Brand new brochure available



DOORCO has recently invested in a new suite of marketing materials to further make life easier for customers. Amongst these is a brand new brochure, which made its debut at the FIT Show.

The new, 52-page publication details the company’s full range of 34 styles, including traditional designs featuring dual-glazing, arch, top and mid, half glazed and three-quarter glazing, and cottage. Also included is the collection of contemporary doors, with a flush, non-moulded door blank glazed using either the TriSys cassette, or stainless steel Inox frames. The full range of available colours and glass options for both ranges are detailed in the brochure.

Managing Director, Dan Sullivan explains: “Product quality and innovation are key to our operation at DOORCO, and our unique status as global manufacturers allows us to effectively achieve both on behalf of our customers, allowing them access to fast decision-making, and input into product development. The new video details perfectly how this is achieved, demonstrating GRP skin production and door assembly, including trimming, sizing and foam core injection in Korea; and custom sizing, CNC cutting, edging and despatch in the UK – not to mention the customisable add-ons such as glazing and painting of the doors.

“As well as a great way for us to demonstrate how we operate as a manufacturer, the new video is also in line with our rapid growth, and the even greater emphasis we have placed on our marketing and promotional activities in light of this. We invested in our bright, modern and user intuitive website last year, including an online ordering system which customers tell us is the best on the market, and this has worked in parallel with a greater social media presence. We also have a brand new brochure available, which made its debut at the FIT Show, and the video fits nicely into this new suite of marketing material, which customers are able access in turn, to help them sell.”

Meet the manufacturers yourself and take a look at the new video on DOORCO’s YouTube channel DOORCO Ltd:




Saw and order with DOORCO


Just months after the move into much larger premises,  DOORCO has made further investments to improve efficiency, with the purchase of a new beam saw.

The £150,000 investment allows the company to increase volumes and reduce lead times for prepped door customers, as Managing Director, Dan Sullivan explains: “In a competitive sector such as the composite door market it is vital that we continue to stay ahead of the game, not just from a business point of view, but in order to allow our customers to do the same. We pride ourselves on the innovative and quality products we produce as a manufacturer, but the service we provide to our customers is also of paramount importance. We are very pleased, therefore to add the new beam saw to our facility in order to further streamline our processes on their behalf.

“The saw allows us to significantly reduce the time it takes to size the doors, bringing each individual process down from two minutes to 20 seconds. This, in turn, will increase our capacity from 1,700 to 3,500 prepped doors per month. The investment not only demonstrates our commitment to the prepping side of our business, but also provides customers with the benefit of increased volumes and potentially lower lead times on their orders. The saw will be installed and fully operational from the beginning of August, and we have further investments and improvements in the pipeline for the rest of the year.”

Dan Sullivan Responds to Brexit

_DSC0279I guess the first thing I’d say is the total shock that greeted us the morning after the polls when the reality dawned that albeit it close-run, the UK had actually voted to leave the EU. The instant reaction was blind panic to find ourselves in this unprecedented situation, a reaction that has been since reinforced by the subsequent political and financial market turmoil. So many things are up in the air that could directly affect our industry – the position of Sterling, current and future trading agreements, legislative changes including employment and even testing standards and compliance.

“As an independently run UK business and one that has unique manufacturing relationships with foreign suppliers, the team here at DOORCO has taken some deep breaths since Friday. We’ve tried to realistically look at the implications of Brexit for our own business and of course for our customers. And in the cold light of day, we’re getting to grips with the immediate fear of the unknown. In reality, many things have not and will not change. We still have a great product, a team of highly skilled experienced door professionals committed to the cause, and overseas suppliers who remain completely reliant on us to sell their products in the UK. Unlike Government, we can’t quit when we disagree with a majority decision, no matter how slim the margins.

“Medium term, we will hold our nerve and position. No business can afford to knee-jerk to the immediate financial situation. We have to monitor over the next few months to see how things play out. But ultimately, in the long term, people will still need doors, and like any business that survived one of the longest recessions in decades, DOORCO has proven that we can continue to grow and prosper, with careful management and positive attitude, regardless of the political or economic climate.”

DOORCO launches corporate video

Video still

Fast growing composite door manufacturer, DOORCO has launched a new corporate video, allowing customers and prospective customers the opportunity to see for themselves the manufacturing process which takes place behind the scenes, both at DOORCO UK and Korea, to produce the innovative designs that are delivered to their door.

Managing Director, Dan Sullivan explains: “Product quality and innovation are key to our fully automated operation at DOORCO, and our unique status as global manufacturers allows us to effectively achieve both on behalf of our customers, allowing them access to fast decision-making, and input into product development. The new video details perfectly how this is achieved, demonstrating GRP skin production and door assembly, including trimming, sizing and foam core injection in Korea; and custom sizing, CNC cutting, edging and despatch in the UK – not to mention the add-ons such as glazing and painting of the doors, which can be customised.

“As well as a great way for key customers to see for themselves how we operate as a manufacturer, the video also supports the greater emphasis we have placed on our marketing and promotional activities. We invested last year in refreshing our website to produce the bright, modern and user intuitive site you see today, in parallel with a greater social media presence, and the future will see continued investment across all areas of the business. These include further developments to the website and improvements to our already impressive online ordering system; and on a physical level, further improvements to the shop floor.

“We also have an extensive suite of marketing support available, including a new, high quality brochure, colour swatches, and a full bank of quality images which customers can access for their own marketing. The video fits nicely into our collection of marketing collateral, and we have had some great feedback on it so far.”

Meet the manufacturers yourself and take a look at the new video on DOORCO’s YouTube channel, DOORCO Ltd.

Seamless service, from manufacture to delivery

Doorco Glass News Apr 16

In an exclusive interview, Glass News’ Editor, Chris Champion, talks with DOORCO’s Dan Sullivan, CEO of DOORCO UK, and Yoonshin ‘Tony’ Cha, President and CEO of DOORCO Korea, at their stateof-the-art GRP composite door manufacturing facility in South Korea.

GN: Dan, you are either an avid collector of air miles or have a ridiculous penchant for Korean Barbeques! In the last three years you have visited Korea literally hundreds of times and, often, week on week. Can we talk about how, and why, it was necessary for you to invest in building your own GRP composite door factory?

Dan Sullivan: I do have a lot of air miles! My visits to Korea go back to around 2007 when I kept visiting Capstone to try and persuade them to provide me with a UK specification GRP doors. It was a long process and a matter of being both patient and persistent. Finally, when Mr Yoonshin Cha, the Vice President of Production for Capstone, was able to see me, I persuaded him to come to the UK and see the opportunity that existed. He recognised the opportunity: and the relationship between DOORCO and Capstone started. At that time it made sense to use the Capstone name to market their doors in the UK, as opposed to DOORCO.

Yoonshin ‘Tony’ Cha: I should mention that when I finally met with Dan, after about 18 months of his visiting Capstone, I was surprised to know that most of my management and workers already knew him from all his visits to the factory!

GN: Tony, can you explain the fact that you have partnered with Dan and now own DOORCO Korea?

Yoonshin ‘Tony’ Cha: The Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008, and the economic downturn that followed, meant that Capstone’s main market in the US was hit, severely. Rationalisation programmes were being talked about and the need for the Korean factory to find other markets while maintaining manufacture in China, concentrating on US specification doors. Having been responsible for building and developing both the Korean and China plants, I felt it was time for me to leave Capstone.

Dan Sullivan: Meanwhile, I recognised that the composite door, generally, would come under more scrutiny as sales grew in the UK. I always thought the specification and quality of the door would need improving, plus we needed a factory focused on UK products and designs. All the other available suppliers were focused on other markets, mostly the USA, so the desire was to build a factory designed for UK demands, and have control of the supply chain. Tony and I had formed a close friendship during the years we worked together and I kept in touch with him after he had left Capstone and I floated the idea of setting up our own manufacturing facility.

GN: That must have been a huge decision – being prepared to move from a vast company like Capstone, part of the Trinity Glass empire, to making your own doors. How could you expect to achieve that successfully?

Yoonshin ‘Tony’ Cha: Having read Mechanical Engineering at University I went to the US to Graduate School and then joined LG selling injection moulding machines. I did this as a Sales Manager throughout the USA, Australia, India and South Africa for around 7 years. I then joined Trinity Glass as a Project Manager based in Seattle and, when Trinity, who were supplying Home Depot in the US with glass, was asked to takeover being the supplier of GRP composite doors if they could guarantee to have prototypes within 6 months, I was charged with setting up the Korean factory. Within the 6 months we were producing 1,500 doors per week and I was then asked to set up a factory in China with 20 presses producing 3,000 doors per week.

Dan Sullivan: With Tony’s experience of production and with Hyun Sik on board, a chemist and expert in Sheet Mould Compound who worked for both Sungil and Capstone in GRP production for 15 years, we had a team capable of producing very high quality product.

GN: There was still the problem of finding or building a facility…

Dan Sullivan: As you know, the factory is 2 hours south of Seoul. The reason for this is that we found a GRP factory that was producing roof vents and the owner, Mr Kim, was wanting to retire. This gave us an experienced work force used to working in GRP and, while Mr Kim’s business was purely for the domestic market, DOORCO Korea was going to be purely export – something that the Korean Development Board were very keen on. When we explained that in the first week of manufacture we would be exporting 10 containers, we had tremendous help with the planning and building issues!

GN: However, this is not any ordinary GRP factory. It’s highly automated and with the capability to supply the whole of the GRP composite door market in the UK…

Yoonshin ‘Tony’ Cha: We have the capacity to make 900 door blanks per day, currently, and have the space to extend our lines as required. Technology has moved on such that modern 1000 tonne presses take up much less room and we already have seven. We have taken out as much hand operation as possible to give consistency to production. The gluing line is automated and, as you’ve seen, the foaming and trimming line is also fully automated with just one operative required to oversee foaming.

GN: That’s true. But as the door blanks come off the line, you have seven people at that station…

Yoonshin ‘Tony’ Cha: Quality Assurance is key to our manufacture and those people aren’t just putting protective coverings on the doors….this is the final check before despatch. Of the 100 staff, 35% are employed on quality checking throughout the process and this is key. As Dan says, once he’s sold a door, he doesn’t want to see it again!

GN: Everything you do is very detailed. I’ve noticed how precise each operation is and how clean everything is kept and even the quality of the components…

Yoonshin ‘Tony’ Cha: It is imperative that our quality is maintained. We are very experienced in door production and source the highest quality materials. We pride ourselves that the polymer rails have the densest PVC content on the market such that if someone chooses not to edgeband the door, the finish is still smooth. Our finger jointed hardwood is specially sourced and is an integral part of the construction, not simply timber offcuts. The GRP skins are of a thickness that every door blank that leaves the factory is capable of achieving Secured By Design. Importantly, the door specification does not change. That is essential for Dan when he is supplying to his customers in the UK.

GN: There are specific things that I have noticed such as air temperature control prior to foaming, painting of the skins prior to door construction, and even specific technology to ensure both foam and paint adhesion to the skins…

Yoonshin ‘Tony’ Cha: Both Hyun and I have experienced manufacture with different companies and we are fully prepared to research other industries to keep pace with the development of technologies. In the case of painting the skins, you have seen the two paint lines and the care that is taken. The aim is to produce perfectly painted skins and we would rather reject a skin than a whole door, hence painting the skin first.

GN: It is also clear from seeing the doors being readied for loading into containers that you are making a wide variety of door specifications – and I don’t mean door styles. Are these for specific customers?

Yoonshin ‘Tony’ Cha: We have a ‘can do’ mentality. Some of our container customers require doors for a specific purpose or contract and you can see from the door blanks that some may have a timber edge finish, a smaller polymer rail or may be much higher than standard.

If a customer wants a specific specification they are often surprised how quickly Dan can show them the prototype. It really is a seamless operation between DOORCO in the UK and Korea with Dan and me often speaking 2 or 3 times a day. Dan is in Korea this week and I’m over in the UK next week. Our staff are quite used to seeing us at either location!

GN: To move from being a distributor of the Capstone door to building a new manufacturing facility and producing your own DOORCO GRP composite door is a remarkable feat, especially as the transition has been, essentially, seamless…

Dan Sullivan: We owe a lot to our very loyal customer base who have trusted us to develop the high quality DOORCO door and get it in production. It was important to them that our normal service was maintained so that their own fabrication wasn’t interrupted, and the switch from Capstone to DOORCO was efficiently handled and I’m very happy to acknowledge and thank our customers for their support.

GN: What you have achieved, and the facility you have developed is very impressive. I feel very privileged to have been invited to see DOORCO Korea and I look forward to seeing you both on your stand at The FIT Show and to see what products you will unveil for the UK market.

DOORCO delivers innovation at FIT


Fast growing composite door manufacturer, DOORCO is pleased to report a very successful FIT Show, which saw a consistently high volume of visitors to the stand, all eager to meet the manufacturers behind what is fast becoming the UK fabricator’s favourite door.

Managing Director, Dan Sullivan comments: “FIT was a great show for DOORCO, we were busy on the stand right up until the end of the last day. We make no secret of the fact that we pride ourselves on leading the way in product quality and innovation, so it was good to hear visitors say that was the reason they came to see us. There was a lot of interest in all of the door designs on display, including The Combi and the Farmhouse, but what really stood out to the larger fabricators was our recently launched Smart Door, which is pre-apertured during manufacture to save CNC time, labour and wastage costs.

“One new innovation, which is still in the R&D stage, is the hybrid concept, which we brought to the FIT Show in order to gain some all-important customer feedback. We’re confident that the door, which has a solid timber and foam core, is set to perfectly meet the demands of the retail market. Heavier and more substantial, it boasts fantastic thermal efficiency, won’t warp and uses GRP skins rather than PVC.

“It was essential for us to hear people’s thoughts because we firmly believe innovations such as this are achieved thanks to our status as manufacturers. Our working relationship with CEO Tony Cha and the team at the DOORCO Korea is very close, and feasible new ideas or suggestions from customers can be processed quickly, with samples available almost immediately. It was a real coup that Tony joined us on the stand so visitors were able to come and meet the whole team and find out exactly how we work. We’d like to thank everyone who visited our stand, and we look forward to bringing you the latest on the hybrid concept – which is already in the next stage of research and development – very soon, so watch this space.”

Meet the manufacturers at FIT

Doorco - amended blue doors (002)-page-001

Fast growing composite door manufacturer, DOORCO is pleased to return to the FIT Show as an exhibitor, where the company will be showcasing, on Stand 242, a taster of some of its high quality, innovative designs and offering visitors the chance to meet the manufacturers behind what is fast becoming one of the UK’s fabricators’ favourite doors.

Visitors to the stand can see for themselves the new Smart Door, which is pre-apertured during manufacture, therefore removing this layer from the fabricator’s processes, to save valuable CNC time, labour costs and wastage costs. Alongside this will be the popular Combi, with its unique midrail and woodgrain pattern running through from top to bottom, enabling the creation of seven styles from just one slab. Completing the trio of designs for 2016 is the Farmhouse, an upgrade on the Cottage, with the addition of a moulded design and reinforced skin for greater integrity over the original machine grooved flush door.

But that’s not all visitors can expect on Stand 242, as Managing Director Dan Sullivan explains: “We’re looking forward to showcasing this latest suite of designs at the FIT Show, alongside just some of the other innovations from our range. But developing products such as these can only be achieved thanks to our status as manufacturers. We have a fantastic partnership with CEO Tony Cha and the team at the DOORCO Korea, in which we are shareholders. This means that workable ideas and suggestions can be processed quickly, with samples available almost immediately.

“We are delighted, therefore that Tony will be joining us on the stand so visitors can speak to him, or any member of our expert team about the manufacturing process, the benefits it provides both to us as a business, and ultimately, to our customers. In line with this, there will be the opportunity throughout the show to give us feedback on our very latest innovation, the Hybrid, which is currently in the research and development stage. Without giving too much away prior to the show, we think it will make some big waves when it comes to launch. But you’ll have to come to Stand 242 to find out more.”

Register for your free ticket to come and meet the manufacturers on Stand 242 at FIT:


DOORCO makes a move…


At golf tournaments, Saturday is referred to as Moving Day, when players are jockeying for position on the leaderboard ready for an assault on the title on the Sunday.  2015 was one big moving day for DOORCO in one way or another and Chris Champion, Editor of Glass News talks to the Managing Director of DOORCO, Dan Sullivan, about the company’s move in the marketplace.

Ed:  The most significant move for DOORCO in 2015 has to be the new premises although product sales have been impressive, too.

Dan Sullivan:  The analogy of Moving Day is quite accurate.  2015 has been a great year but we all honestly think 2016 will be even better.  We grew by 25% overall in 2015 and have budgeted for a 30% growth in 2016 although we all feel that may be pessimistic.  Acquiring the new premises including warehousing, manufacturing area and offices all in one place, is ideal for us….and literally round the corner.

Ed:  The fact that it is still on Charter Way is amazing.  How did that come about?

Dan Sullivan:  It was pure luck.  We had been looking for some time and, one day, one of the girls came back from lunch saying that all the staff at the premises next door were out in the car park.  My immediate thought was that they must have gone into administration and I walked round and asked one of the staff.  That was exactly what had happened and I asked who the landlord was and I was pointed to a guy across the car park.  He told me that the company had gone bust owing him rent and he was obviously pretty unhappy and I asked him if I could look around the place.  He told me that the administrators were keeping everyone out.  By the time I’d mentioned that I’d take a lease on the place if he could persuade the administrators to let us go inside, he’d sorted it and that was it.  A new home for DOORCO!

Ed:  If there have been any negative comments over recent years about DOORCO, it has probably been about stock.  Is the move to bigger premises all about remedying that?

Dan Sullivan:  There have certainly been occasions when we probably should have had larger stock holding – not to satisfy our own customer demands so much as  to supply customers from rival companies who were short of stock themselves!

We really haven’t required vast stockholding because, although doors blanks are coming from the Far East, our lead time is 5 weeks, not the normal 12 weeks for product from that part of the world. That difference in lead time has been very significant in that we really only need to hold 5 weeks stock at any time.  Of course, in practice, we actually hold more than that and, with the new 40,000 sq ft, plus our other warehouse from where we top up our stock at Charter Way, we will hold 16,000 to 20,000 relevant blanks at any one time.  When I say relevant, I mean that all stock is up to date and will pass any new PAS24 cutting test.  There is also considerable volume of door blanks going to direct container customers.

Ed:  You have always had a very loyal customer base…

Dan Sullivan:  I think that is down to a number of things.  Our customers are our partners and we try to provide a great service, and they pay their bills!  I know everyone will say this but in our case it is true.  We deal with like-minded people.  There is an honesty in our dealings which may be strange in this day and age but, fortunately, there are other people with the same standards as us…loyalty, honesty, enjoyment in working together and producing the best possible product for the market.

Ed:  There is much being said now about new cutting tests in PAS 24 (2016) and how the polyurethane foam filled GRP door blank is at a disadvantage…

Dan Sullivan:  …and innovating.  There is a lot being written about PAS 24 as it makes for good news story, but its old news to us, we made improvements to our products nearly 2 years ago, and we continue to make improvements to our products

The point is that we can react to change very quickly and I think it surprises customers when they make a suggestion or ask for something different and a sample is being flown in almost immediately.

Ed:  Just before we leave the issue of PAS 24, is the test realistic given the choice of tools….chisels, Stanley knife and so on?  Everyone knows that the standard Stanley knife now gets wrapped to provide greater leverage and use high tensile blades as opposed to the original specification of a standard blade…

Dan Sullivan:  The test is whatever it is, and DOORCO will ensure that the doors conform to that standard in the most cost effective way possible.  If you are asking whether the test is realistic in this day and age and whether a prospective burglar would use those tools or choose to break in through a front door, the answer is probably no.  But it is what it is and however a test may be changed, we shall always ensure that the DOORCO product conforms.

Ed:  Another ‘move’ is in the area of staffing.  Last time I was here you had around 18 staff.  That is up to around 30 now and includes your wife, Jayne, who has moved from a very senior director position with Ernst and Young, and Matt Le Mesurier who has had a lot of experience at DoorStop.  Those two alone must have changed the dynamic in the company.

Dan Sullivan:  It has, and things have changed very quickly.  It was a big decision for Jayne to leave a very high paid job and join DOORCO.  Her experience of systems and procedures has improved the whole service offered to our customers and, with the company growing so rapidly, we needed a more professional and streamlined approach to take the company to the next level  – we have taken steps to achieve this, but still have some way to go and this will continue to be one of Jayne’s key focus through the first half of 2016 with additional team members, more focus on customer service and new software investment across all areas of the business.

In the case of Matt joining us in his Senior Production Manager role, that has been an eye opener!  I thought that his experience at Doorstop would mean constant demands for more and better machines but it is just the opposite.  He looks for efficiency in every manufacturing procedure and takes great pride in finding the best way of producing quality products without spending additional cash.

Ed:  The final ‘move’ is product.  It seems you are constantly innovating and whenever I have visited DOORCO there has been new product under test.  What drives this innovation?

Dan Sullivan:  It’s mostly me, I’m afraid!  We have a tremendous relation with the factory in Korea and, if an idea comes to me or is suggested by a customer and it makes sense, then we’re straight on it.  A good example is the Combi door which, by redesigning the tools for the GRP skins, we have been able to reduce stocking requirements for both us and our customers. One door design allows the combination of designs that used to require a 4 panel and 6 panel door.

Additionally, the Smart door is a pre-apertured 4 panel door – in other words, routed to take twin vertical glazing.  This reduces waste for us in our manufacturing of prepped doors and for our customers who have CNCs.  People are inclined to forget the high costs of waste disposal and, added to that, the saving in tool costs and time, too.

Ed:  This re-engineering of tooling is costly.  Surely it’s around £30K to £60K to produce a new tool?

Dan Sullivan:  In our case, it’s   significantly more, as We produce very high quality tooling with long lifespan and very low degradation in definition of the graining.  Again, this is something we have learned over the last 10 years.  Our tools will produce in excess of 1 million door blanks.

The high cost is down to the hand graining of the tools and this is key to performance.  Not only does the grain need to look good, aesthetically, but the spread of the grain is what provides the keying for quality painting.

Ed:  You have an impressive paint spraying facility and a large oven…

Dan Sullivan:  …which is about to be doubled in size!  We can paint to any RAL colour – both here and in Korea.  It has never been a case of just the standard colours of White, Black, Red, Blue, Green and a couple of Woodgrains.  If a container customer wants all their door blanks in Canary Yellow, it’s not a problem.  Equally, if a smaller customer wants a different colour for each of their prepped doors, we are happy to accommodate them.

Ed:  And 2016?

Dan Sullivan:  As I said earlier, 2016 is a year when DOORCO will see big growth.  We now have the premises, staff, the products, and the stock to expand our customer base.  Even more new products will be launched and an additional edgebander is on order to add to our three CNCs.

DOORCO has the best imported door blank in the UK and what we do in 2016 will reinforce that statement.  If 2015 was Moving Day in your golfing analogy, then 2016 is the Sunday, and the day to win!

Get Smart and make savings with the DOORCO Smart Door

Smart Door webIn line with its drive for innovation, fast growing composite door manufacturer DOORCO is delighted to add the new Smart Door to its range of innovative designs for 2016.

Pre-apertured in the manufacturing process, the Smart Door provides customers with a host of additional benefits, as Managing Director at DOORCO, Dan Sullivan explains: “At DOORCO we pride ourselves on leading the way in product quality and innovation, and our customers tell us that our product is the best available. But customer service is also key to our approach and with the Smart Door we wanted to offer a product which not only looks and performs in the way customers would expect from us, but also helps to save them time and money.

“The reason for this is that the Smart Door is pre-apertured at the manufacturing stage, so the fabricator can remove this layer from their own processes, therefore saving valuable CNC time and associated labour costs. Additionally – and equally important as environmental credentials come under greater scrutiny and the cost of waste removal continues to rise – our customers need not worry about offcuts with the Smart Door, as the aperture has already been created.

“The Smart Door is available in a number of popular colours for maximum aesthetic appeal, and in keeping with the DOORCO range, it also benefits from increased security with modified, thicker skins as standard in line with Approved Document Q. We have had a lot of interest already from customers and would welcome anybody who would like to know more to get in touch and discover the benefits for themselves.”