Systems Companies need to get their houses in order

If you manufacture aluminium doors and windows what kind of relationship do you have with your aluminium systems supplier?

My business is south-east based and rightly or wrongly we manufacture a variety of systems, Senior, Smarts, Beaurfort, Comar and SAPA.  Some are better than others, others are the worst. 

We operate in challenging times at the moment.  Margins are ever being squeezed, glass, metal and general material suppliers are putting their prices up, competition is on our door step with companies like Smart Systems reported to be opening many accounts in one area.  Whether you operate in the aluminium windows for residential markets or aluminium windows for commercial buildings our system suppliers are letting us down and letting us down significantly.

My company is doing ok - but in some cases we are having to offer the customer an alternative aluminium door and window system purely because we know if they go for a particular one, say SAPA and that systems company is not serving us well at present, we will ultimately let our customer down.  We cannot run a business scared of letting our clients down because we are being let down higher up the supply chain. 

Your recent post here on Understanding the Supply Chain made excellent points as did your contributors.  ALL aluminium door and windows systems companies need to wake up to what is REALLY happening in the marketplace and service their customers better in every respect. 

Gone are the days when companies were tied to just one system.  Maybe this has been the mistake of us fabricators in recent years that systems companies see us fabricating many systems and consider us disloyal now.  This could be a valid point, for example there are die-hard SAPA systems fabricators out there who remail steadfastly loyal due to the old Monarch system which was arguably one of the finest out there. 

We are having to adapt our businesses to meet the demands of ever changing markets and more knowledgable discerning customers.  I urge the systems companies who serve us to listen to our needs, improve their service and quality on all levels so we can continue into what is already a challenging year. 

Ed

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