Yesterday I published a post highlighting three key areas that I thought posed a threat to our industry during this coming year. Today, I’d like to balance the pessimism with a bit of optimism and highlight three opportunity areas that could be very good for our industry over the coming 12 months.
Promise to boost housing
I know it’s a promise that always seems to be made by every Government every year, but if Cameron can get his arse in gear and really get the house building sector going this year, then this could provide a real boost to our own window and door industry.
DC recently announced that his Government is to take charge of building 13,000 affordable news homes in the south of the UK. It would have been nice if they had been in the northern part of the country, but that’s a gripe for another day. That’s 13,000 new properties that need new windows and doors. A chunky little contract for those window companies that manage to land it.
He has also promised to build 200,000 affordable new homes before the next election. I’m doubtful that he can pull it off, but I hope he proves me wrong because if he does then our industry is looking at extra units made and installed that will run into seven figures over the coming four and a bit years. A welcome boost for the UK fenestration sector I’m sure.
FIT Show 2016
The vast majority of companies developing products are probably going to announce them at this year’s FIT Show. It makes sense. Thousands of potential customers are going to be there. Not much point in making a big fuss in the middle of February.
This year’s exhibition in Telford is going to be the best opportunity this year to attract new customers across the whole of the glazing spectrum. There will never be so much of the whole industry gathered in one place. It will also feel like a fleeting opportunity.
We’re going to hear plenty that this is going to be a challenging year. That’s code for “it’s all a bit crap but we can’t say it in public”. So, this year’s FIT Show is an absolutely key opportunity for syscos and fabricators to get right in front of their target audience and get them to spend their cash with them. It’s going to be a busy one this year, so there’s plenty of scope to sign a few new customers up.
I have written earlier about lantern roofs and sky lights as being one of the product niches to watch during this year, and I honestly believe that 2016 will be the year that this niche explodes into a full blown fight to become the top manufacturer of these products. And it could get a bit feisty.
There’s no doubting that many will have noticed how competitive the lantern roof market has become over the past year or so. Roof makers have moved quickly to try to make the most of this emerging new market and in doing so have sparked a race for the top of the table that looks set to heat up nicely during this year.
Industry battles aside, the opportunity for the installations side of our industry is massive. There must be millions of flat roofs ripe for refurbishment, and an existing conservatory market with an estimated 3 million structures good for the upgrading. That’s one hell of a new market place. Installers need to get on board now and start making the most of it before the market place becomes overcrowded and the idiots of our industry start a price war and a race to the bottom.