As one of the major composite door suppliers announce price increases, DOORCO’s Dan Sullivan explains why and how his company will stand firm
Price rises in any market are a contentious issue and the UK window and door home improvement market is no exception. The general response to any increase is emotive, and generally the response by the buyer is not a positive one.
Price rises are being imposed by some composite door manufacturers but at DOORCO we are guaranteeing our prices until at least the end of 2015. So how can one company hold its prices whilst making improvements to their products, whilst others rush to increase theirs?
I can only explain DOORCO’s position and point of view…
DOORCO, formerly Capstone, began an investment programme just over 2 years ago that was focused on producing a new breed of composite door, with more benefits and features incorporating smarter door designs, with improved security features. That investment is now paying off, with DOORCO products on the shelf and ready to provide customers all the requirements needed including the key thumb’ test, specifically PAS24 B.4.4.4 across the range.
At the same time investment was made in manufacturing facilities for ‘prepped’ doors; edge banded, painted and so forth, of better quality and produced more efficiently.
During that time we have also focused on sales and marketing, to reach more potential – and actual – customers. We have therefore enjoyed very significant growth, which of course increases the volumes that we take from our core suppliers. Which in turn helps our negotiations with them on the prices at which they sell their products to us.
Currency exchange affects all of us and sterling has been on a roller coaster over the past few months; add that unpredictability to lowering oil prices and calculating a price list in advance can be a nightmare. Unless of course you have prepared for it; which is substantially why we have done what we have done.
Our investment, which was very substantial, was partly based upon calculations that would allow us a margin for changes that were out of our control – every company of course will try and do that – and we and more importantly our customers, are enjoying the fruits of that in the current period.
Customers make a judgment on from whom and where they buy their goods. We hope the improvements and cost savings DOORCO have made help us to keep our existing customer base and find new customers looking for a different approach. DOORCO faces similar pressures on the cost of its raw materials. The difference, in my view, is down to the management styles of the individuals and, of course, to key decisions taken regarding future investment and further improvements, for which healthy profits must be made. We have very positive plans for continuing along the path that has brought us to the position of strength that we find ourselves in today.
We will focus on the improvements to our doors over our competitors, whilst remaining competitively priced.