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The Evolution of Doors

The 21st century world can sometimes feel like things are changing exhaustingly quickly. The moment your mum finally learns how to decipher cryptic text language, the world has moved on to conversing through bizarre emojis, witty gifs and topical memes. One industry I thought I could rely on for a slower, steadier course through time, was doors. Turns out, the world of doors is undergoing a whole lot of change too…

KNOCKERS vs BELLS
Back in the day, the most common way to find out you had a visitor would have been a good old-fashioned bang on the door. Perhaps you took particular pride in your door and took the time to have an iron-cast knocker made – saving the visitor’s knuckles from a sharp rap. There’s still plenty of these wrought beauties dotted around, but for the most part, we’ve upgraded to the digital bell to announce the arrival of someone on your doorstep (usually just a simple ringing sound but there are plenty with painstakingly cheerful tunes to choose from as well).

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However, through consumer demand, lots of door companies have gone down the traditional route instead, offering a Victorian-style knocker with a handy peephole so you can eye up the arrival and make a judgement call about whether those fluffy PJs are suitable for the outside world.

 

CORRIDOR vs COUCH
Recently, a number of apps have sprung up to disrupt the world of door opening. Not only can you have a customised tone, but many also come fitted with video cameras and microphones & enable you to unlock the door remotely so you no longer even have to stop watching Gogglebox & trundle down the corridor in order to let someone in – couch heaven.

I spoke to one London-based company, Kitt, who have even gone a step further to join door entry with facial recognition technology so tenants can enter the building just by peering into a camera. I am assured it even works if you tried to enter bleary-eyed after a few too many beverages…

And then there’s the world of Smart– this clever system doesn’t just offer keyless entry but will tell you via an app if you’ve remembered to lock your door (no more irrational panic and trek back to the house!) or even sound an alarm on your phone if there’s unexpected force placed on your door.

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LETTER BOX vs ROBO-DOOR
What could possibly replace the humble letter box? The metal flap has certainly stood the test of time – even the heavy ones that trap your fingers (which I’m sure postmen and women everywhere must long for the demise of).

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But this year, I was introduced to what I can only described as robo-door. This whizzy door has protruding compartments which means you can have deliveries brought into your house, even when you’re not around. Mind blown.

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What’s the catch? Well, if this truly is the future of doors then although it may be cool, it’s also going to take more than a few piggy banks to buy. In the meantime, you can always keep it classic with no frills flaps.

So, as you can see, although the world of doors might not be as crazy as other industries – you wouldn’t be unhinged to say there is plenty of technology innovation in this space.

 

Until next time,

Jeyda – Chief Doork.

Creative Consultant, DOORCO

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Promoting From Within

Great businesses thrive on attracting, retaining and developing the very best talent, something DOORCO is committed to doing. That’s why we’re delighted to announce two new promotions from within the company in the last month.

Stacey Copeland

 

Stacey Copeland has been promoted to Customer Services Supervisor, having done a fantastic job keeping our critical customer services and admin teams running through a period of rapid growth. Stacey’s priorities in the new role will be to develop more formal procedures and customer service guides for the team and she will be sharing her valuable knowledge through proactive training and coaching.

 

 

 

 

Lisa Fisher 1.1

 

Our second congratulations go to Lisa Fisher who has been promoted to Trainee Manager. With us for five years and one of DOORCO’s first recruits, Lisa has amassed a huge amount of experience across different departments in her time with us. Lisa will be taking on more supervisory responsibility in the Distribution and Warehouse team as we continue to grow those departments, as well as using her experience to help Stacey and the customer services team to continually develop and improve too.
 

I’m sure customers who know Stacey and Lisa will join us in congratulating both on their hard work, flexibility and commitment to the business.

DOORCO Delivers With The Personal Service

Transport PR ImageYou can create the best products in the world with the easiest, streamlined order systems, but if you can’t get the products to customers when you said you would, then it all falls down. That’s why DOORCO, the UK’s leading independently owned composite door manufacturer, has made delivery a prime focus, with the creation of its new Transport Department.

With over 20 years’ experience in transport and distribution, Sally Holdcroft, DOORCO’s newly promoted Transport Manager comments: “I’veSally Hould been with DOORCO for over two years working across all areas of the business and building up a transport plan for implementation behind the scenes. During this time I’ve developed a deep understanding of not just our business, but also our customers businesses and this has been vital to ensuring we develop efficient transport networks across the UK.

“These plans have now been realised with our fleet of five vehicles and drivers delivering day in day out across the country. External transport still plays a role and we will continue to benefit from a long-standing relationship with a reliable transport company that are particularly effective for larger distribution customers. Part of my role will be the management of this entire process to ensure that we continue to deliver as and when our customers need us.

“Having our own team of DOORCO drivers means we can deliver our doors with the personal touch and a direct a link back to Macclesfield for feedback. We are also backed up by robust IT systems to maximise deliveries, react to changes in orders and provide real time information on your order. We can be more environmentally friendly too because we’re able to better control waste and recycling.

“So, with our current high stock levels (99.4% OTIF), our new fleet and dedicated staff, you really can have any door when you want it*”

*subject to standard lead times.

For more information call: 01625 428955

Trending Doors at DOORCO (February 2019)

Thanks to the improvements we’ve recently made to our internal IT systems we can now collate lots of data. We’ve been monitoring the most popular ranges, designs, colours and glass since the beginning of the year and we wanted to share the results with you to see what’s hot in the composite door market

This is what was trending at DOORCO in February:

 

Door range: Monza

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Door design: St Andrews

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Premium Colours: Slate

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Premium Colours: Clay

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Bespoke Colours: RAL 5000

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Bespoke Colours: RAL 7042

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Glass: Satin Tough Low E

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Find this useful? We’ll be sharing this information every month in a bid to continue our pledge to be the most helpful composite door supplier in the UK.

Northern Doors

This month, I left the smoky abyss of London to explore the door scene up North, as suggested by Vista, DOORCO customer and creator of XtremeDoor. Vista felt their hometown of Liverpool showcases a real mix of old and new styles and wanted to personally demonstrate to me how their composite doors work well in both environments.

The day got off to a bit of a tricky start due to my interminable travel sickness and of course, the torrential North Western rain. So, Ian Smith from Vista and myself decided the best option was to wait it out with a cup of steaming tea and headed to the cafe in the Anglican Cathedral.

I tend to find church doors awe-inspiring – towering over their residential peers and boasting impressive iron-wrought knockers. As you might expect for the world’s second largest Cathedral, the Anglican was no exception. On top of enormous doors, the interior is adorned with gorgeous stained glass & intricately carved architecture which forms a vision of the kind of beautiful design I’d love to see mimicked in doors.

Anglican Cathedral

Stained glass

It became apparent that the downpour had passed and Ian, myself and my trusty camera were no longer in danger of being drenched. Time to begin the real door hunt.

First stop was a block of student housing overlooking the Cathedral, which Vista had fully kitted out with smart black DOORCO composite slab in XtremeDoor’s York design. I thought back to my own days at University and the rubble-filled streets we bizarrely chose to live in; this block looked practically palatial by comparison.

Black composite

From there, we began a beautiful tour of the Georgian Quarter of Liverpool which admittedly was almost overwhelming for a door geek like myself. As we headed down Rodney Street, I found myself crossing back and forth, over and over, barely able to decide which side of the street to admire the doors from. Each door is grand, brightly painted and framed by interesting architecture. For those who like their symmetry, this street (and in fact entire area) is perfection.

Georgian quarter

We were totally inspired by the beauty of the Georgian Quarter doors and the variety of colour and style shown in one place. In a way, it was a reminder that before Britain got white-washed with PVC-U, it was a more colourful place. For a door-geek like me its reassuring that the composite door market is helping revert back to this level of individuality by drawing on the colours, designs and timber-feel of these original forefathers, but without having to compromise on the modern benefits of high security and low maintenance.

Colourful modern door
DOORCO slab used in this XtremeDoor installation painted a bespoke Yellow colour

After the elegant Georgian quarter, I had a somewhat sobering experience going to the Welsh Streets – an area of old Victorian terraced houses which had been left abandoned for years following the Blair government’s condemnation to demolish the area under the housing market renewal initiative, wiping out an area steeped in history and childhood home to Ringo Starr. Eventually, after a lot of pressure & poor publicity, the demolition plans were stopped and the council kicked off a project to refurbish the streets. Before doing so, BBC’s Peaky Blinders gangster clan descended in order to film various scenes at the infamous ‘Garrison’ – apparently leaving the ladies of Liverpool swooning after having both Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy in town.

Peaky Blinders

After the dishy duo left the pitted neighbourhood, the redevelopment work continued and the end result is a really refreshing set of houses with modern fittings (including doors, of course) but original brickwork. Ian was proud to point out Vista’s award-winning refurbishment scheme here for Place First.


Welsh Streets

 

After that, Ian drove me to a few nearby houses where I could see the contrast between a door Vista had provided against their neighbours’. The difference each time was stark, with Vista’s installation being a clear winner if there were ever to be a ‘Who’s Got the Best Door’ competition.

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There was only one thing left to do before my door tour of Liverpool was complete – the obligatory nod to the Beatles history. No trip should ever be made to Liverpool without paying some kind of homage to the almighty band and so we dutifully headed over to see the doors of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s childhood homes. Each door had me thinking, as I always do, what you can guess about the person behind a door.

In the words of Ringo Starr…
Peace and Love,
Jeyda, Chief Doork
Creative Consultant for DOORCO

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P.S. Keep a look out for a continuation of this story with some upcoming case studies

 

 

Head-to-head with Lewis Boote

Nineteen-year-old Lewis Boote, is the Technology & Systems Assistant at DOORCO and part of the company’s apprenticeship scheme.

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Why an apprenticeship?

I chose an apprenticeship because I thought it would be a great way to get involved with the real world of work and learn so much more than just studying at college. In my opinion this is the best way to kickstart my career.

 

Why Manufacturing?

There was a couple of things that attracted me to a manufacturing company. Firstly, it offers an interesting career path with many future opportunities.  Secondly, even though my role is not to specifically manufacture a door, the whole process is very interesting and exciting, and technology plays a big part in making this happen efficiently.

 

Why DOORCO?

DOORCO stood out to me in a very positive way. I liked how it was quickly growing and still quite a young company, plus it is fairly local to me. Researching the company’s website showed me how well presented it is and the amount of potential it offers from a technology point of view. I’ve never really paid much attention to doors, in fact I was never really interested in them at all, and I certainly never thought I’d be as interested in specific door designs for my own house as I am now!

 

What was the recruitment process? How did you find it and what was the biggest challenge?

After I passed my course in Macclesfield College, I was thinking about the next steps for my career. The college talked to us about apprenticeships and the idea appealed to me. So, I began on the Government website applying for different IT apprenticeships that I thought would suit me. As some of those were processed through the Macclesfield College’s apprenticeship scheme, I received a call from the College.  They provided more options to apply for and of those opportunities was DOORCO.  When I heard about the company and the potential to get a full-time job after the apprenticeship, it sounded perfect to me and I knew this was a great opportunity.  I went for an interview at DOORCO and thankfully got the job!

 

What is your role at DOORCO?

I support the day to day processes technology-wise, as well as testing new processes to improve the business. I input new data that needs to be added to the system, for example if we are introducing a new glass design for our doors, I upload all details so it is ready to be ordered by the customers. I update price lists using photoshop and create weekly/monthly reports to analyse the product statistic for that period ie Door sales, most ordered glass or hardware options, most popular colour choice etc. I also help customers on any issues with our systems and support my manager Ben with any tasks that I can assist on.

 

What skills have you learnt so far?

I have been here five months and already gained a lot of skills, like working with custom business software, how to test efficiently, how to troubleshoot technical issues proficiently, how to upgrade server settings, strip down/upgrade a PC successfully, swapping over phone extensions (Re-patching in the server room) and managing the new clocking-on system for the staff members.  I have also learned other skills like speaking with confidence in person/over the phone and how to prioritise/complete tasks in a fast-paced environment.

 

How do you find the juggle between college and work?

In work I have responsibilities which I enjoy and means that when I am attending and learning at college, I can see how developing new techniques and improving my IT knowledge can be applied in work.  This makes me enthusiastic to learn even more.

 

Would you recommend an apprenticeship?

I would most definitely recommend an apprenticeship. Being paid for working in the real world, whilst learning on the job as well, is definitely a win-win situation for me. Not forgetting the chance to be fully employed by the company at the end of the apprenticeship and giving me the opportunity to be able to have a much bigger role in this business.

 

What are you next steps, aspirations for the future?

To develop in DOORCO, facilitate the IT side of things and maybe take on a managerial role as DOORCO keeps growing and expanding.

Lucie Williams shares her apprenticeship story

Lucie Williams, a full-time Accounts Assistant with DOORCO, tells her story about juggling work and training as she heads towards being a professional accountant:

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Name, Age, Position
Lucie Williams, 19, Accounts Assistant

 

Why an apprenticeship?

I chose to start my accounting career as an apprentice at DOORCO as I wanted to gain practical experience in addition to the theoretical knowledge gained through college. Having real life scenarios also helps to understand the theory behind what you are learning, which you can’t always grasp from a computer based exam!

 

Why Manufacturing?

I chose to do my apprenticeship in the manufacturing industry as I felt it would be more of a varied position than an accountancy practice, and I wanted to gain skills in business as well as accountancy.

 

Why DOORCO?

I knew I would fit in straight away at DOORCO as everyone was so welcoming and down to earth. I admired the passion the team had for the company to grow and the drive for people to achieve their goals by offering excellent opportunities.

 

What is your role at DOORCO?

I have quite a varied job role which I love because it keeps me on my toes! My main tasks include purchase invoicing, purchase ledger queries and sales invoicing.

 

What skills have you learnt so far?

I have learnt a lot since starting at DOORCO in September 2017, both personally and accountancy wise.  This includes skills such as communication, working as a team and interpersonal skills.

 

How do you find the juggle between learning and work?

On my AAT level 3 Apprenticeship I had 1 day off per week which really helped with fitting studying in around a normal 9-5 working day. I was slightly nervous about going on to an apprenticeship after completing AAT level 2 as a full time college student. I was unsure how I would cope with sticking down a full time job as well as studying to pass my exams, but I actually found the apprentice root a lot more beneficial to my college studies.  It enabled me to gain knowledge from other colleagues and see real life scenarios to help give a better understanding of certain topics.

 

Would you recommend an apprenticeship/ training position?

I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship/training position as it gives you better opportunities to gain more practical experience, which not only helps with learning but is what most employees look for.

 

What are you next steps, aspirations for the future? 

Currently my next steps are to complete AAT level 4 and I would like to go onto study ACCA afterwards and become fully qualified.

 

Uniting technology and marketing for better business

Ben Aspinall, DOORCO IT & MARKETING MANAGER, discusses how DOORCO’s right blend of technology and marketing is set to transform the door supply chain.

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Uniting technology and marketing for better business

The marketing sector on its own can be a complicated place as new tools and techniques appear almost daily, but add in the technology sector, and you’ve got a world of unlimited choice – and complexities. Digital transformation began decades ago in the UK but in many companies, paper-based transactions and manual processes persist despite widespread innovation offering faster, safer, cheaper and more secure ways of doing business. From the outset, we recognised that nimble companies with technology at their heart would lead the way, and DOORCO is committed to remaining ahead of the digital curve.

Engaging, streamlining and adding value to the supply chain

Recent research by The Telegraph across British business found that almost half of companies believe UK businesses will be digitally transformed within the next three to 10 years, with the final remains of analogue replaced by digital and online alternatives, from accounting to SOP to advertising. Among the main benefits they hope to gain are higher productivity, better customer insight, and streamlined processes. Of course, any digital adoption within a business needs to be well executed, relevant and purposeful. Does a local corner shop need its own app? Probably not. But closer to home in the door industry, is digital transformation a way to engage, improve and add value to the supply chain? DOORCO believes yes.

Digital In Action

As the UK’s largest, independently owned composite door manufacturer, DOORCO recognised from the onset that it was vital for us to invest heavily in IT and management systems to stay ahead of our rapid growth. We went back to the drawing board to see how we could best deliver a consistently high standard of customer service, even to the point of putting disciplines together that most businesses would not consider. Take my job title as an example of this. Representing a heavy investment, we’re proud to launch what we believe is the perfect blend of technology and marketing: DOORCO’s fully comprehensive, online customer support package, an initiative we believe will transform how the entire supply chain buys and sells.

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Working as closely with our customers as we do, we identified a need to make the process of generating leads, creating orders and ultimately selling more doors, even easier. Which is why we commissioned specialist development company, The Consultancy, to develop unique online customer packages, not only for our fabricator customers, but for installers too. We’ve also worked closely with experts Business Micros on internal processing and ‘moving orders’ seamlessly along the supply chain via electronic ordering.

All Along the Supply Chain 

Our fabricators can already order directly with DOORCO online, but this new package helps them do business with their customers online as well. At the first level, our fabricators can use the DOORCO door designer to power their own bespoke online ordering systems and door designers. This means their installer customers can invest in a package that generates instant quotes and orders from them directly via individual trade portals. Our fabricators can also provide their own version of the door designer to their ‘full door set’ customers to assist selling more doors online or closing the sale in the field. The whole system allows homeowners to design, quote and order doors online via door slab and prepped slab fabricators and their installers.

In addition, another benefit to the supply chain, we’ve launched a stand-alone installer package to allow installers direct access to the DOORCO door designer, a package that can be individually branded to each retailer and used for marketing on their own website, or operationally within their business. And going right to the end user, https://www.door-co.com/door-designer/ offers homeowners a door designer facility so they can browse style, frame, colour, glass and hardware options before they request a quote. All these leads are then distributed to DOORCO customers. The Consultancy holds all the data and images for our entire range on file, so whenever a new product, colour or design is added to our portfolio, it is seamlessly integrated into customers’ own software.

doorco-my door designer benefits

Introducing a full supply chain ordering system like this makes the entire operational process more efficient, secure and convenient. And from a marketing perspective, generates more leads and ultimately more sales. We think this is a perfect endorsement of how IT and marketing can be the perfect pairing to create fantastic customer experiences. We urge anyone who doesn’t want to get left behind when it comes to digital doors to visit https://www.door-co.com/packages/ to see the available options.

Promoting from within: DOORCO’s Ben Aspinall moves up the ranks

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DOORCO Ltd has grown to become the UK’s largest independently owned composite door manufacturer, thanks to its philosophy of attracting, retaining and developing its passionate team of people. The latest example of this is Ben Aspinall’s promotion to IT and Marketing Manager.

With a degree in Business Management and Marketing coupled with industry experience that spans more than a decade, Ben joined DOORCO a year ago as IT and Projects Lead. He comments: “After working alongside the team here on an IT project, I made the move to DOORCO because I recognised what a forward thinking and customer-centric business they are. It has been a busy year to say the least, from both the IT and marketing perspective. We’ve implemented a completely new IT management system which has enabled us to improve communication and customer service across the board. Customers of all sizes are now seeing the benefits of new ordering systems which help us keep the strong promises on stock and lead times that we make in our Customer Charter. It’s not stopping there though, with lots more initiatives about to hit. I’m delighted to be part of the team that’s helping DOORCO and our customers to be even more successful.”

Operation’s Director, Jayne Sullivan comments: “Ben has driven forward numerous key projects for DOORCO over the last 12 months and has proactively taken on more responsibility across both IT and marketing. This promotion rewards his commitment, leadership, teamwork and organisation and I am excited to see this team grow and add even more value to the business in the future.”

If you’re looking to join a business that cares about your career, DOORCO is recruiting now. Visit https://www.door-co.com/jobs for current vacancies

For more information call: 01625 428955