Following on from yesterday’s first half of this mini-series, here are five more companies that I believe are shaking up the industry in a good way and leading the way forward for the sector. Again, these companies are based on my opinions, are unbiased and I welcome all feedback on this list.
It’s also worth saying that there are far more then ten companies doing great things in our industry, but these are ten companies that have stood out to me personally over the past few months and years.
Atlas – lantern roofs
The lantern roof niche has been perhaps one of the strongest growing niches in the wider industry in the past few years. It has seen explosive growth, and one of the companies at the forefront of that expansion is Atlas.
Their range of aluminium lantern roofs have seen very strong growth since their introduction to the market. It’s a product focused on aesthetics, energy efficiency and minimalism. These are demands that are growing from home owners and installers alike, and Atlas has seen their lantern roof product embraced by both and have been rewarded for their hard work.
Brisant – Ultion
In my relatively short 11 years in this industry, I have never seen a single product take off so strongly and so widespread than the Ultion high security door cylinder.
Brisant, with the mercurial Nick Dutton co-steering the business, has managed to produce one of the standout door products in recent years. With a 3-star Sold Secure rating, a price that has allowed businesses of all sizes to buy them in, the Ultion cylinder has been embraced in such a way that I have not yet seen matched by anything else. Quite a feat in an industry which is naturally skeptical.
Not only that, the marketing front is supremely strong. Their website is one of the best in the industry, and one which appeals to home owners and installers alike – an important quality to have when the internet is bringing all sides of the supply chain closer together.
Ultion is going to take some beating, for now at least anyway.
Spitfire – aluminium entrance doors
I first saw the Spitfire range of doors on display at April’s FIT Show and was immediately struck by them. Click the link to see a gallery of just a few images of their doors I took at the exhibition.
For me, the Spitfire doors are the most aesthetically advanced, diverse and forward thinking of any door in any material at this current time. I have seen nothing cooler, more striking than these doors right now. They ooze European class, combined with innovative tech such a finger print recognition. Think of them as the pinnacle of the entrance door market right now.
Admittedly, these probably won’t sell in the numbers that composite doors ever will. I don’t have an indication on price, but if you look at the doors and what you get for your money, I suspect that amount of money will be considerably larger than normal. However there is a growing niche for this kind of product, and that lies with the owners of large, high-end properties and those who are self-building and willing to spend top dollar on top products.
I suspect over the coming years we will see other door ranges such as Spitfire start to come online in the market place.
This is a company that has always been known for their attention to quality and customer service. However I have included them in this part of the list not only because of that, but because of their master stroke in bringing SageGlass to the UK. If you still have no idea what SageGlass is, click here.
Originating in the US, SageGlass is the most advanced electrochromic glass product on the market right now. It’s main applications have generally been in the commercial sector in the US. However, their owners Saint-Gobain have been looking to introduce it to a UK and European residential market that has suffered long enough with conservatories and glazed extensions that are no match to the varying climate conditions.
A product that is easily controllable by the home owner via switch or remotely via an app, SageGlass is a product that comes with the conveniences and climate controls of solid roofs, whilst maintaining an outside view at all times. It boasts the most advanced solar control values in a glass product available to the residential market right now.
This product is in it’s infancy in the UK market right now. But when it was showcased at the FIT Show in April, I saw first hand the number of installers who put their names down to have it installed in their showrooms with the intention to market it to home owners. If this takes off, it could have all sorts of ramifications for the industry moving forward.
MACO – locking tech
The locking mechanism part of our industry hasn’t changed all that much in recent years. The multi-point lock is still a multi-point lock, only with a few more hooks bolts, or cams, or shoot bolts added on over the years which equate to small incremental increases over time. Nothing seismic, nothing game changing, but gentle progress.
However one company in my eyes that is trying to give that part of the market a jolt is MACO. Austrian based, they are one of the most respected hardware makers in the market. And at this year’s FIT Show, what I saw from them only confirmed to me that they are one of very few companies willing to take a stab at changing the way we operate doors.
Their standout bit of tech for me was the facial recognition software which controlled entry to an entrance door. You can read more about my review of that product here. I loved it. Proper out of the box thinking, and the most advanced door tech on display at that show.
Not only that, they have introduced openLife and openDoor – products that allow entrance doors to be unlocked without a key via fingerprint, keypad or Bluetooth – that is openDoor. openLife is an access management system controlled via app to allow the home owner to decide who is allowed in, or out of their home from anywhere in the world. I saw both of these at the FIT Show and was impressed at the direction the company was looking to go in.
The world is changing, and our industry has to embrace the technology quickly surrounding us. MACO are the clearest example of a business that is doing just that.
These are my thoughts, but what are yours? Do you agree or disagree? Please leave your comments and suggestions via the box below and let everyone else know what you think.