With the Coranavirus/Covid-19 in the headlines, what is the door and window industry doing reassure customers during these uncertain times? Like any industry right now, window and door companies across the supply chain are taking advice and putting measures in place, to protect their customers and their staff.
Update 26th March 2020
Since this article was written, many in the home improvement industry have made the decision to close their showrooms to protect their staff and the public. There is a grey area around construction. It’s important to remember windows and doors form part of major construction work aside from housing. Therefore some commercially orientated installers are continuing to work while following Government guidelines.
Generally speaking however, most in the fenestration sector are now closed and awaiting further guidance, working at home and offering the best service they can online.
Communicate with your home improvement firm online.
The door and window industry is actually quite hi-tech! While the advice is to avoid non-essential contact, it’s also possible to think and plan future home improvements online. And the window industry is well placed to do this.
Sales and Estimating Software, online brochures, virtual showrooms, live chat and more. Many businesses have the tools and expertise in place to quote you from your drawings or plans. Why not get an initial quotation based on rough sizes? You can at least plan for your forthcoming project when things return to normal.
Most in the window industry have their Facebook pages, Twitter and Instagram profiles and are there ready to communicate with you.
As we understand it, measures are in place to continue to fulfil customer orders too and we’ve heard no reports of extended lead times or problems getting material, glass, hardware or labour.
Can homeowners continue to buy doors and windows safely?
Businesses will make their own decisions on several factors as to whether to remain open. The reality is, in the last few days many have seen a downturn. Here are just some of the measures retain showrooms or factories are taking. And right now there are no restrictions on home improvements like there are for the food, drink or leisure sectors.
1. Businesses are taking extra measures with enhanced cleaning, including wiping down showroom samples after every customer visit and especially door and window handles. Premises are also being cleaned more frequently generally.
2. Offices, showrooms or trade counters have toilet facilities provided with soap, disposable paper towels and hand gel.
3. Many are happy to arrange to see you by appointment for a one-to-one consultation if you are concerned about other people coming into their premises while you are there.
4. There is no need to shake hands – you’ll get the same warm welcome.
5. Office staff, delivery drivers, fitting teams and salespeople are observing all the recommended precautions when working in customer houses.
6. Staff and fitting teams are fully briefed about the need to self-isolate and not come into work should they feel unwell.
How the window trade is adapting
With a diverse supply chain, several measures are in place already ensuring continuity of supply. As a result, we don’t know of any delays as yet with the supply of windows and doors.
Several manufacturers are making statements saying they are very much open for business and also promising all they can to keep the production of aluminium and pvcu, glass and accessories flowing to the installer.
However, the safety and well-being of visitors and staff are also important. Here’s what some in the trade are doing to work through this crisis.
Additional hand sanitisers placed in all public areas. We also know of businesses having placed signs around their premises advising of good personal hygiene practices.
As well as this additional cleaning is being carried out using antibacterial materials and also to staff keyboards, bannisters, handles and other areas of their premises in frequent contact by their staff or visitors.
We know of others no longer asking for signatures with deliveries – the purpose being to minimise touching of pens, paper, keypads or tablets.
We’ve also seen some businesses activating a live chat service.
Measures by Systems Companies protecting the public and staff.
While systems companies are also open for business, we know they have frequent training days, seminars, collection of material and visits from other businesses and people. Here’s what we know some are also doing.
Visits to system company premises are reduced to those which are urgent or necessary. Some are also stopping collections of material but doing all they can to service requests for material either through their normal or expedited delivery service.
Training and Seminars are presently suspended by some and we understand they’re exploring other methods for providing training to their installers or fabricators.
Those systems companies with additional showrooms have also suspended visits to these, others are taking steps to reduce the number of people at any one time.
Of course, many staff are now working from home where they can. This is harder for production operatives
The Aluminium Trade Supply Website is also here to help.
As an online free information resource, we are here to help, advising and informing on aluminium windows and doors, putting you in touch with the right suppliers. Get in touch with us today.