Published On: Wed, Jul 1st, 2020

Swift Frame remains ahead of the game

High levels of automation and extruding its own PVC-U system has helped Swift Frame to make a rapid return to fabricating products. Windows Active Editor John Cowie talks to Swift Frame’s Business Development Director Jason Earl.

One of the UK’s longest established and original ‘super’ fabricators is seeing its successful business model becoming even more relevant as the industry gets used to a ‘new normal’ in procedures and trading. Acknowledged as one of the pioneers of automation in the manufacturing of windows and doors, Swift Frame championed the use of the latest machinery to create an incredibly efficient factory. Still to this day the production facility at Swift Frame produces impressive numbers of frames utilising machinery supported by a minimal workforce. Its adaptability and efficiency have been clearly demonstrated as, like many other fabricators in the industry, it has eased itself out of lockdown. Jason Earl is Swift Frame’s Business Development Director and has been impressed by the output the company has achieved with only a skeleton workforce: “We have alway been renowned for the high levels of automation in our factory. This really did come in to its own when we switched the machines back on after lockdown conditions eased. Paramount was the safety of our workforce, and this was made so much easier as we have always been a firm believer in machinery making windows and doors. This enabled us to achieve early manufacturing levels of 600 items from a staff of only 12 shop floor staff.”

Jason is relatively new to the role of New Business Development Director. With a rich pedigree working for some of the UK’s most forward-thinking fabricators, he said the opportunity at Swift Frame was a unique situation to drive business to one of the UK’s truly unique businesses. Swift Frame really is a business that is in tune with two of the major areas currently affecting manufacturers. He said the company touched on automatisation, and this will become a key focus for fabricators as they dissect the issues faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Early evidence shows that those with a more automated manufacturing process and less reliant on labour were able to react rapidly to new operational requirements. Moving forward, managing human resources is going to be an ongoing challenge for businesses. Implementing safe working conditions on the factory floor such as social distancing is considered easier to put in place when there is increased automation within the production process.

Total unique offering – Unique is a word bandied around too easily; however, Swift Frame really is unique in another way. The company has for many years extruded its own window profile from its manufacturing base in Norwich. This position has allowed it to control a larger part of the production process. As Jason points out, this is really important in today’s market conditions: “Brexit and now COVID-19 have really placed pressures on the supply chain for window fabricators, and we are in the fortunate position of being able to extrude our own profile. We didn’t envisage it would be so important as it is today, however, when Swift Frame took the decision to extrude, it was to enhance its control in the supply chain and service to customers. This has really come to the fore now and contributed considerably to us being able to supply installers as soon as lockdown restrictions were eased.”

This ability to swiftly fulfil orders has resulted in a number of new customers turning to Swift Frame. Installers who are new to ordering from Swiftframe have been impressed by the responsive nature of the service they have received. Jason adds: “We have been able to have an immediate supply of casements and this has proved extremely popular with customers looking to fulfil orders immediately. Moving forward, we have been promoting our extended range of products. We are now able to offer a flush-sash window manufactured from the Opitma profile, the Profile 22 patio door and the popular composite door from Solidor. This has enabled us to target new customers with the added bonus we can offer them our own unique range of casement windows and associated doors.”

Swift Frame is a very British success story and with an impressive market longevity it is proving it still remains ahead of the game in so many ways. To hear about the full range of products on offer please call Jason Earl on 07733 101041 or email him at: