When it comes to a British success story RegaLead can certainly boast that it’s blazed a trail, with three separate business divisions exporting now to more than 80 countries and a listing in the London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report for 2015. Guy Hubble, Joint Managing Director, explains the reasons for this to MyTradeTV, and why he sees the future as bright.
All Colours of the Rainbow
MyTradeTV: The company has been around for some 30 years now. When did you think RegaLead was going to go places?
Guy Hubble: RegaLead has always been going places but in the last five years we have been getting there a lot faster, building the business up to become the UK’s premier supplier of decorative options for both the glass and composite door market.
MyTradeTV: You’ve recently launched the 26th shade into the DoorColour range, is colour coating not something of a diversion from what RegaLead did previously?
GH: RegaLead’s business is adding value through decoration and coatings have been core to this for us since the acquisition of CadRam in December 2009. With the potential for coatings in the decorative market, we bought the business because its expertise in resin based coatings and application equipment meant that we could offer a real solution. The ColorSpray glass system now has a global customer base with systems in more than 40 countries around the world. We have an experienced in-house Development Chemist as part of our development team, which ensures all paint and resin formulations are constantly improved upon so we have control over developing the right coating for the right application.
MyTradeTV: Do you think there’s such a thing as too much choice when it comes to colour?
GH: In our glass coatings business there never seems to be too much – even though we have formulations for more than 4,000 colours, we are still asked to colour match on average a further 25 per week. This was previously undertaken at an outside colour matching facility but as of April this will be brought in-house to reduce lead times. For the door market we understand that the number of colour options needed to be limited or it would become a salesperson’s nightmare when selling directly to the consumer. We started out with 22 pre-mixed shades and have gradually increased this up to 26 with the addition of the three colours in September last year and the introduction of Marsala in January.
MyTradeTV: How did you go about choosing which colours to launch next?
GH: Marsala was launched to celebrate the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2015 and the three shades launched prior to this followed market research carried out at the FIT Show, where visitors were asked to choose their favourite from a shortlist of 12. We then ran a competition amongst the trade press editors to choose the colour names, and Military Grey, Olive Grove and Victory Blue were the winners.
MyTradeTV: Have you seen a particular trend in terms of colour choice?
GH: Obviously Chartwell and Anthracite still dominate as they are commonly used by the profile suppliers, but we have seen a move towards bolder, brighter colours such as Very Berry and Marsala. Colour choice is very dependent on personal taste and property type so it’s important to be able to meet any given request. This can be easily achieved with DoorColour.
MyTradeTV: If I’m a small supplier of composite doors, is DoorColour a viable option for me?
GH: Total investment to start with our full system is under £8,000, including the spray booth, but some smaller companies will just not have the volume to justify even this modest investment. We have therefore entered into a partnership with DoorCo where customers can get quality prepped door blanks, finished with our DoorColour system, at competitive prices.
MyTradeTV: How is DoorColour specifically designed for composite doors?
GH: When we developed the paint for composite doors there were very different considerations to take into account in comparison with glass paints. The most important factors were speed of drying, gloss retention levels and adhesion levels of the paint to the GRP door skin and the cassette system. Two years of development work went into the formulation of ColorSpray GRP and extensive testing was done on all the major slab and cassette suppliers’ products before we could bring the product to market.
MyTradeTV: Are there any particular areas in the door sector that either excite you…?
GH: Contemporary doors have been the talk of the town for the last two years and working on new glass designs and development of our own Inox Glazing system has been a fantastic journey. Going forward we believe that the composite door market will continue to grow and evolve from what is currently still a very standardised offering to being much more design-led. Our customers will be extremely well positioned to take advantage of this evolution because this is the whole philosophy of RegaLead.
MyTradeTV: …Or exasperate you?
GH: The never-ending race to the bottom on price that has plagued our industry for years is also evident in the composite door market. A new composite front door is one of the biggest value added improvements that a homeowner can make – both because of improved thermal efficiency and aesthetics which add genuine ‘kerb appeal’ – so why are so many companies still selling purely on price and not selling up?
MyTradeTV: What do you hope RegaLead will achieve from now until 2020?
GH: We have achieved so much in the last five years – something which was recognised in our recent inclusion on the London Stock Exchange’s 1000 companies to Inspire Britain list – but I firmly believe that this is just the beginning of a long journey and by 2020 we will have cemented our position as a leader in decorative coatings for glass, windows, and doors both at home and internationally.
MyTradeTV: Finally, we have to ask, what is your favourite colour?
GH: Your favourite colour is supposed to be an indication of your soul – and being from Manchester, that has to be red or blue. At risk of annoying many of my colleagues, red is definitely the better colour.