2012 The year so far – Commercial Director’s summary
June 2, 2012
We always like to keep our customers informed as to what’s going on within our business, so what easier way than to use our new website to communicate this news. Because we’ve chosen a blog based site we can post the most up to date happenings at Clayton Glass, and by registering to receive updates you’ll be notified of these, as well as access to technical information, data sheets and marketing information.
So what’s been happening here at clayton glass so far this year?….
In January we held the third of our biannual customer satisfaction surveys, 70% of our customers responded to this so we gained some valuable feedback and once again 100% of our client base said they would recommend us to others. Product quality has improved over the same period last year, and On Time In Full has seen the best start to the year ever – in the first 19 weeks we have averaged 99.59% of products delivered first time on the right day and we have had 8 clear full weeks where we have delivered up to 15,000 bespoke items with no fails.
Commercially, for the period January-April overall sales are 12% up on 2011 so we are delighted that our customers seem to be bucking the trend and whilst some sectors are struggling a little, business for many is very good indeed. We have so far welcomed 6 new IG accounts to the business and overall the outlook for the remainder of the year looks very positive.
SMARTGLASSTM growth has been nothing short of phenomenal this year so we have increased capacity with additional shifts a new production line to enable this growth to continue. Glass roof sales are over 40% up on 2011 and with an increased infrastructure including our Midlands delivery hub we are now operating on a national basis. Further improvements have been made to the range, now a choice of 4 colours, and our marketing literature now includes a colour swatch with real glass samples….. as you can see a very busy and productive year so far for our flagship product!
On the machining and investment front we’ve installed two new automatic saws for the production of rigid warm edge bars, these machines have helped improved throughput and accuracy as well as the cleanliness of the cut itself. As you saw earlier we now have an additional assembly line for SMARTGLASSTM, but the big news this year is our investment in a new argon gas press for line 1, our original Lisec auto line. At around £250,000 this represents a significant sum but will give us the essential capability to flood fill on both lines and with it the ability to make over 200 gas filled units per hour, every hour, every day. In addition the software on both lines will be upgraded so both are capable of making triple glazed units – fully automated, twin gas filled cavities, giving a U value down to 0.8 using just standard glasses.
Product wise we’ve launched Superspacer Heritage – krypton filled, super slim and lean, for the timber and restoration markets. We can now process Planitherm 1.0, as the name suggests a 1.0 U value in a standard neutral glass, and Pilkington KS the new softcoat product from Pilks. As our most recent post, we’ve also extended our product range to include 4 metre single span SMARTGLASSTM
Finally, at the start of the year we went open plan, so rather than being in 3 seperate offices the customer service, accounts production and despatch teams now all share one open plan office. This means Joanne can shout over to Kenny, Kenny to Terry and Terry to Michael, and as a result communication between everyone is vastly improved! Ryan and I remain amongst everyone, so we too get to hear and see all the daily comings and goings and phone calls, keeping us fully up to speed in every department! On a related note, you may have heard that we may be moving. There is a possibility that the site may be sold for development, so we have been looking at various options over recent months. Planning is yet to be granted but if it does go ahead the most likely option for us is to relocate to a site just a couple of miles away. Any potential move would be made Christmas 2013, and with the building available to us fully 12 months in advance, we expect to be able to make a seamless transition.
I hope this brief update has been interesting, and that those of you new to the site will find it a useful tool – please feel free if you wish to contribute anything! I’d like to thank you for your continuing support in 2012, and hopefully you can see in the above we remain totally customer focused and committed to growth, investment and innovation.
Very best wishes for the remainder of the year.