Many fabricator-installers are being targeted by big fabricators to stop manufacturing and concentrate on installation. Mark Richmond, sales and marketing director of Selecta Systems, argues that for many companies it could be something that works out better for the big fabricator than the installer. “For some installers it might be the right decision, but when I speak to installers who have done this, many have regrets.
“We know there has been and still is overcapacity. So it seems to make sense for big fabricators to target smaller fabricator-installers to switch them to buy-in rather than manufacture windows. But it can end up as a much better deal for the fabricator than it is for the installer.
“The reasons installation companies went into fabrication still hold true. We know that homeowners like to buy locally made products and this is a big selling point for fabricator-installers. Showing potential customers round the factory can cement a deal. A company stopping manufacture removes this vital USP. But customers tell us that taking control is the main reason they choose to fabricate. Right now, selling to homeowners usually means working on short lead times and fabricator-installers are in a better position to manage their own time scales effectively which is crucial for cash flow.”
Mark continues: “It’s also important to maintain trade sales. For some smaller fabricators much of this is fill in work is sold to local builders, small installers and DIYers. It all adds to the bottom line but this business can be hard to keep when buying in from another trade fabricator.
“Fabricator-installers need support that’s different from large trade fabricators. We see most systems companies focusing their time and resources on big trade fabricators and the smaller customers can get left behind.
“It’s not the same at Selecta Systems,” says Mark. “We specialises in supporting smaller fabricators and fabricator-installers. So we really understand the challenges they face and Selecta offers the service and back up they need to succeed.”