DoorCo

A Day in the Life of a Door

7 o’clock. Postman arrives. I know because Bertie, the insatiably excitable hound, scrambles over my threshold to the front of the house. He jumps up in a wild fever, scratching and pawing at the front door. Claw marks adorn the panels underneath the letterbox from this daily charade. It’s the one time I feel smug about my role as a mere inside door.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel jealous of my front door brother. He’s something of an attention seeker and frequently has guests and passersby gushing at his marvellous appearance. He’s vibrant, colourful and unique, while I am plain, inoffensive and utterly unmemorable. He’s often the topic of conversation and, in recent times, has become something of a celebrity as obsessive Instagram influencers, wearing bold blue scarves to match his turquoise tones, travel across town to get the perfect snap.

‘Fronty’ (a nickname I’d never dare say in earshot of his hinges), is also adorned with lavish features. A cast-iron knocker in the shape of a lion; personally, I think it’s outdated and jars with the rest of the house, but for some reason everyone loves it. A smooth iron door knob; whose spherical shape is far more appealing than my more practical handle.

Even on the inside, he’s a showboat. Unlike me: A plain Jane; nothing to write home about. Damaged, in fact. Not only is he more garish than I am, he’s also cleaner than me, since he doesn’t have grubby children’s fingers swinging him open and shut all day.

As for touch, Fronty regularly gets a tender caress with a gentle knock and occasionally, a more exciting frisk with a smart rap. I, on the other hand, am simply pushed around, all day long. My idiotic owners roam from room to room, swinging me open and shoving me never-quite-shut. My hinges groan and creak from overuse and I end everyday weary with the endless exercise.

You might say, I have the upper-hand when it comes to arguments. I come into my own when there’s fury in the house and my reverberating slam leaves everything trembling. But Fronty takes the glory here too: a slam of the front door has a mighty finality that I could never achieve.

But don’t worry – I don’t spend all my days skulking in the shadow of showy Fronty. This weekend I had the star treatment – a real pampering. My owners have been mulling over redecorating for years and after many years of let downs, I could be forgiven for thinking this time was just like all the rest. But to my sheer delight, it really happened. I was given a gorgeous new creamy sheen, or a ‘lick of paint’ as they kept saying. Not one new coat, but two! And on top of my luscious thick new paint, I finally got some piece this weekend as all the kids were banned from touching me and I was left ajar, facing away from Fronty, able to enjoy my long-overdue time in the spotlight.

DOORCO Reveals New Glass Collection

Leading composite door supplier DOORCO, announces the launch of a new glass collection which will be available to customers from 16th November. The new collection has been created from a widened network of door glass suppliers and contains over 40 styles of decorative glass.

“Door glass is now an integral part of a door’s design and customers increasingly look to DOORCO as a single supply point for all their door components,” says Dan Sullivan, DOORCO MD. “Even before the challenges of 2020, the supply of door glass was an issue so earlier this year, we started work on a new glass collection from a wider range of suppliers. The main objective was to develop a more robust supply chain where we can control supply, quality and choice, and allow us to effectively manage our own stock and better deliver on our service promises. It also offers customers access to a refreshed range of new designs.

“DOORCO has maintained many of the popular decorative options in the new collection, as well as adding 15 new and exclusive designs that are a mix of traditional and modern styles. All options have been named or renamed in line with the new brand. In addition, DOORCO offers five clear and obscure glass choices.

“While the initial objective is to strengthen supply, the new collection is a platform to further develop some DOORCO original glass designs, as we have recently produced for the Pink Door Range with our Creative Consultant Jeyda. Our new composite door slab, powered by GRiPCORE Technology, will also be launched with bespoke glass designs early next year.

“The new digital DOORCO door brochure features all the new collection and can be viewed at: https://www.paperturn-view.com/uk/doorco-technology/doorco-door-brochure-edition-4?pid=MTE118988&v=3.”

Pretty In Pink

When it comes to colours, pink is one of the more debated shades. A whole spectrum of hues have their own nuanced meanings, but overall, there are some fairly deeply embedded associations between pink and femininity. This hasn’t always been the case, though.

Research seems to suggest that pink started being aligned with the female gender only when companies began to mass-manufacture clothing. More recently, considerable waves in feminism have demanded a move away from gendered colours.

As a feminist myself, I sympathise. Making pink a stereotypically female colour is a true tragedy for the shade, because it has such appeal as a colour. It appears all over the place in nature: in breathtaking sunsets, mouthwatering meats, alluring flowers clamouring for pollination, and exotic flamingos pottering around. Blue, pink’s male-gendered counterpart, sees nowhere near as much action.

It’s no wonder we try to imitate the beauty of pink through products. Unsurprisingly, I’m a huge fan of a pink door. I think it would be a real shame if the unfounded belief that ‘pink is for girls’ was still so strongly held that someone would avoid the colour. When I’m out and about, pink doors always grab my attention, but the impression they create differs depending on shade.

HOT PINK

A hot pink or fuschia is a really playful colour. It has a huge personality, perhaps owing to the fact it’s the closest to the fiery red. For a bold door choice, this looks phenomenal.

ROSE PINK

A rose or middling pink is a charming tone. It’s appealing without being overbearing and has a romantic essence. It looks great paired with a dark brick facade.

SALMON

Salmon, coral or other pink tones that have a hint of orange are really unique. They’re rarely seen on doors so really stand out when they are chosen. I think they look beautiful when set against a white wall (although get ready to regularly repaint because no-one wants a grubby, off-white shade).

BLUSH PINK

A blush or light pink looks extremely delicate and classy. It’s subtle, tender and soft. It makes a truly attractive front door with a sweet yet understated nature.

DOORCO is a company embracing the power and beauty in the colour by bringing out a whole pink door range. 20% of door blank sales will be donated to We Mind and Kelly Matters, a charity close to the hearts of the team. To complement the stunning shades, we’ve paired some new glass design – created by yours truly.

We’re tickled pink by the result and we hope you will be too!

 

Until next time,

Jeyda, Chief Doork

 

Technology Trends

In November’s GGP magazine column from DOORCO, Jayne Sullivan, Operations Director looks beyond conventional door trends and talks about the development of IT and technology in the leading composite door manufacturer’s business, and how it is impacting on future plans.

Technology Trends

It’s fair to say that in this post-Covid world, technology plays a big part in all our lives: from seeing family and friends, to doing our jobs. We shop online, we work online, we socialise online – everyone has had to embrace it. From a business perspective, the strategic IT systems we’d already put in place gave a significant boost to DOORCO’s ability to keep the wheels turning, but ultimately we make doors and we need people in the factory. We are working to the highest level of health & safety standards to keep our employees safe and well, and allowing remote working wherever possible for our office-based staff. Our sales team are working from home and conducting virtual meetings, and so we continue. IT and technology has made all this happen, but for DOORCO, its role is far more intrinsic.

Foresight

We recognised a few years ago that IT was going to play an important role in the business going forward so in 2018, we invited Ben Aspinall to join the business as IT and Projects lead. His main task was to devise and implement strategies to improve efficiency and service across the board. A fully integrated IT-based manufacturing system that communicates orders, stock levels, capacity and allows us to report on virtually anything is now in place and along the way, we have improved online ordering and communication with our customers, increased manufacturing capabilities and capacity, enabled better onboarding for new customers, and improved lead times and delivery.

Ben now heads up a team of five and together they have delivered on significant projects in addition to the above, such as a bespoke door designer and ordering system, integrated universal customer barcoding and an internal and fully traceable order tracking system – all of which has enabled us to deliver a universal JIT service and enhance business growth.

Expansion

The next stage is the significant investment we’re making into expanding our manufacturing capacities: rather than simply introducing more shifts, DOORCO is leading the way with IT and technology. This expansion was always in the business strategy, but current factors have accelerated it considerably and the skill now in the business allows us to take a more progressive approach.

Product development

2021 is going to see DOORCO launch some exciting new products and the impact IT has had on their development has been considerable. More than just allowing the work to continue whilst travel has been limited, we’ve explored new ways of engineering that are advanced and innovative.

Marketing

IT has impacted our marketing too. We’ve improved our digital landscape of course, but also have the skill to better deliver our more traditional collateral, like brochures, with more impact and efficacy. We’ve got big plans in this area and we’re looking forward to showcasing these next year too.

 

There’s no doubt that in recent months, we’ve gained significantly from the pre-COVID focus we’d already put on technology. True, the implementation has had to be accelerated, but IT is now embedded into the heart of DOORCO operations, production, communication and marketing. We’ll be continuing to take our usual innovative approach as we explore new automation and technology advances, all with the ultimate aim of giving customer what they want, when they want it.

Inspired Glass

Dan Sullivan, MD of DOORCO talks to Glass Times magazine about how effectively managing their glass supply chain has enabled the leading door manufacturer to launch a brand new and exclusive door glass collection.  Jeyda Heselton, DOORCO’s Creative Consultant adds her unique view on the inspiration behind some of the new designs.

Inspired Glass

Delivering JIT doors is a priority for DOORCO. Whether that’s just a slab, the door in part or fully prepped and glazed doors. One thing we’ve been able to offer our customers during lockdown is the flexibility to support them in the post-Covid boom, stepping in to offer a back-up to their door production with our added-value services such as painting, prepping and glazing. We saw literally thousands more doors than usual pass through our factory in July and August. Never before has the critical role of a secure supply chain been more apparent. While none of us could have predicted this health and economic crisis, it’s been a relief to have Phil Taylor and his team managing our Business as Usual strategy, as well as working behind the scenes on creating an exclusive DOORCO Glass collection which will be launching from 26th October.

Offering something new – it’s what we do

DOORCO took the decision to widen the glass supply chain early this year with the main objective being to develop a robust supply chain for growth that protects and maintains continuity of supply, especially as customer demands become more complex and sophisticated. By making our supply chain more robust we can effectively manage our own stock and better deliver on our service promises.  We also wanted to be able to give our customers something new and something different. Working with DOORCO offers our customers the competitive edge in a crowded marketplace so we must keep innovating to deliver. Who else is better to turn to than Jeyda Heselton, our creative consultant.

A Fresh direction

During a discovery session early in January, we tasked Jeyda with creating her own collection of glass designs, some of which have you may have seen on The Pink Door Range.  Jeyda describes the creative process behind some of the new glass being launched this year: “As a true doork, it’s been absolutely thrilling to be able to see behind the closed doors of DOORCO. Early in 2020, before the world turned upside down, I met with the team to discuss ideas and I was challenged to create glass designs to complement DOORCO’s plans for the coming year. Just as I have seen the inside of a door company, I’m here to share how the creative process went – from start to finish…

“As always, DOORCO’s style is to push the limits of traditional door design which gave me the freedom to pursue some creative glass ideas. Having spent years photographing residential doors but rarely being inspired by the glass panes, I decided to start by seeking inspiration from outside (and I mean quite literally). At the start of any creative journey, I head outdoors and just walk around, staring (some would say manically) at everything in the street. It’s a process I love doing and find extremely thought-provoking. The trick is to take your time, no phone, no music and really just tune into the details of the world around you.

“As I wandered, I took photos of all the things I found visually interesting or that sparked particular trains of thought. When I got back, I uploaded them all onto the computer and started grouping them into categories. Two diametrically opposed themes stood out – natural world and manmade. Within those, the types of patterns and shapes then also fell into different narratives.

“With inspiration in the bag, I switched to sketching. Here, I marked out the shapes of glass that I knew were DOORCO’s most popular sellers. I began simply experimenting, drawing inspiration from the photos of things I’d seen around the neighbourhood.

“Once I was happy with a few of the designs, I moved onto the computer. Here I could take the designs and try out endless colour combinations. My mild synesthesia meant I got stuck on this stage for several hours, constantly swapping and changing for new tones. Eventually, I realised I was probably getting carried away so forced the laptop shut and in the morning sent some samples over to DOORCO. Admittedly, I was nervous to see what they would think – having never designed something of this nature before.

“To my delight, the feedback was really positive. We discussed our favourites and the marketing team helped to impose the designs into DOORCO doors and then worked with RegaLead to find out whether the designs I’d created would even be possible to make. Thankfully, they were!

“Two of the most popular glass designs were integrated into the new pink door range – a project where DOORCO is donating 20% of pink door slab profits to the charity, We Mind Kelly Matters.

Bold Impulses

“This glass features loud, abstract designs that celebrate human spontaneity. A huge pair of lips, somewhat reminiscent of the Rolling Stones, lies partially within the frame and large parallelograms shoot off diagonally, like a particularly confusing zebra crossing.

Straight Imposition

“Bright, geometric shapes inspired by architecture & structural design. These are overlaid with playful flicks, which represent the mischievous crossover between the natural world and manmade design.

“There are a few more designs to come which will be launched exclusively soon and added to the overall DOORCO glass collection in due course. I’m excitied to see them become reality and to hear what you think?”

DOORCO’s new glass collection, which includes some of Jeyda’s designs, is being launched to customers in November. Introducing these new designs to the collection, along with others from a wider supply chain offers an opportunity for a reliable, robust and exclusive supply of door glass for the composite door mark.

To read the full article, visit P101 of the October edition of Glass Times.

DOORCO Joins FIT Show 2020

Leading composite door supplier, DOORCO is delighted to announce their presence at FIT Show 2021 with the biggest stand to date and many new innovations to share.

Dan Sullivan, DOORCO MD comments: “It’s been a few years since DOORCO has attended FIT in an official capacity but we felt that with all the trials of 2020, it was a great time to show our support to what we believe is going to be the biggest FIT show yet.  Visitors will be even more hungry to link up with the supply chain and see the latest innovations – something which DOOCO has in abundance. We have some exciting plans in place already and we’re looking forward to connecting with customers, prospects and the industry as a whole.  DOORCO is excited to be back.”

FIT Show event director, Nickie West commented: “We are absolutely delighted that DOORCO will be taking to the floor at FIT Show 2021. Over 60% of our audience visit FIT Show seeking doors and it’s fantastic to have such a forward-thinking brand who will help to meet this demand.

“We’re always impressed by what DOORCO delivers at FIT Show, but 2021 is set to be extra special. With no industry event since 2019, we know that our audience will be more excited than ever to see the very latest products and innovation across the market, up close and in person at FIT Show.”

Dan concludes: “The FIT Show is the industry’s only dedicated exhibition and we’re determined to make the best of this opportunity to showcase DOORCO’s latest innovations and generally celebrate being back together by welcoming customers – current and new – on stand F5 at FIT Show 2021.”

For more information about The FIT Show, visit: www.fitshow.co.uk

Blank Trends

In DOORCO’s regular door trends column in GGP Magazine, October sees Jayne Sullivan go back to basics with a report on the trends the leading composite door manufacturer is seeing when it comes to door blank sales.

Blank Trends

As DOORCO is essentially a cog in the wheel of composite door market, supplying the door blank that empowers fabricators to create their own doors, we thought it would be interesting to go back to basics and explore the trends we are seeing from our core slab sales.  Although we talk about prepped doors a lot, slab only supply is where DOORCO started and still makes up around 75% of our business.  Ranging from traditional to contemporary, DOORCO has range of pre-app and blank door slabs which aid efficient and effective manufacturing.

Pre-App Slabs

The 4 Panel Pre-App is unique to DOORCO. The top two panels of the blank have already been removed as part of a new tool design, so for customers looking to make traditional styles such as Carnoustie, it offers significant savings on time and waste as no machining is required, and for a styles like Lytham, there is a removeable mid rail which again simplifies production and offers versatility from 1 door design – you can save an average of 49 seconds CNC machining time per door by using the 4 Panel Pre-App. Sales of this product make up around 15% of all doors sold in the last year.

 

Door Blanks

When it comes to door blanks for fabricators, DOORCO offers nine options plus side panels. The 6/4 Combi is one of the first DOORCO innovations introduced to the market and remains our most popular slab today. It is the most versatile blank as it allows you to create seven different door styles, as well as having a positive effect on simplifying ordering and stock. An alternative to the 6/4 Combi is the 4 Panel Blank top which is perfect for creating popular designs with a half-moon top such as Riviera or Portrush.

Moving away from the traditional panelled door, the Farmhouse – another of DOORCO’s door innovations introduced back in 2014 – is still one of our bestsellers, making up over 27% of overall sales. The Farmhouse is used to make iconic styles like the Belfry and Sunningdale, as well as one of our newer cottage designs, the Merion.  Over 25% are White/White, but we see a contemporary styling making an impact with Anthracite/White in close second with 22%.

The more contemporary blanks – Flush, Monza II and Links – make up the lion’s share of the remaining blank sales, something that has accelerated during COVID. In fact, looking at July 2019 vs 2020, where literally thousands more doors are being sold, Monza II has increased to almost 10% of sales, taking a larger chunk in a growing market that doesn’t look set to slow. We’re delighted see that these sales of Monza II, widely accepted as the benchmark for contemporary entrances, continues its upward trajectory following its launch in 2017.

The Covid Difference

While Farmhouse and 6/4 combi are still the overall bestsellers, indicating the traditional door market is still dominant, post-Covid contemporary doors – and in particular Monza II – are becoming more prevalent as overall trends suggest homeowners’ choices are becoming bolder (see previous columns).

The real ‘Covid Difference’ for DOORCO however, has been in the demand for our added-value services – painting, prepping and glazing – even from our distribution customers. Prepped door sales have risen 11% since lockdown as customers are relying on DOORCO to support those facing heightened sales and restricted workspaces.

Where next?

Looking forward I don’t see much changing from the trends we are seeing emerging post-lockdown, but DOORCO does have a new slab on the horizon that is going to be a gamechanger. Watch this space!

What do your door sales look like and are you seeing a Covid Difference? In volume and style? We’d love to hear your trends. Please get in touch via social media – @doorco_official on twitter, DOORCO Ltd on LinkedIn and Facebook or @DOORCOUK on Instagram.

DOORCO Nominated for NFA Composite Door Manufacturer

We’re delighted to announce that DOORCO has been nominated in the Composite Door Manufacturer category of this year’s National Fenestration Awards.

The NFAs aim to reward the very best of the fenestration industry through participation of the sector, from nomination to awards – making it the fairest, all-inclusive fenestration event around.  This means it takes your vote to decide the winners!

Please vote for DOORCO if you think we:

  1. Offer customers the competitive edge with the most innovative composite door products and the widest range of designs and colours
  2. Go above and beyond to deliver good lead times with an honest approach to supporting customers
  3. Maintain a robust supply chain, even in challenging times as we’re in now.

To vote for DOORCO, please visit: http://www.fenestrationawards.co.uk/nfa2020/

Voting closes on Tuesday 24th November at 10pm.

Thank you for your support.

Brave in the new world

DOORCO MD, Dan Sullivan discusses with GGP Magazine, his thoughts on the current market and what comes next for the independent composite door supplier.

Brave in the new world

DOORCO started out 2020 with big plans. New products, new marketing, growth. Come the end of March and seemingly this all came to a grinding halt. With so much uncertainty, we debated and discussed our previous plans for hours on end: Do we continue with new product investment? Do we put it on ice? We wrote scenario after scenario, and we were glad to just be able to open our doors and unfurlough our staff as lockdown started to ease. Setting up a safe working environment for them meant that we could start making doors again to meet our customer’s demands – whatever they might be. We certainly didn’t expect the boom we saw in that first week, but it quickly became apparent homeowners were looking to invest in their homes. All those initial contingency plans were in the bin – we had not written one where the script read double digit growth!!

According to the 2020 Renovation Nation Report published in early August by money.co.uk, homeowners have spent over £50billion on renovations since lockdown, which equates to £4,035.70 per household.  The report suggests that the majority of spend (63% of homeowners spoken to) is made on making homes more comfortable because they are spending more time at home, while 27% are intending to increase the value of their home, diverting funds that were intended to be spent on travel. 40% have also admitted to ‘Zoombarrassement’ over the appearance of their homes too! While many are focusing on specialist areas – offices, gyms, bars – I think it is fair to say the fenestration industry is enjoying its share of this spending spree.

Bolder choices

DOORCO has certainly seen a rise in composite door sales post lockdown. Comparing July 2019 to July 2020, we’ve seen a 34% increase in manufacturing slab sales & 10% increase in distribution slab sales, but the detail of those sales is where it gets interesting.  Consumers are making bolder choices when it comes to design and colour. Our contemporary doors – Monza II, Flush and Links – make up 75% of that increase. Grey is still the most popular colour in this range, demonstrated by our standard Anthracite/ White slab sales nearly doubling, but we’re seeing more and more bolder colours coming through our paint line.

We’re adding some new colours too such as The Pink Door Range which is available from 1st September. Pink has always been available as a special, but it was missing from our standard and premium colour range, which is devised from popular colours. It seems its launch is right in fashion; thanks to the Hinchers (followers of Instragram star, Mrs Hinch) who have recently started a wave in pink front doors.

DOORCO’s Pink Door Range will be supporting industry charity We Mind & Kelly Matters with 20% of its sales.

Streamlining

The other big shift we have seen is the use of technology to reorganise communications.  We’re all busy so this makes sense and while those of us that work in manufacturing are ‘back in the office’ now, we’ve all had to adjust to working from home, and only technology has made this possible. Some of us that are less IT literate have certainly become more comfortable with online meetings, online ordering and the like (although there’s still no place like my office!).  Thankfully over the last three years we have made big investments in IT, so we were well prepared to support customers in their bid to carry out technical upgrades, updating content and improving integration with our ordering systems.

DOORCO is also supporting customers to streamline their manufacturing, too. Many are facing increased orders with restrictions manufacturing and staff, and DOORCO is able to offer added-value services such as prepping, painting and glazing to help ease the strain. More than 1000 extra doors went through our in-house manufacturing lines in the first few weeks in July. Customers also know that they can rely on DOORCO to deliver, and to be honest if we can’t. We place huge emphasis on stock holding, of doors, glass and accessories, and were determined to maintain our OTIF levels as best we can in these challenging times. But we’ve faced huge challenges in meeting stock expectations on all fronts, and so further work is needed for us to reach the new levels of demand post COVID. We have introduced extra shifts both here and Korea to meet demand, we are investing in more storage space for increase stock holding, and we will recruit key people to help us achieve the service levels our customers need.

Long may it continue

Without a crystal ball, it’s impossible to know how long this boom will continue – 2020 has hardly been textbook so far and the true fallout of a national lockdown is still to come. There have been bumps along the way and tough decisions to make, but having confidence in these decisions, your business, products and team, staying on top of trends, talking to your customers and adapting to the evolving market conditions is paramount to riding out this uncertainty.

This is why DOORCO is taking lockdown as a blip on the landscape and moving forward with the plans we set out with at the start of 2020. We’ve got some very exciting products just around the corner, including a new innovative slab that is really going to mix things up…watch this space!

Read the full article on Page 14 of the GGP Guide to Doors supplement