To all our customers,
DOORCO has returned to work this week with a skeleton team to action the necessary “Safe Working Practices” which enables our company to function in a way that is safe for our team and our customers/suppliers. Providing a safe working environment for the DOORCO team is the main focus at this time and the team has been implementing these changes that will be in place for the foreseeable future.
We have taken information from Government guidance, industry practices and shared advice between customers and suppliers which has been a great assistance in shaping DOORCO’s new working practices. Some of the new Safe Working Practices include social distancing measures from entrance and throughout the premises, reduced head count in the office, daily temperature checks for all staff, daily health check questionnaire, increased levels of PPE issued including gloves/visors, and hourly work station clean down, to mention just a few. This week has provided us with a unique opportunity to work in our new environment without volume pressures to consider.
From Monday 4th May DOORCO is open for business, we will continue to run with a skeleton team that provides cover across all areas of the business: Distribution of door blanks and prepped doors along with the supply of the accessories, glazing cassettes and glass. As the demand increases, we will increase the team numbers in line with customer requirements.
DOORCO has continued to receive container deliveries during the lockdown period, so needless to say DOORCO’s stock position is extremely strong across door blanks, cassettes and glass.
We will be continually reviewing our working practices as we move forward. We will be taking into consideration any updated guidance given by the government and keeping open lines of communication with our customers and suppliers as everyone adapts to the New Normal.
Stay safe and let’s hope a return to normal business volumes can be achieved soonest.
We are currently in COVID-19 temporary shutdown until further notice and will re-communicate opening up plans in due course, please rest assured that we have developed robust social distancing procedures which will be implemented at the point of re-opening to ensure that we can protect our staff throughout this period
Please note any orders placed in the interim will have the despatch date pushed out in accordance with COVID-19 related temporary closure*. (*Final despatch dates for orders placed in the interim will be confirmed on re-opening per order).
Any orders in production prior to shutdown have been placed on hold.
Thank you for your understanding, please keep yourself and loved ones safe.
In this GGP column, Jayne Sullivan, Operations Director at DOORCO, looks at the trends the company is seeing in door styles and examines whether some of the market’s perceived perceptions are reflect reality.
Doors with Style
DOORCO, and indeed the wider industry, often talk about the front door proving the homeowner with an opportunity personalise their homes, adding individuality and personality effortlessly. Whether on a new build development or in the middle of a terrace, the front door is an easy option to add differentiation. We say their tastes are becoming bolder, more modern and inspiration is coming from contemporary European styling. Door design is essential to this and DOORCO offers over 130 individual styles – but what is the reality when you look at the stats, are homeowners really taking the bait for the innovations we create?
What the report says
DOORCO’s Top 75 Door Styles table is just one part of our monthly stats report, but it provides a great overview about what is happening in the composite door market. Looking back over 2019 and what’s happening so far this year, makes interesting reading:
The best-selling door in both reports is Carnoustie – a twin vertical design, on a standard woodgrain slab. We offer slight variations on the design in Birkdale and Penina, and this whole style family made up 21% of all doors sold last year by DOORCO. It’s the perfect partner for property refurbishment in the UK, particularly in the social housing sector, and relatively fast and cost effective to produce with standard colours and glass. Or it can be styled-up with more modern colours and glass for a new build or private sector house.
Next we have Lytham, another stalwart door design, that made up around 8% of overall sales. Again a favoured option for both refurbishment and new build, with its half glazed panel or grid option, Lytham is the perfect back door solution.
We also see some of our unique traditional designs in the top 10 – Farmhouse, Gleneagles and St Andrews to name just a few.
All of these designs are part of our Traditional collection, so in summary, in 2019, Traditional design was definitely king, reflecting the UK’s tradition and historical build design. DOORCO has 53 designs that are currently deemed as traditional – and they made up 78% of our sales last year.
When we look at contemporary, the most popular styles were Monza II (number 7 in the charts and making up 29% of all contemporary door sales), with Inox, Flush and Links styles making up the rest.
Looking to January this year, as an indicator of what trends are emerging in the coming year, we are seeing significantly more contemporary designs sold. Although the figures overall are similar, with only a slight decrease in sales of traditional styles, the focus is certainly shifting. Monza II is still our best seller, making 44% of all contemporary door sales for the month.
The earlier indicators tell us that homeowners and specifiers are indeed taking the bait; contemporary styling is growing in popularity. But what I think is important, is to recognise the effects of other trends that we’ve already looked at in these columns – colour and glass. The design lines are becoming blurred and it’s no longer feasible to state that a door is either ‘Traditional’ or ‘Contemporary’. DOORCO offers any door, in any colour, with any glass, and customers are increasingly turning to more modern colours or glass design to give a contemporary edge to a traditional style.
Farmhouse is the perfect platform for this dual act: once seen as a traditional replacement for a cottage door, DOORCO has developed styles, where colour choices make all the difference.
Sunningdale Farmhouse was ranked 2nd in January (3rd in 2019) and the largest proportion (27%) were Anthracite Grey – ideal for any new build property…In fact, Anthracite Grey was the colour of 25% of all doors sold in January.
Taking this a step further, there is nothing old fashioned about a Belfry 3 Farmhouse in Bahia Blue, with Aurora glass!
Farmhouse is just one example of this evolution from traditional to modern.
What’s new for 2020
We’ve got lots of plans in the pipeline this year that aid this shift towards modernising traditional designs, from new styles such as Merion, to colour options and our recently launched Glass Additions Range. We’re also taking contemporary a step further with the new Monza II Patina doors, which are really gaining traction. Inox is also growing in popularity, mainly thanks to our Glazing Service, which offers expert support for this tricky component, making it a far more appealing choice to sell and we expect this desire for flush styles to develop further this year too.
We’d love to hear your thoughts? What are you installing in new build, social housing and retail homes across the UK- totally contemporary Inox, or traditional Carnousite – or somewhere in between? Get in touch via social media – @doorco_official on Twitter, DOORCO Ltd on LinkedIn and Facebook or @DOORCOUK on Instagram.
DOORCO integrates universal customer barcoding into its production, taking another step closer to the UK’s first JIT composite door supply chain.
“Using barcodes in manufacturing is nothing new but using a customer’s barcode in our facility is a revolutionary upgrade, delivering seamless integration between IT systems to increase speed and reduce delivery failure”, says Ben Aspinall, IT & Marketing Manager. “We have been trialling this project with customers, linking to their own internal manufacturing IT systems to produce the customer’s own unique barcodes. This basically means that when an order is received via electronic ordering, our system produces a customer specific barcode. It is applied to the packaging for manufacturing orders or to the slabs for distribution orders. Once the order arrives in the customer’s facility, it’s simply scanned-in at goods in and moves on through manufacturing, or if pre-prepped by DOORCO, on to join the rest of the customers’ order.
“The project has also resulted in various upgrades to the DOORCO ordering system. Moving away from the traditional boundaries of ‘distribution’ and ‘manufacturing’, our service has evolved into delivering a mix – for example, we support distribution-only customers with colour, painting single doors or pallet loads and matching cassettes to order. We also support with prepping – one-off’s or volume management – and glass and glazing supply, whether that is packaged up glass and glazing cassettes, or glazing the doors for them, again assisting with volume, or more complex/bespoke orders such as Inox.
“The key to all of this is stock: DOORCO invests in and manages stock effectively to ensure we have what our customers need, available and ready when they need it. Customers now have the confidence to reduce their own stockholding and rely on DOORCO for the complete and seamless supply of everything they need for their composite doors. Not only does this free up valuable space in their own facility, they can also take advantage of our entire offering, be that slabs, colour, glass and glazing cassettes, without having to make huge investment.
“This initiative has transformed the supply chain for the customers we’ve trialled it with so we’re delighted to now be able to roll this out to our wider customer base (subject to software integration) – taking DOORCO one step closer to offering the UK’s first JIT composite door supply chain.”
For more information call: 01625 428955 or visit: www.door-co.com.
To all our customers,
There have been some extremely tough times over the last few years in building the DOORCO business as it stands today. We are proud to say that we have always been able to deal with these challenges head on and successfully weathered multiple storms. This has been achieved due to the 100% dedication and determination from the whole of the DOORCO team and its extended partners. We have a relentless drive to overcome ANY, and ALL challenges placed in front of us.
For DOORCO currently, it is business as usual. We are taking every precaution prescribed by the government and are closely following and adapting to the daily updates provided by the Cobra meetings. We are ensuring the upmost care and consideration for every DOORCO team member whilst trying to remain as busy and resolute as ever. We are staying focused on running the business and unless otherwise instructed, we intend to stay fully operational.
We remain committed to providing our customers the best service possible, and will endeavour to ensure normal service remains in place as long as possible. If we meet with an issue we cannot overcome, we will ensure our lines of communication are the best they can be.
The supply chain at this time remains mostly unaffected, and in true DOORCO style, we have worked closely with suppliers to ensure continuity of supply and maintain open lines of communication on a daily basis with all the key people in the chain. DOORCO Korea has remained unaffected throughout the issues faced in South Korea, they share the same ethos as the UK team, the manufacturing process has continued as normal, and shipments made on time in full. The biggest delays faced on stock deliveries have been weather related, due to storms in Europe and the UK most weekends throughout February. Cases of Covid 19 are reducing in South Korea on a daily basis, proof that the virus can be managed if action is taken.
To reiterate, its business as normal, and we will remain so for as long as there are customer requirements. Please keep in contact with the team at DOORCO and keep yourself and loved ones safe.
There is no doubt that door glass has become an integral part of the composite door supply chain. A third of all our prepped doors are now sold with glass which comes off-the-shelf from DOORCO, or pre-installed by our dedicated glazing service. As with colour, consumer tastes are becoming more sophisticated and the market has woken up to the opportunity the composite door has to offer, launching new decorative door glass ranges and working with suppliers like us to create an integrated, fast supply chain.
From previously stocking just a very limited range, our door glass offering almost exploded into an unlimited choice. And while it would be great to offer an unlimited choice, it is impossible to manage this and move towards a fully operational JIT ordering service, something that is central to the future of DOORCO. We currently offer a range of traditional, contemporary, minimalist or DOORCO unique glass designs, which at the time of writing, totals 524 different SKUs.
Behind the scenes
Careful analysis of our detailed sales trend data, usage vs stock and scrutiny of our most popular ranges, has ensured we’re able to hand-pick our glass ranges to suit our customers’ needs, confident that the stock lines we invest in are the right ones. We also wanted to update the range for 2020 by increasing our supplier network for differentiation, as well as building more resilience in to the supply chain. Carefully analysing our customers’ requirements was the only way to sensibly achieve this.
So, what we found out:
Clear and Obscure is, without doubt, our most popular range. Styles such as Satin and Stippolyte come out on top, mainly because of their versatility to suit any market, from social housing to retail.
Our most popular decorative styles last year were Reflections, Classic, Kensington, Elegance Zinc, Simplicity Zinc and Linear.
Our fastest growing in popularity are Beaumont (St Andrews & Carnoustie), New Orleans (Lytham), Greenwich (Monza 2 Square) and Matrix (Augusta Long)
What’s driving sales?
While it’s easy to count volumes of sales, understanding the trends is a different matter. The most clear and interesting trend to emerge was that sales of glass are massively driven by door designs. For example, Diamonds – a stalwart glass design – only really sells in a Carnoustie, Birkdale or Penina door, despite being offered across all door styles. There were a few surprising discoveries like this such as Designer Etch in Grey was very popular in Gleneagles, but not across any other sizes/colours offered, Pinpoint/Rain was a top seller for Inox Nice but nowhere near as popular on all other Inox door styles, and Montreal with the Oakmont design was a fast mover compared to Montreal combined with any other door style. Trends such as these examples have really helped to shape our final stock offering.
What’s coming next?
I strongly believe our new range is right for 2020 – demand is driven by market, from more standard designs for new build and social housing to decorative or contemporary choices for retail, and I don’t see this radically changing. But I do think there could be a shift towards more bespoke design in the homeowners never-ending quest for differentiation in the kerb appeal of their property.
There some very attractive etched glass designs emerging, and at a recent visit to one of the European shows, there was an array of mirrored, smoked and temperature-controlled door glass on display. We’re also working with Jeyda, our Creative Director and Chief DOORK on a range of exclusive designs, so watch this space…
We’d like your feedback – let us know what trends you’re experiencing or forecasting when it comes to your door sales, whether retail, commercial or new build via social media – on twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram.
The original champion of choice, DOORCO expands its door glass offering with the launch of the new Decorative Glass Additions range. The 2020 glass range now gives customers an impressive 524 stock lines including traditional, contemporary or minimalist options, as well as a range of designs unique to DOORCO.
DOORCO MD Dan Sullivan comments: “Compared with other suppliers’ limited choices of glass, our range is pretty impressive, from more standard designs for new build and social housing to decorative or contemporary choices for retail.
“But we’re not offering choice for the sake of it. Following an extensive review of our glass ranges using sales and trends data, we have been able to bring together a carefully consolidated range that will allow for even faster lead times. Obscure, clear and many decorative glass lines are now stocked off-the-shelf, and despatched from three days, with the rest of our comprehensive decorative range to follow as we move towards becoming the market leader in JIT glass and glazing. Our new brochure reflecting these changes and a full suite of new images are now available to customers.
“The review has also meant that we can hold even more stock of the new glass ranges from a larger network of selected supplier partners, building more resilience into the supply chain for our customers. And just a hint about our growing glass supplier network – our Creative Consultant and resident DOORK Jeyda is currently working on her own exclusive range, hopefully available in the Autumn.
“But it’s not just about the glass itself. Customers are now relying on DOORCO for complex glazing too. Our prepping division which includes our dedicated bespoke glazing service, is seeing consistent double-digit growth month on month. In fact, a third of all our prepped doors are now sold with glass making it an integral part of our business. Day in day out, our experienced glazing team are fulfilling complex orders for the more contemporary and bespoke designs, where we can offer the craftsmanship and skills required for say the Inox cassettes, to even support volume production outsourced to us by customers.
“Our commitment to keeping a close eye of market trends, talking to customers regularly and tracking orders means we know what designs, and how much glass to stock. For example, at the moment, our best-selling glass lines are the Clear, Obscure and Stain ranges so we’ve boosted stock of these. But we’re also flexible and can increase or reduce the stock of certain items depending on how popular they are.
“The DOORCO team is renowned for working hard on behalf of our customers to continue to expand and improve our range of products and services and offer the best products, delivered JIT with the benchmark levels of service on which our customers now rely. This is a commitment we will build on during 2020 and the Decorative Glass Additions range just the first step.”
In the first of an exclusive GGP series looking at trends in composite door styles, designs, glass and colour, Jayne Sullivan, Operations Director at DOORCO takes a look back at what’s been happening in the market and gives her view of what’s going to be top in 2020.
Recording what’s happening in the DOORCO production line not only helps us keep abreast of emerging trends, but also provides us with information that we can share with our customers in our hotly anticipated Trends of the Month report. In this first column, where better to start than with colour, item top of the agenda for everyone in the door and window market.
Since the installation of our second paint line three years ago, demand has certainly grown and now two-thirds of doors from DOORCO are coloured. Back in 2017 we took the decision to make this hefty investment into our painting facilities here in Macclesfield and this has certainly allowed us to keep on top of this demand, which doesn’t see any signs of changing.
So what is the top door colour? On average, 29.5% of all the coloured doors we sold last year were grey. DOORCO has six grey’s in our standard and premium range (plus any RAL available as a special order) and Slate is now outselling standard red and green. Anthracite certainly took the market by storm – and although the market is merging towards a more sophisticated palette of shades of grey, grey is still king.
Next up is blue – at DOORCO we love a blue and offer thirteen ways to do blue in our standard and premium range (plus special RAL’s). We think this is going to be the Colour of the Year for doors, and when we look to colour experts, it seems they agree too. Across the board, their “2020 colours of the year” are predominantly blue: Farrow & Ball have three blues in their new ‘colour by nature’ range, created in collaboration with the Natural History Museum; Dulux is promoting Tranquil Seas (closest RAL9018) and at the time of writing Pantone has just announced their 2020 Colour of the Year as Classic Blue (closest RAL5000) and they are also promoting Bleached Coral (closest RAL9003), which offers a beautiful blue-ish variation on Chartwell Green, which is so common it’s becoming part of our standard colour range this year.
For 2020, the DOORCO colour range has some other more exciting innovations coming through, including the launch of the Patina colour range, which offers a totally new and unique finish and we may even be adding a new exclusive colour to our premium collection.
We would love to hear your experiences – are grey and blue top of your door colour chart? Is this reflected in windows too? Let us know what trends you’re experiencing or forecasting when it comes to your door sales, whether retail, commercial or new build via social media – on twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram.