A new meaning of home brings positivity for the industry

In the last six months the economy has taken a big hit. Uncertainty in business. Rules changing on a daily basis. Industries learning to adapt. As a large-scale fabricator, we’re no different. We’ve seen the impact of COVID-19 on our supply chain, with longer lead times and installers having to take extra precautions when fitting products in homes.

What I didn’t expect here at Lancashire Trade Frames is that, despite everything 2020 has thrown at us, customer demand has surged. It seems the enforced lockdown has changed Britain’s relationship with their home. What was once ‘bricks and mortar’ for eating and sleeping, has now become a place of work, a place to play and a sanctuary. Home improvements have become the new British hobby. Factor in the recent decrease in the number of mortgage approvals, and it would seem home really is where the heart is, and will be for some time.

So, what does this mean for the glazing industry? At Lancashire Trade Frames it means we’re busy. Very busy. People are ready to invest in their home, extend their living space, update windows and doors and invest in aluminum bi-folds ready for the Summer months. We don’t take it for granted. We could never have forecast what would happen this year. But the reality is we’ve seen a big increase in customer demand from the previous year, and there’s no sign of it slowing down.

So how have we dealt with the twin impact of higher demand and a more stringent working environment? If anything, it’s reminded us to keep doing the same. First and foremost, we’ve remained committed to delivering excellent customer service and an excellent product. It’s what we’re built on and it’s what we’ll grow from.

The one thing we have adapted is our message to customers. They know they’ll get an exceptional product and service level from us, but we can’t always control the lead times from our suppliers. That’s why we’re managing expectations. Explaining the reason for delays and giving clear and consistent messages on stock and supply issues. This is especially important as lockdown eases and customers are, understandably, keen to have their products in a short timeframe.

I can’t predict the future. What I do know is that ‘home’ has taken on a new meaning in 2020, and if we keep investing, being honest with customers and delivering the best we can, there’s a lot of positives for the glazing industry in a post-COVID world.