We are much more than a name says MD Dan Sullivan as he tells Glass News how… DOORCO is Opening Up the Market
With a ‘Prince’ like swerve the company formerly known as Capstone changed name to DOORCO in December 2013. What’s in the name?
The reason for the change, according to MD Dan Sullivan, is that the company is now so much more than the UK distributor for the highly popular Capstone composite door that have grabbed the attention of a large number of manufacturers and in turn, installers and homeowners. DOORCO will offer an even more diverse range of doors and door options as time goes by: “We are still the UK distributor for Capstone doors, both blanks delivered to door manufacturers in containers, increasing volumes through distribution to major fabricators with CNC facilities and increasingly products in varying stages of ‘prep’,” he explains. “GRP doors are our number one product, and it is no mistake that some of the biggest door fabricators in the UK use our product, but we have aspirations to be a one stop door supplier to all customers. At this year’s FIT Show we revealed several new products in our GRP door range, and also new products developed and designed by DOORCO which takes us into different types or sub sectors of the door markets. The name, therefore, needed to be changed and that is what we greeted visitors to The FIT Show with!”
At the show DOORCO rolled out their first bi-folding – or ‘folding/sliding’ – door system manufactured in aluminium. Rather than use the bi-fold tag for this, interestingly Dan is reverting to a term not used these days for this type of door, one that actually is more descriptive and appropriate: “Folding/Sliding or ‘FS’ was originally the term used before these doors became popular in the past couple of years,” explained Dan. ‘It’s another way of distinguishing DOORCO’S range of products from those of our competitors“.
There is of course, far more to the DOORCO FS doors than a break from the usual nomenclature. “DOORCO aims to always bring something new to the party and the company’s set-sized FS doors certainly promise that,” says Dan: “The FS doors are supplied as kits which allow us to offer substantially greater margins to installers as they assemble the doors themselves, with the savings compared with fully assembled doors going into their pockets. The key is that the system is designed to be fast and simple to assemble whilst still providing the strength, rigidity, security and aesthetics homeowners expect.”
In the meantime, the 68mm rebated composite door is driving the residential door replacement sector upmarket: “There is a very distinct sector that has remained relatively untouched,” explains Dan. “Luxury home owners naturally seek better quality products for their properties both because their homes are generally of higher quality and these people require and are prepared to pay for something that is better in terms of manufacture, aesthetics and of course, performance. The DOORCO 68mm is making inroads already since being launched as a prepped product in June, offering installers an additional product for a lucrative sector”.
Capstone products will remain the cornerstone of DOORCO’S operation and a great deal of time and money has been invested in enhancing the offer. The company initially supplied container quantities of Capstone ‘blanks’ – ex factory, unworked door panels – to large fabricators, rapidly expanding into distribution from UK stocks, which is where the major growth of the company lies. The last 18 months has seen the company offering a prepped door solution for fabricators who wish to add their own uniqueness and so reaching an expanding and growing customer base allowing more companies to use the DOORCO GRP door blank.
The £500,000 spent on this enhancement to the company has elevated DOORCO to possess one of the most advanced composite door facilities in the country, with two CNC machines, an edge-bander and a bespoke paint line, all of which offers almost unlimited choice to customers. The team has also nearly doubled in size to ensure that the company has the right technical, administrative and financial skills to support the different areas of the business. This includes the recruitment of former Price Waterhouse Coopers, Ernst & Young and Astra Zeneca executive Jayne Sullivan into the business, something that Dan says has been crucial to the expansion. “We don’t just need numbers of people in DOORCO, we need expertise to ensure that our systems are in place and are robust, that management also steps up a gear in line with our expansion. We didn’t look far to find the solution in Jayne who has the skills, knowledge and commitment to make a real positive impact” said Dan. The growth and success we have enjoyed from our first recruit from the corporate world, Mike Roe who heads up the sales, has given me the confidence to bring in people of this level and now to have such experienced individuals on board gives me a lot of confidence for the future.
The name change heralds a new phase for the company but the investment and new products are very tangible evidence of commitment to the market. Dan explains: “Doors are in our DNA, we have sold literally hundreds of thousands of doors of all types over the past ten years and we know doors and the markets for them inside out. And if you consider just how many different types of door there are in an average house, for example, we are just scratching the surface…”
Despite our best efforts Dan would not be drawn further on this somewhat enigmatic conclusion to our interview. All he would say was that plans for further new products that would “turn the industry on its head” will be revealed around the turn of the year. We will be the first to bring you the detail.