In a recent poll that has just concluded here on DGB, fabricators from within the UK window and door industry have voted to tell us how they think 2016 will be on the business front. The results are a little different from the installer’s poll.

“Very optimistic” comes out on top

This was the question asked of fabricators and manufacturers:

Based on the early performance of the fenestration industry, economy, markets and media coverage, how optimistic do you feel about the window and door market in 2016?

And this is how the industry voted:

Although not a majority result for a single category, it’s clear that fabricators feel a bit more positive about business prospects for 2016 than installer did.

For comparison, the installer poll returned just 17% saying they were very optimistic, with 39% saying they were reasonable optimistic for 2016. All fairly positive yes, but the fabricators do seem more upbeat than the installers do.

Saying that, anecdotally, the areas that were very quiet at the beginning of the year are now picking up quite nicely. A case in point would be our place. A very sleepy start, quieter than normal. Then, probably three weeks in, things took off in a big way. We’re quoting lots of high value contracts and lots of leads are coming in. Getting quotes out to customers is proving difficult in itself. It’s definitely time to make hay while the sun shines – metaphorically of course.

Potential causes for optimism

So what could be the reasons for the positive voting from the fabricator community?

Well, a lot of fabricators have been spending a lot in their R&D departments and are due to bring out a lot of new products this year. Most will be announced at the FIT Show in April. They will be hoping that these new products bring new installers on board and expand the business done with their existing client base.

Also, many will have seen their early order books and if they’re looking healthy at this stage then they’re going to feel confident about the rest of the year. Although it remains to be seen how the EU referendum will affect business in general across the country.

All in all, fabricators are generally positive about this year’s prospects. I am also a little bit more positive compared to the beginning of the year. But there are still risks out there and they’re still worth keeping an eye on.

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