We hand over the reins for the Bohle column to Wayne Deasey, Technical Sales, Cheadle Glass.
The glass processing sector remains pretty competitive and the challenge for us and any glass processor is making sure that the margin is there in the work that we do.
We operate across many sectors; trade, retail, and commercial on a supply only and a supply-and-fit basis. We have our own in-house toughening, UV bonding, sand blasting, painted glass and CNC processing capability, which we also promote through our trade counter.
Where are the growth areas going to be this year? It’s really again as much about working out where the margin is? There is a massive demand out there in retail for splashbacks. It’s a sector where we and our customers are doing volume but templates can be time consuming and can eat into margin.
We’re seeing balustrades, glass flooring, partitioning and staircases generating growth and it’s a strong market place. We’re picking up work in domestic, new build and also commercial sectors.
We supply the Bohle Easy Mount balustrade system and see it as a growth product. The other product range which we believe is going to work well for us is Bohle’s internal sliding door system the Bohle Slidetec Optima range. It’s a well-designed product, it’s got a really good soft-closing system and manufacture is far easier than other systems we have fabricated.
Sliding door systems, office partitioning, balustrades, structural glass floors, treads - they’re really good growth areas and we have picked up a lot of commercial work since the start of the economic recovery. That latent demand is also there, driving demand in new build for splashbacks and mirrors.
UV bonding and glass furniture is also continuing to perform well, with demand from shops for display counters and jewellers cases. We’re seeing growing demand in particular for office furniture, glass boardroom tables, executive desks – it’s again part of the release of the demand on refurbs that were put on hold.
We always recognised that we needed to be ready to hit the ground running when recovery came, which is why we have formed a number of really important supply partnerships – Bohle being one of them.
As well as bringing new products online, we have also invested in our core manufacturing capability. This has included a new Intermac Vertmax fully automatic vertical line.
It’s been a really important investment for us in delivering increased capacity and repeat accuracy but also flexibility to accommodate short-lead time orders from trade customers.
It drills, shapes, polishes, does cut outs, radius corners – it removes a huge amount of handling from the manufacturing process and that means there is less chance of scratching or damage and that means we can deliver a better quality product to our customers.
For example, it’s significantly improved our ability to manufacture splash backs, allowing us to offer them more competitively through our trade counter.
The investment we have made is paying off. We have the infrastructure and supply partnerships in place. For us it’s really now about capitalising on them.
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