company. The purchase of LB Plastics is a significant one. They have been credited with bringing PVCu windows and doors to the UK. Without them, would the PVCu industry be where it is today?

There really is some cash flashing going on right now in the industry. But then again, the time is right. Confidence is high, and there is still plenty of room for more consolidation as there are still too many companies in the various sectors of UK fenestration than is really needed. Thinking out loud here, but I think we could see a ton of acquisitions over the coming 12 months, perhaps on the same levels we have seen in the tech industry such as Apple, Facebook and Google’s penchant for buying up useful companies. If you look at the current levels of demand and the number of companies servicing those demands at all levels of the industry, there are too many companies.

Just putting this out there, I knew about this about a week before it was announced. I was informed by a reliable source that this deal had been done. However, I have learned my lessons from previous episodes and decided to wait until the official announcement from Synseal before I reported on it.

So we have another industry acquisition. I get the feeling that over the next few months, our industry is going to get a whole lot smaller. I do sometimes worry about what effect that these buyouts will have on competition.

David Cameron Gives Warning On Global Economy

Next up, a post that I had intended to publish earlier on in the week, but was pushed by by more important and breaking stories from Synseal and Solidor. Yes, David Cameron was getting his excuses in early at the start of this week, as the global economy starts to show signs of fragility and uncertainty.

Look further afield and things don’t look much better. The rate of China and India’s growth is slowing and looks like it will continue to slow for a while. The other BRICS nations like Brazil and Russia are also slowing. Russia especially after a slew of economic sanctions following their meddling in Ukraine. The global outlook doesn’t look all that healthy. It is these foreign problems which is causing David Cameron a few economic headaches. Perhaps he sees difficulties coming and he’s preparing us for some bad news. Some are already accusing him of getting his excuses in early. But putting politics to one side, it is worth taking these worries into consideration.

David Cameron seemed worried at the start of the week. He said in an article in the Guardian newspaper that the world was showing the same signs of fragility which caused the collapse of the world economy in 2008. A bit dramatic I thought, but more like he was preparing the UK for bad news should our own economy go south. He doesn’t want the blame before a general election of course.

Tower Bridge’s Amazing New Glass Walkway

It made the mainstream media, and it was rife in our own industry’s media too. Yes, this was the new amazing glass walkways revealed at Tower Bridge in London. I couldn’t let the week pass by without acknowledging their unveiling, and admiring the view at the same time!

I always like seeing these installed in famous places. I think they give a different perspective on an already famous landmark. This particular walkway allows you to see straight down to the road and the river next to it. At 42 metres high it’s not the highest glass walkway in the world, but it certainly allows people to view one of London’s most famous attractions from a slightly different perspective. Great if you have a head for heights, rubbish if you don’t!

I love a glass walkway. They always make the monument or attraction that much more interesting and exciting because they give it a totally different perspective, especially when you’re walking on it or looking down it. Well done to Glassolutions on a great project well done.

No One Should Have To Fall Into The Window Industry

Last but not least, I finished the week with a subject I feel passionate about. People often say that they fall into the industry, and that people never intend to go into the industry. Well I certainly meant to enter it, and I believe that our industry shouldn’t be one of those that people get into by accident. I want it to be seen as a fruitful, career-making sector.

I think one major fact forgotten in all the negativity and hype around the window industry is that quite a few of us making a decent living out of the work we do. At all levels, providing you make a real effort and dedicate yourself to the job, the rewards should come your way. I know that our own fitters make a very decent living out of their work. The manual side of our industry isn’t always for everyone, but if it is, then it’s very possible to make a good living out of it.

What confuses me is how people inside the industry are so negative about it. Almost to the point where they wouldn’t be able to encourage others to join them. Yet there are so many positive things in our industry. So many reasons why a career in glazing, at almost any level, can be fruitful, rewarding and enjoyable. Click the blue button to read on.