Published On: Thu, Nov 16th, 2017

Re-Invest to progress

You know when Gary Morton CEO of Boing Boing Group and GM Fundraising Chairman, gets involved with something, there’s going to be action, so Windows Active spoke to him about his team’s ambitious growth strategy for fabricator CentralRPL

It’s 2 years since Boing Boing Group purchased CentralRPL. What’s been happening since?

We have been working hard to energise the business throughout really. Mainly by aligning our internal operations, customer service, brand and product offering, including many upgrades on hardware and a complete PVC-U system move to Profile 22. Our strategy has become all about finding products for our customers, rather than customers for our products. I am also a firm believer in ‘people buy from people’ so we’ve been investing internally to get the right people, who will look after our customers now and in the future. We’ve also been growing the Group with the addition of CentralASL, the aluminium division, and a dedicated colour spray unit.

There are lots of fabricators out there in the market. What makes your business different?

Seriously, not just paying lip service – it’s service, products and people. It’s also critical to reinvest in the continuous improvement we strive for through our lean manufacturing approach. It’s not rocket science – it’s about great experienced people offering great products with great service. Another key to success is being able to spot trends that will help our customers differentiate themselves including added value sales such as aluminium, colour and business development tools to assist our customers. Fabricators have for some time had to adapt to the changing market, homeowners are demanding more choice and better products day by day. It’s not easy to stay ahead of this fast pace of change, but it helps to have a team of experienced people that truly understand the market and understand their installer customers’ businesses. This is what gives us an edge, allowing us to supply the complete solution our installers need. Every member of the team is dedicated to giving the customer the best possible experience and all staff members from the Board to the shop floor, are encouraged to put forward ideas for improvement. A key philosophy for us all is to future-proof customers alongside providing what they need in the current market. Fabricators, or any other supplier for that matter, will always go a lot further when they break the mould of the straightforward supplier/customer relationship. Offering advice, business, marketing and sales support obviously gives the customer more incentive to remain loyal. Many companies say they offer support over and above the norm, but when the customer really feels the sense of camaraderie and finds it making a difference to their day to day business, you know you’re doing something right. It’s no secret that charitable work is close to my heart and the ethos that comes with it, is something we have ensured is part of Central’s culture.

What are the products you think are doing well at the moment for installers in what we’re hearing is a slow / tough market?

Mainly the added value products – flush sash, vertical sliders, patios, bi-folds, composite doors, colour and the like. Having said that, white PVC-U windows are still the cornerstone of our business and should be treated as such. Our customers work in both residential and commercial markets so it’s imperative that we make a comprehensive range of products. This is the strategy behind the move to Optima. It is a premium product and comes with additional services offered by Profile 22, such as the commercial support programme and marketing support with the Excellence as Standard programme – all of which will further help us excel with our customers. Installers are looking for more choice to offer the homeowner, without compromising on quality or having to source different products from different suppliers. Support is the most important thing, regardless of how that is packaged and presented to the installer. Aluminium is very much a growing sector, and one of the main products we wanted to be able to supply our customers directly to make sure they get the same expertise and service they can rely on from the team at CentralRPL. It is not secret we’ve the usual start-up issues, but we are in full swing now and thanks to the excellent relationships with our existing customer base, we are moving forward.

So, where next?

We will be continuing on the same track to ensure we provide a complete solution for installers. So, more investment in plant and machinery, continuing to review products and possibly a further acquisition. Oh and lots of work for GM Fundraising also. We have some fantastic events coming up in 2018, so watch this space….

Tel: 0121 500 0505