Published On: Thu, Nov 19th, 2020

Sam Nuckey, Managing Director, Window Ware

First job: I left school after A-levels and joined a management training scheme and qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant. There were 20 of us on this three-year training scheme. It was a great development platform that provided practical experience and study support where I made friends for life.
When did you join your current company: I joined Window Ware six years ago this April as Finance Director and went on to become Managing Director in 2015.
Most useful/favourite gadget: Without question, it’s my iPhone! I live by my iPhone, my work life, my personal life and my kids’ lives are all on my iPhone. If I lost my phone, it would be like losing my right arm!
Favourite website: – As time is often scarce, I live by convenience. Amazon is always my first port of call as I can tick it off my list and not think about it anymore.
Business person you admire: I always look up to business leaders who have been disruptive in their respective market space. I am always fascinated with how they identified the changes needed and the solution and developed themselves to keep pace with the business needs and growth. Brian Chesky, one of the founders of Airbnb, Reed Hastings of Netflix and the late Steve Jobs of Apple are all prime examples of this.
Favourite UK restaurant: Wagamama!
Best business decision: The acquisition of the Xpert brand and range reinvigorated the growth strategy for Window Ware back in 2016 and reinforced what we are good at and how we can support new brands into the marketplace. The range has seen growth of +40% in the last three years!
Other interests: In summer, I love surfing and being at the beach – although Cornwall is a long way from home, and I enjoy skiing in the winter – although there are not many mountains locally either! I enjoy yoga, plus friends and family are a big part of my life as I come from a big family.

Working Day: My working day really varies, but will typically start
at 9:00am in our office in Bedford. I try each morning to go through my emails evaluating the previous day’s performance based on key sales and service metrics. Typically, the day before I clear all my emails to ensure I start each new day with a fairly fresh start.
My days can be anything from travelling across the country to meet customers or suppliers, or sitting in on various internal meetings. I occasionally get a little bit of desk time but it seems less lately as we get busier and my role within the wider Arran Isle Group gets bigger. However, I try to keep my calendar flexible with time allocated for deadlines and tasks.

Window Ware went into the last year following an incredible 2018 for the business. After all, we were named the UK’s best hardware supplier by an independent industry survey, consistently achieved OTIF scores above 97% each month and celebrated both a ‘Service Excellence’ award and a G18 Award nomination. If all those achievements weren’t enough, we added a number of exciting new product lines and sourced over 2,800 non-stocked items to serve specific hardware needs, all while speeding up our renowned response times for customers across the UK.

It was certainly a tremendous year for Window Ware as we cemented our position as the industry’s trusted supply partner for quality branded window and door hardware. When it came to returning back to work in the new year, we certainly weren’t still patting ourselves on the back for a job well done. Instead the Window Ware team, true to form, rolled up their sleeves and set to work making 2019 even bigger and better for our customers.

Over delivered – Looking back on the past 12 months or so, I firmly believe our team over delivered! Against a backdrop of sustained political and economic uncertainty, we not only onboarded our new customers successfully, but continued to help fabricators keep their production lines moving and supplied installers, fitters and stockists alike with a growing range of quality tools, spares and consumables. In fact, we’ve successfully integrated hundreds of new product lines in the last year alone, introducing valuable new additions across PVC-U and aluminium hardware and across our range of tools and consumables. Even with the prospect of new products to learn and new team members to train, we still managed to improve on our award-winning service excellence, boosting key metrics such as response times, input accuracy, order accuracy and our renowned OTIF scores.

2019 was also a year of celebration as we recognised longstanding partnerships with key brand partners and customers. We were incredibly proud to mark 20 years in partnership with both Yale and Maco, two of the biggest and most respected names in our industry. To achieve these milestones is a fantastic testament to the trust and belief partners have in us to uphold their brands and deliver their range. It was also fantastic to celebrate another 20-year partnership, this time with our customer Express Trade Frames. We were the payee on their very first business cheque and they haven’t looked back! Two decades is a very long time in this industry, so it’s a proud achievement to know we’ve been able to meet their supply demands throughout.

Outperforming the market – Our achievements over the past couple of years have ultimately put us in a really strong position where we’ve continued to outperform the market. Whilst conditions across the board have been less than favourable, and not helped by the likes of material shortages, supplier delays and our logistics partner falling into administration, we’ve continued to grow year on year against market performance. Along with our customer service and unrivalled technical support, I firmly believe the route of our success is our focus on effortlessly supporting customers with existing and new business requirements, as well as planning for and managing the unexpected rather than just reacting.

It will come as no surprise to many in the industry that Window Ware’s biggest market is servicing PVC-U fabricators. It’s something we’ve done successfully for over 30 years, continually expanding our offering to help customers meet market demands by providing access to key brands and products. Our new partnership with Avantis is a great example, adding their SBD-approved multi-point door locks and Kubu, their new smart-equipped door lock. We’ve also added the heritage furniture of Regal Hardware, the Kömmerling-approved Glide Hardware range for inline patio doors and GU’s UNI-JET tilt-and-turn system to name just a few. But as fabricators have continued to diversify and demand has grown in the market for broader suppliers, we’ve responded by scaling up our aluminium operation. We’re just as passionate about aluminium at Window Ware and have been supporting fabricators in this sector for many years.

With the help and experience of Rich Fraser, our BDM for Aluminium & Commercial, we’ve been able to bring together a broad yet relevant range of aluminium window and door hardware. It’s a range that includes everything from essential fixtures and fittings, right through to folding openers, louvres and both manual and electric window controls. As we grow our range, we are continuing to develop our technical ability, our knowledge and our special team around that. It’s all with the aim of providing fabricators with one reliable source that can help save time, reduce costs and eliminate both unnecessary paperwork and delivery delays. Our final strand is Xpert, our specialist tool arm that’s trusted by fabricators, installers and over 300 stockists nationwide. Since joining the Window Ware family in 2016, the trailblazing tool brand has expanded beyond air and hand tools to include machinery spares, materials and accessories. With our proven product range and specialist knowledge, we help fabricators minimise unnecessary downtime and help trade professionals deliver the best quality in less time.

Looking ahead – Over the next 12 months, we will continue to evolve each of these strands, all while innovating our service with new ways to help our customers. We are determined to support the growth of their businesses, constantly asking ourselves how we can do better, what can we do more and how can we ultimately maintain that customer loyalty. Whether it’s a fabricator or an installer, it’s important that businesses understand the changing market and be clear about how they can adapt to seize opportunities as they arise. Key advice we would offer is to be aware of the changing industry landscape and be open to innovate and evolve to facilitate tangible growth, using a supply chain that can support this strategy.

For me personally, my aim is to make sure we’re the best we can be. We want to lead the distribution service for the fenestration industry, so my rôle is to be a good leader and make sure our talented and knowledgeable team has clarity of focus in terms of what we’re trying to deliver. I’ll also be flying the flag for Window Ware as part of GM Fundraising’s Peak, Paddle, Pedal event. It promises to be a gruelling six days as we climb, kayak and swim for Hope House Children’s Hospice. However, I’m confident it will be all worth it as colleagues, customers and brand partners once again show their incredible generosity.