Nineteen independent suppliers to the home improvement market have penned an open letter to the fenestration industry, as the sector looks to balance unprecedented demand with global supply chain pressures.
Bosses, from companies including Clayton Glass, Conservatory Outlet, Consort, Emplas, Glazerite UK Group, Nationwide Windows & Doors, Solar Frame and Sternfenster, have joined forces to address several Covid-19 related issues that are currently hampering how they can meet the national appetite for doors, windows, roofing systems and glazing products.
The firms, which are based across the UK and span all the different specialisms of the supply chain, clearly lay out three of the main challenges currently facing them, including disruption with materials, rising prices/energy costs and significant labour shortages due to the pandemic and Brexit.
They call for industry to show a united front of solidarity in that every supplier is weathering the same storm and that, by giving customers an understanding, they can quickly work together to provide solutions and get back to delivering continuity of supply.
“I don’t think anyone could have prepared us for what has happened in the last twenty months – from having to close due to Government guidance and making our factories Covid-19 secure to then having to scale up to cope with what has been a 130% increase in demand for many of us,” explained Ryan Green, Managing Director of Clayton Glass, one of the driving forces behind the letter.
“It would have been a big enough challenge on its own, but we are having to achieve this against a backdrop of global shortages in our core materials, workforce uncertainty due to isolation/a lack of workers and now rising prices across the board.”
He continued: “This cocktail of issues has unfortunately caused suppliers across our industry significant difficulties, and we can’t escape the fact lead times have been pushed out and supply has been disrupted.
“The letter isn’t a sob story, it’s more a case of trying to give our customers and, in turn, their customers, a clear insight into what we are all dealing with. It’s not one company doing something wrong, these issues are affecting all of us.”
The open letter to the fenestration industry will be posted on the website of all signatory companies and shared across their social platforms, with the content also distributed to local, b2b and trade media.
Ryan concluded: “We will continue to work round the clock to deliver a product and service that clients are happy with, and we are confident that together we will correct these issues and things will stabilise – it’s just the timing that is currently uncertain.
“If any industry can adapt and emerge from this year stronger than ever, it’s ours.”