2017 CHRISTMAS DELIVERY TIMES

Please note our Christmas shutdown this year will run from Friday 22nd December until Tuesday 2nd January inclusive.

Our last delivery day in 2017 will be Thursday December 21st, although volumes dependent we may well bring forward any orders for this day to minimise deliveries, especially distance on the last day.

Full service being resumed for orders, enquiries and deliveries on Wednesday 3rd January 2018.

Standard working day lead times will apply across this period, so obviously any product required for the first week in January would need to be ordered well before the break. We will of course do all we can to help over this period and will endeavour to meet any particular delivery requirements you may have.

Finally, may we thank you for your valued custom in 2017, and offer our very best wishes for the festive period.

Joanne Honour

Customer Service Manager

AUTUMN – GLAZING VIEWING CRITERIA

As we move again towards the colder shorter days, and low light of Autumn we’re reminded of the seasonal glass issues that this time of year can bring for installers. Last Autumn we published some guidelines on external condensation, we hope you found this useful and its posted again here as a reminder.

This year I’d briefly like to look at the effect of the morning and evening sun, its temporary effect on the visuals of installed glass and thus the importance of glass manufacturer, installer and customer all operating to the same standardised inspection criteria.

This really struck me whilst driving home in bright Autumn sun, through a tree lined street last week. I became suddenly aware that the sky was teaming with thousands, millions of particles – it literally looked like the attack of the midgies. Tiny flies, grains of dust, and pollen were shining like millions of little lights in front of me and for a second it was a bit alarming, as if an insects nest had been disturbed and they were swarming all over.

Suddenly the sun went behind a tree and it all disappeared, instantly.  When the bright and direct light disappeared, so did the flies. Or actually they didn’t –  it just dawned on me that they are always there, it’s just only under extreme lighting conditions could they be seen so vividly.

This incident brought to mind the problems that can be associated with glass units, when viewed in extreme light.

It’s the time of year where we are getting a few instances each week where we are being asked for replacements due to marks in cavity, from installations many months previous. The home owner was assumedly happy with their glass and windows for several months, but on certain days, at certain times of year and from certain angles small marks, streaks or other visual effects are apparent.

The Glass & Glazing Federation inspection criteria to which we adhere says of viewing conditions:

 ‘Do so in natural daylight, but not directly towards the sun and with no visible moisture on the surface of the glass’

Ignoring these instructions and viewing in direct sunlight, and especially at an oblique angle to the glass, will almost certainly result in otherwise invisible visual effects being noticeable, such as:

  • A bloom or haze illuminating the cavity (This is the low E surface catching the light)
  • Milky or dusty appearance
  • The accentuation of small scratches and particles

Just a reminder therefore to encourage all staff and customers to be aware of and to follow these instructions when considering whether a unit should be replaced not. We often offer site visits but are told only to come at certain times of the day when the sun is round – this should always ring alarm bells.

  •  View in daylight but not direct sunlight
  • View at right-angles to the glass, from 2 metres
  • Look through not at the glass

If these instructions are not followed properly, then almost certainly both installer and IGU supplier are going to spend time and money which could be avoided with the right understanding of inspection criteria.

http://www.ggf.org.uk/publication/quality_of_vision_double_glazing

BUILDING CUSTOMER SERVICE EXCELLENCE

Building and indeed maintaining customer service excellence is a must, explains Jason McCabe, commercial and site director of Clayton Glass. He goes on to suggest that being a large, owner managed, independent business is also a fundamental part of the equation.

You don’t have to be a Harvard academic to understand the requirements for customer service excellence. It should be a fundamental part of the corporate culture and DNA of any business, something that we can honestly boast at Clayton Glass and indeed across the whole National Glass Group that we’re part of.

With a number of independent glass companies having been swallowed up by larger groups in the industry over the last 18 months, what bearing will this have on a sector that historically was led by local, owner, managed businesses with an overwhelming commitment to customer excellence? I would suggest that there has been a tangible shift in perception and indeed the reality, by their respective customers.

Clayton Glass has won IGU Manufacturer in the National Fenestration Awards for the last two years, which is testament to what we do and how our customers perceive the product and service that they receive. On any given week we deliver 15-20,000 products, including standard IGU’s and also products from our market leading SMARTGLASS® range nationwide and remain one of the largest independent glass unit manufacturers in the UK.

There’s a notable difference as an independent business that’s overtly outwardly facing, in that our customers can speak to a wide range of contacts within Clayton Glass, or indeed with the directors including Ryan Green, managing director and myself. Communication is critical for us as a company both internally and externally, without the distraction of any other business units or product ranges, which also means decisions can be taken quickly and acted upon.

We’ve wrapped up our belief into customer service excellence, as part of our #TheClaytonDifference campaign, which encapsulates everything that we do with our extended customer service department, that’s led with a specific advisor for each customer. We have also structured the business, so we have different sales teams for IGU’s and for the conservatory side of the business, which continues to lead the market in terms of brand penetration and also in terms of product performance.

As a privately owned, autonomous and independent business, we are also able to source glass from any of the major manufacturers across Europe and indeed from across the globe for both relatively standardised products and also those at the cutting edge of development. Again, being independent is a major plus point for us, yet we can also benefit from the synergies and buying power that National Glass Group provides us with.

We also have the resources to invest and in the last 18 months alone we have moved to a new purpose built factory with over £5million invested in a completely new IGU line, amongst other capital equipment. Increased automation and the upmost product quality also remain core to our values as a committed business to the glass sector.

There is also flexibility in terms of deliveries and we deliver to any UK postcode any day of the week, thanks to our unique logistics operation, with additional pre-midday options available. For the roofing side of our business, we’ve also just announced a #FridayFlyer for SMARTGLASS® customers, who will receive a free upgrade to an am delivery on a Friday, up until the end of October.

We are also investigating the possibility to offer a free upgrade to a 3-day delivery across the SMARTGLASS® range, nationwide for Monday to Thursday deliveries. While the industry supply standard for PVCu windows and doors is a legacy from the last decade, we’re still pushing the boundaries in terms of customer service and delivery capabilities for today and tomorrow.

Clayton Glass is an owner led business first and foremost, with customer care at the very centre of our beliefs for the supply of IGU and specialist conservatory glass, without the burden of any other product manufacturing. With a global reach for product development, local focus on service and the group buying benefits of National Glass Group, we believe the mantra of ‘think global, act local’ has never been so true.

SMALL ORDER DELIVERY SURCHARGE

Despite the performance of our glass roof and other products continually increasing, for several years now we have been seeing falling order values in our markets be it through net shaped pricing, overall size or headline metre square rates. We understand this – it’s just business and like everyone else in the fenestration industry we remain focused on improving the value to our customer, controlling costs and helping you to differentiate your business with our class leading products such as Ultra 86.

Recently however we’re seeing a specific shift in the glass roof market, with hybrid, lantern and other systems joining the glass mix we process and deliver nationwide as part of our SMARTGLASS offering. Whilst these less traditional product lines are undoubtedly sales opportunities, they’re also highly challenging as we see a whole new product stream of small glass orders making up an increasing part of our busy daily delivery commitments.

These smaller orders usually have exactly the same demands in terms of lead time, geography, site locations etc, but they just tend to attract less sales value per delivery drop. Given our logistic costs are more or less fixed per drop as opposed to value of that drop, the net result is a huge imbalance in delivery cost vs delivered value.

We need to address both overall and on an order by order basis to remain a sustainable and important part of the supply chain for these low glass content installations.

We trust you will understand that delivering a one off chargeable unit or a small order to any UK postcode without fixed contribution to the cost of getting it there is simply not viable, and will work with us in maintaining our element of the supply chain to everyone’s benefit.  There are of course opportunities to fulfil these orders and avoid the unnecessary costs for all parties and this would remain our first option.

Advance, delay or combine a delivery, order side wall glass to accompany the roof glass, or even collect. We remain on hand to offer advice in combining delivery days etc and how to ‘play the system’ to minimise any impact, but we reluctantly advise orders placed from August 7th we will be implementing a delivery surcharge of £60 for all orders under £250 in attempt to make these sales viable to us.

Thank you in advance for your continued support.

A link to this document, for onward circulation as necessary.

Small Order Surcharge July 17

UPDATED NATIONWIDE DELIVERY DAYS FOR CONSERVATORY ROOF GLASS

We’ve updated our delivery days by postcode for conservatory roof glass orders, along with adding some additional added value services such as Pre 10 and AM delivery options, delivery on non-scheduled is also an option – effectively leading to reduced lead times. We remain the only roof glass manufacturer to offer a complete UK wide delivery service. Please take time to read, and circulate within your business, the two documents below:

SMARTGLASS Postcode Delivery Days July 17

SMARTGLASS Logistics August 2017

UPDATE: REVISED MAXIMUM IGU SIZES

Following our ongoing investment program and a review of manual handling procedures, we’ve updated our guideline for maximum IGU sizes. Please download the attached document for your reference and circulate as relevant within your business.

Note: Maximum SMARTGLASS conservatory roof glass sizes are unchanged.

UPDATE: NEW KEY CONTACT DETAILS

Its a key part of our offering that our customers have full and direct access to our management team and the various functions and departments.

As such we’ve updated our key contacts list and phone numbers, please take the time to Download our key contacts list and distribute to the people who may find this of relevance in your business.

 

CLAYTON GLASS SHORTLISTED FOR NFA AWARDS

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve been shortlisted for the 2016 NFA awards in the IGU manufacturer category which we won last year.

Thanks to all who have voted for us so far, so if you do think we’re the most forward thinking, customer focused, fastest growing, highest quality and most of all, friendly IGU company out there….

 ….Then please pick up you mouse one more time and vote for us at http://www.fenestrationawards.co.uk/

Clayton Glass to sponsor 2016 National Fenestration Awards

 Following our success in the 2015 IG Manufacturing category we’ve decided to get even more involved for next year by becoming one of the event’s main sponsors. Showcasing what’s best in our industry we feel is a worthy cause regardless of the exposure for Clayton Glass, so we’re pleased to be able to help out in this way.
It’s all too easy to see the negative side of our industry, so all the more important that those companies flying the flag for quality and integrity wherever they be in the supply chain are recognised. The NFA are proud that this remains one award where categorically industry votes and votes alone determine which business are successful, we would not have got involved otherwise.

So that said, at the 2015 winners event we had a great day and obviously we’d like to retain our title for a second year – so do please do help if you think we are worthy by voting for us at the link below !

IGU Manufacturer 2016

Thanks from all at Clayton Glass !

Auto emailing of delivery documentation now available for all IGU customers and deliveries

We’re just in the last stages of testing a new system where we are able to email you a live version of the days delivery notes, at the point they are printed.
This means that rather than waiting for the paperwork to arrive with the glass, a copy can be sent first thing directly to your inbox. This will give advance notice of exact what’s coming that day, reassuring you that your jobs are complete or giving advance warning of any issues if there are any unexpected problems. All we need from you is the email address to which you like the paperwork sent, just get in touch with customer services and we can set you up straight away.

Initially this service is available to all IGU customers and deliveries but roof glass delivery notes will follow shortly.
 

Clayton Glass recognised by Stock Exchange

1000InspireAnother accolade has headed our way this week – and even better as this time it was totally out of the blue. We’ve been recognised as one of the top ‘1000 companies that inspire Britain’, an annual celebration of the fastest growing and most dynamic SMEs.

The award is given to recognise sustained sales growth – the criteria being significant growth over at least a 4 year period and having out performed their industry peers in that time.

Here at Clayton Glass we all know that we’re growing our loyal customer base month on month,  year after year –  we just didn’t know anyone else was watching, especially not the London Stock Exchange !

A huge thanks to all of our customer for your ongoing support.

http://www.lseg.com/resources/1000-companies-inspire-brit

 

Clayton Glass win key national award

2015 IGU 2We’re delighted to announce that Clayton Glass have just been announced proud winners of IGU Manufacturer of the year in the 2015 National Fenestration awards.

Coming at a fantastic time to coincide with our move to a brand new factory, this award is testament to a lot of hard work and gives recognition for both our IGU operation an specialist roof brand SMARTGLASSTM.

What’s particularly pleasing is that the winner is voted for by industry professionals, so to gain so much support from our peers and customer base is especially rewarding for us as a team. Now we are fully settled in our new home we’re determined this industry award won’t be the last.

A huge thanks to all concerned.

Final stages of factory move approach

image

As we move into November I am delighted to report the factory move is going to timescale and so far without any significant disruption to service. This is because as planned all of the major pieces of plant and equipment at the new site have been purchased from new, and hence so far having only added to our machining capacity we have not had to move any significant pieces of kit. For the last 6 weeks or so we’ve been making 60% of our standard IGUs at the new site, all of our roof products and just moved in the last week or so are laminated products. For IT reasons however, we are still despatching from Tanfield so all this product is currently being shipped back down the road, before being married up with the remaining standard IGUs, decorative, shaped and express items.

As our second Bystronic IG line is installed this week however, we enter a more critical stage. This will give us the capacity, on all brand new equipment to make 100% of volume products at the Harelaw site, up to 15,000 units per week. Sometime therefore the tables need to turn where we despatch from the new site and ship the smaller volume items up the other way. Ideally this stage will be limited, a few weeks perhaps as the necessary IT infrastructure is installed tested, but at some time in the next month or so we’ll make the move completely, including the Customer Service team and all the office staff.

In the coming period whilst we have toughening facilities on both sites and are wholly confident in our ability to manufacture in volume, there are a few finer details which may be more difficult to manage. With our laminate cutting table at new site and Georgian bar manufacture at old, it may for example be more difficult to make a laminated Georgian unit in this time. Our manual assemble cell which makes smaller and decorative units will be next to move so we there is the potential for a day or two of disruption there, and really any next day product could be affected over this period.

Entirely relocating a £15m business that dispatches in excess of 3,000 bespoke products daily, ordered on a 5 day lead time and delivered nationally, was always going to be a daunting task without a lengthy shutdown. We are however about 80% through this process and once the coming weeks are dealt with Clayton Glass will be the very proud owners of a state of the art, modern and light production facility to take us and our customer base well into the next decade.

We hope you understand therefore if we do experience any service issues over the coming weeks, and we thank you in advance for your understanding and patience. Ryan, Jason and the rest of the sales and customer service teams of course remain available at all times to deal with any particular concerns should they occur.

SMARTGLASS gets a new home

We’re delighted to announce our new SMARTGLASS consumer website goes live this week, the new home for all information regarding this flagship roof brand. With an interactive product selector for both roof and walls, downloadable consumer brochure, gallery and technical hub it’s the ideal starting place for any potential retail customer to start their research.

This hi-visual site details full technical specification for the new 3 tier product range, from standard SMARTGLASS though PLUS+ to the ULTIMATE products, detailing the features and benefits of each and their potential uses. Likewise for our new SMARTGLASS-W, the range is explained in full ensuring the customer is fully acquainted with the important and unique extra properties this new range has to offer.

Linking the 2 products is our all new product selector, allowing the customer to enter the geographical aspect of the site together with technical and aesthetic requirements, and returning a bespoke result of the perfect wall and roof glazing configuration for the individual project.

The site is live now, fully optimised for mobile use too, whichever handheld device you choose to browse on.

Visit us at www.smart-glass.co.uk

Team Clayton Conquer Grizedale Pike

Team ClaytonA group of intrepid fell walkers took to the Lake District last week for a day out on the hills surrounding Keswick. 10 staff members from all backgrounds and experience levels made the trip, covering in total 12Km to a height of 791 m and taking in the considerable challenge of Grizedale Pike, an excellent achievement, but particularly for the novice walkers in the group. The weather was suitably kind with amazing views from the tops and needless to say once everyone had suitable recovered in the Skiddaw Hotel, a few pints helped relieve the stresses and strains of an arduous day out. Well done to all concerned, a return trip is planned although possible with a much more gentle stroll this time !

Clayton Glass gears up for factory move

At some point over the next year or so Clayton Glass will be relocating a couple of miles away, as the site we are currently on is developed for housing. Well that move seems a little closer now as we have now agreed to formally rent the new building in the interim period whist the various legal and planning processes run their course. For the last few weeks we have therefore had access to the new site and are busy clearing and fixing in preparation for this hugely exciting move.

New Factory Fit outThe 75,000 square foot layout has long since been planned from scratch, so unlike our current site the work will flow in a logical and orderly fashion through the 200 metre long factory. This site will house both SMARTGLASSTM and IG production under one roof, although to allow room for growth we are retaining our North Shields roof site even after the move is completed.

Most excitingly however, as the services and new substation are being installed we are finally able to commit to purchases on equipment.  This is an area where we have put in a great amount of thought and research in order to engineer out many of the problems we naturally get from some of the equipment that is ready for an update. In total we will be investing in excess of £1.5M in new plant and machinery including –

Cutting table – Hegla Autoloader

Picture1Similar to the two tried and tested models we’ve purchased over the past few years, with auto-load carriage,  a choice of 8 glass racks, high speed cutting and edge deletion. But as this machine will primarily feed to toughening plant it has built in laser etching meaning the kite marks no longer need manually applying so will always be clear and smudge free. With the sequence numbers also being laser’d on rather than by hand in special pen, both of these significantly remove the potential for glass contamination.  Because the table knows the orientation of the finished pane and its partner, the Kite marks can be applied so as to be assembled in matching corners in the finished unit.

 Furnace 4.2 x 2.5 TBC

We’re in the final process of making our choice here, but given the latest convection techniques and enhanced zonal control either of the two contenders represent a leap in toughening speeds and visual quality. The new machine will be able to attain throughput volumes of around twice the speed of our current furnace, with optically clearer and flatter glass.

IG Line, Bystronic

Picture2

As we saw at Glasstech Dusseldorf, this new high speed IG line has many new features which just weren’t available when we purchased our current Lisec lines. The main body of the 45m long vertical line abandons rollers in favour of air flotation to support the glass in transport, so the potential for the internal roller and dust marks we see from time to time is eradicated. The line has inbuilt glass and coating side detection, so a unit can’t be assembled the wrong way around and the glass is scanned for defects in 3 separate ways before assembly. Perhaps for us one of the best advances is the way the glass is transported during the gunning stage, historically fully automated IG lines have used tracks to grip and support the side of the units whilst the wet seal is applied,  whilst in our new model the glass sits in a ‘V Belt’. This means there is no direct contact with the face of the glass at any point, so less risk of surface contamination and a naturally cleaner unit is produced.

 

At Clayton Glass we continually strive to improve the value of what we offer to the market as a company – in terms of customer service, value for money and the quality of our product. We’re determined then that in this latest investment cycle there are some absolute clear wins for us in terms quality engineering our product, ensuring that we remain ahead of our competitors as a large part of our manufacturing problems can literally be consigned to the history bin with these new technologies.

Whilst the timescale for the move is yet to be pinned down exactly, the equipment above we expect to have installed by the end of summer this year. Given it’s all brand new high performance kit, these 3 items alone will be able to fulfill around 70% of our current IG demand and will be fully installed, commissioned and in full flow before we so much as unplug a kettle here. This together with a 12 month window from the point the legals are completed we hope will ensure the move goes as smoothly as these things can, most probably over the quiet Christmas period into early winter 2016.

Factory aside, from the office perspective we’ll have much more space to grow into and we aim to markedly improve the welfare facilities for both factory and office staff alike, with improved restrooms, staff canteen and extended welfare facilities. Our aim for the move is not just a physical one, but to offer a class leading working environment on which we can build an even stronger company culture, enhance the brand especially of our roof products, and cement our futures for decades to come. On this new platform we’re confident we can build a £25M manufacturing facility, in the North East over the next few years, and we will keep you closely informed as we progress.

Energy surcharge consolidation – an update

In reaction to Pilkington’s recent decision to consolidate and cease charging Energy Surcharge as separate entity, we posted last month our intention to do the same and over the last few weeks we’ve developed a new pricelist to facilitate this.

Given that we’re in December now and that there will be no change to the price you pay other than the way it’s displayed, we’ve decide to postpone the changes until January 1st 2015 as we hope this will prove a convenient switchover point for accounts teams and those involved in checking price.

In January therefore, what we currently invoice separately as Energy Surcharge will be incorporated into the basic rate, and will you will receive a new tariff with revised unit rates as well as a few extra useful bits. All other items will remain unchanged and we will be on hand to explain where necessary, although it couldn’t be simpler in that you will now see exactly what you will pay.

It remains to be seen what the effect of Energy surcharge consolidation will have on the raw glass supply market, but we will continue to use our increased scale and independence to reduce the impact of future rises.

Discontinuation of Energy Surcharge

After 10 years of the levy being applied separately, Pilkington and most other major glass manufacturers have decided to end the practice of charging an Energy Surcharge on the glass they sell. From November this year therefore, the glass we buy will be on an ‘all inclusive’ basis, and thus we ourselves and all other downstream processors will be able to revert back to the old position of an all-inclusive IG rate.

This will provide greater transparency and remove the need to add two numbers to get to the real price, which is what in practice we all do anyway whether buying or selling.

As there will be no effect on the net selling price we don’t have a deadline date for implementation, but over the coming weeks we will be replacing all existing tariffs with a view to everyone being ‘all inclusive’ by the end of November. Energy will simply be rolled back into the price at today’s level so while m2 rates will appear to rise, there will be an equal reduction in the surcharge at the foot of the invoice.

We welcome this simplification of structure which will be a benefit to us all in the long term, but please don’t hesitate to contact your account manager should you have any questions.

 

Autumn and Glazing Viewing Criteria

As we move again towards the colder shorter days, and low light of Autumn we’re reminded of the seasonal glass issues that this time of year can bring for installers. Last Autumn we published some guidelines on external condensation, we hope you found this useful and its posted again here as a reminder.

This year I’d briefly like to look at the effect of the morning and evening sun, its temporary effect on the visuals of installed glass and thus the importance of glass manufacturer, installer and customer all operating to the same standardised inspection criteria.

This really struck me whilst driving home in bright Autumn sun, through a tree lined street last week. I became suddenly aware that the sky was teaming with thousands, millions of particles – it literally looked like the attack of the midgies. Tiny flies, grains of dust, and pollen were shining like millions of little lights in front of me and for a second it was a bit alarming, as if an insects nest had been disturbed and they were swarming all over.

Suddenly the sun went behind a tree and it all disappeared, instantly.  When the bright and direct light disappeared, so did the flies. Or actually they didn’t –  it just dawned on me that they are always there, it’s just only under extreme lighting conditions could they be seen so vividly.

This incident brought to mind the problems that can be associated with glass units, when viewed in extreme light.

It’s the time of year where we are getting a few instances each week where we are being asked for replacements due to marks in cavity, from installations many months previous. The home owner was assumedly happy with their glass and windows for several months, but on certain days, at certain times of year and from certain angles small marks, streaks or other visual effects are apparent.

The Glass & Glazing Federation inspection criteria to which we adhere says of viewing conditions:

 ‘Do so in natural daylight, but not directly towards the sun and with no visible moisture on the surface of the glass’

Ignoring these instructions and viewing in direct sunlight, and especially at an oblique angle to the glass, will almost certainly result in otherwise invisible visual effects being noticeable, such as:

  • A bloom or haze illuminating the cavity (This is the low E surface catching the light)
  • Milky or dusty appearance
  • The accentuation of small scratches and particles

Just a reminder therefore to encourage all staff and customers to be aware of and to follow these instructions when considering whether a unit should be replaced not. We often offer site visits but are told only to come at certain times of the day when the sun is round – this should always ring alarm bells.

  •  View in daylight but not direct sunlight
  • View at right-angles to the glass, from 2 metres
  • Look through not at the glass

If these instructions are not followed properly, then almost certainly both installer and IGU supplier are going to spend time and money which could be avoided with the right understanding of inspection criteria.

http://www.ggf.org.uk/publication/quality_of_vision_double_glazing

Sucess at the Double in the Great North Run

OGreat North Runn behalf of everyone at Clayton Glass we’d like to offer a HUGE congratulations to our dear colleagues Sarah Dodds and Michael Thompson, who both successfully completed the race on Sunday.

Their achievement  is made even more special given that like many competitors they were both complete novice runners just a matter of months ago, and the excellent times achieved by both are testament to their hard work and determination on the day and in run up training.

Those of you who have since spoken to Sarah or Michael or have completed yourselves will know the pride and relief they are feeling at this moment will last for a considerable time to come, and is very much deserved.

Particular congratulations to Michael who through sponsorship, much from the generosity of our customers, was able to raise over £1,700 for the British heart foundation, while Sarah raised a significant sum for Willow Burn Hospice in Lanchester.