Made in Britain – what’s the benefit?

With more emphasis being placed on the ‘Made in Britain’ tag and using local supply chains; one company in the industry has put their money where their mouth is when it comes to investing in local people and products.

MWD Trade Windows’ Sales Director Jim Martin, talks to Windows Active about the importance of local sourcing and a “fearless” investment strategy.
It wasn’t a matter of coincidence, or convenience, that the Cheddar based uPVC fabricator opted for a thoroughly British supply chain. Jim Martin elaborates: “There are obvious advantages for the local and national economy- one of which is using local labour and the creation of new jobs on an on-going basis.

“We are also able to offer faster lead times and ensure the very best quality for our products because we have greater control over where are products are coming from.

“There is also the softer benefits of helping the environment and reducing our carbon footprint which is gaining in importance for manufacturers. Naturally there will always be powder or some components that are made overseas but where we can we also look to buy local.”

Extruded in Tewkesbury

The South West based company uses profile extruded in Tewkesbury; glass supplied by Mid-Devon Glass and locks and hardware that are all manufactured by British suppliers. According to Jim it’s a decision which has driven growth at the company.

And growing demand for their products and a strong reputation convinced the company’s management to build a brand new factory and showroom, in the midst of the recession.

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Jim comments: “We knew the market would eventually pick up as economic downturns are cyclical and we trusted our business 100%; so we had the confidence to make some ‘fearless’ investment decisions.

“We built a brand new, 20,000 sq. ft. factory, which was a stressful but rewarding experience; acquired cutting-edge production machinery and recruited new people in order to prepare for future higher demand. The knock on effect of this has been that we have maintained fast turnarounds and high-levels of service for our clients – helping them win profitable new business.”

The future is bright

This mentality of always being one step ahead of the market has also seen MWD specialise in colour, as Jim explains: “We have noticed that colour is becoming a tool to increase margins and win new business, so we adapted to this trend and we’re helping our customers take advantage of it. Part of this opportunity is due to a very high number of homeowners replacing the replacement windows they had installed in the 1980s with colourful new alternatives.

“But there’s also high demand for coloured bi-folding and sliding patio doors, as homeowners are diversifying their tastes and are becoming more adventurous, opting for bold colours to add personality to their properties.”

An eleven year relationship

MWD is a fabricator and trade supplier of Duraflex casement windows, Residential, bi-folding and composite doors, vertical sliding sash windows and patios, as well as conservatories. The company’s ongoing collaboration with the profile supplier started 11 years ago.
MWD has also recently opened a brand new showroom, displaying their extensive range of products. Jim comments: “Our clients have the opportunity to see our products first hand, but they can also use it to show their customers the level of quality of our windows and doors. It works very well in helping them convert more leads, as the showroom is displaying the products in a professional light.”

Going forward, the fabricator is planning on further helping installers take advantage of lucrative opportunities, such as the composite door market. MWD offer Solidor doors in an extended range of composite doors, with more shapes, specifications, colours and add-ons.

Plans for the future also include further development of the range, with the introduction of more options and even more support for installers. Jim says the future is bright – but it will most likely be a while before they invest again in building a completely new factory from scratch!