“We took the decision a long time ago not to try to compete on price,” and “you get what you pay for” – two statements that underline an alternative approach to business that helped secure a successful Leeds company a £5 million city centre regeneration project.
Liniar fabricator Alternative Windows is one of the largest window and door manufacturers and suppliers in the North of England, with a turnover of over £7 million, 70 staff at its Leeds headquarters and 12 teams of fitters.
Founded in 1988 by Directors Nigel Fletcher and Darren Barraclough and initially focusing on the trade and retail markets, the company has seen a marked shift in the split of its work over recent years – with commercial work now reaching around 70% of its overall revenue.
Since emerging from the recession, the new build and social housing markets have been reinvigorated, with Alternative Windows ideally placed to fulfil a large proportion of the new contracts out for tender.
Sales Director Darren Pratt, who’s been with Alternative for 21 years, explains why their approach is so successful: “We took the decision a long time ago not to try to compete on price,” says Darren, “which means we do lose out on some jobs. But it’s clear to us that when it comes to choosing new windows and doors, price isn’t always the prime factor; local developers are looking for thermal efficiency, lead-free profiles and faster supply and installation, all of which is deliverable with the Liniar system.”
“The interesting thing is that we’ve recently picked up a couple of jobs that we lost out on as we weren’t the cheapest. We’d written them off, but the developer has now come back to us to finish the jobs as they’ve had problems with the supplier they originally chose… after all, you get what you pay for!”
The Leeds City Centre regeneration PFI project spans 7 blocks of high-rise apartments totalling 550 dwellings, together with almost 1,500 low-rise and new build houses. The project is being managed by developer Keepmoat, who’ve allocated the supply of windows and doors to Alternative.
Worth around £5 million to Alternative over two years, the project commenced in December 2013 and is set to be completed in late 2015. Darren goes on to describe the reasons the Liniar system is ideal for large-scale projects such as these:
“The Liniar system goes through the factory much faster than other systems, so it’s more cost effective for us to manufacture,” says Darren. “It’s also much easier to achieve an ‘A’ rated window, as we have to do less to it than we would with a different system, such as enhanced (and more expensive) glazing. Our installers also love fitting Liniar as it’s been designed to be fitter-friendly – so they’re on site for less time overall, which helps with project completion deadlines.”
With the housing market set to continue its upward trend, the team at Alternative is ready to take advantage of the boom – and with its experience in this sector, there’s no doubt it can back up its claims and reap the benefits.
Alternative Windows can be contacted on: 0113 248 3773 or via their website: www.alternativewindows.com.
You can find out more about the Liniar range at www.liniar.co.uk or call the sales team on