Well, it’s the beginning of the first working week of the year. I know how excited you all are to be back in the office…not! Still, 2015 promises to be an exciting year in our industry, so I want to take a look at five companies which we should be keeping an eye on.
At the end of 2014, amid mass speculation and rumour, it was finally announced that composite door manufacturers Solidor had received significant financial support from DW3 Product Group, a newly formed investment group. What this signaled was the start of the next industry super group.
Solidor made it clear that it was going on the acquisition trail both in terms of companies and personnel. At the end of 2014 they announced that former Ultraframe Sales & Marketing MD Joe Martoccia would be joining the fold as the group MD. These was the first in what was promised as a series of high level personnel acquisitions.
So, as we begin 2015, it is likely we will hear in January about the companies they look set to buy up. We have our own guesses, and I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard of the various rumours regarding buyouts. Whoever the companies turn out to be, they are going to be grabbing the headlines in the early part of this year.
2014 was a busy year for Synseal. They brought out a new product called Warmcore in October to much fanfare. And on the acquisition front they bought Systems Glass in July and in November they snapped up LB Plastics and Manse Masterdor. They’re a quickly growing company in terms of group size, and after listening to an interview with Lee Clarke from MyTradeTV they sound like they had a cracking 2014.
On that basis I expect them to continue buying up companies in 2015. The ones they have already bought fill gaps in their portfolio. It’s more than likely that they will continue to fill gaps in the business throughout 2015. And lets face it, if anyone has the cash to spend on other companies, it’s probably Synseal.
If there was one company that really set the composite door market on fire in the early days it was Door-Stop International. But in time, others caught up, and now the clear stretch over the competition isn’t there anymore. However, their IT remains some of the best I’ve ever seen, and for that, they still have an edge over some others.
But they have American money in the business now, and in 2015 it’s quite possible that Door-Stop will use this new year to really punch forward and pull out some awesome innovations. There were signs that things were on the move at the company at the end of 2014 as they brought in their new customer charter, Avocet hardware on all doors as standard and the launching of new colour options. 2015 could be a good year for the company.
Firstly, nope, this is not a paid feature in this post! As a PVC fabricator, John Fredericks were once the boys and girls to catch up to. The first to fabricate a fully sculptured profile, John Fredericks were the ones to do things first, then the rest would follow. But as if often the case, you can’t be at the top forever. However, after speaking with Fredericks boss Steve Darkins I know they have some new products coming out in the early part of 2015 which I have been reliably told will make John Fredericks the company to beat once again.
That’s all I can really say at this point, so I guess for this one you’re just going to have to trust me ;-)
Might not seem an obvious one this one. After all, they’re an Ultraframe fabricator so why would I not just say Ultraframe? Well, it’s the work they’re doing in the background in the solid roof market that will put them on the map in 2015.
The two Chris’s at the top of the tree at Prefix are the two most passionate people I have come across when it comes to the matter of safety and law in the solid roof market. We all know there are many issues when it comes to safety, strength and legalities with solid roofs, and many have buried their heads. However, I know the guys at Prefix have an almost obsession with setting the solid roof issue absolutely straight. After speaking with them it is clear they are totally determined to iron out every crease and query when it comes to solid roofs. They are working on some procedures and formulas for installers to use to make selling and installing solid roofs as straight forward and as safe as possible.
They’ve got some fantastic ideas which, should they come to fruition on time in 2015, could have some massive implications for our industry, for the better. There are legal sand safety issues with solid roofs on existing conservatories whether you like it or not. Prefix are dead set on solving it once and for all. It’s worth keeping an eye on these guys this year.
These are just some of my ideas for 5 companies to keep an eye on in 2015. Who do you think we should be watching as an industry? All comments welcome in the section below.