Published On: Mon, Jan 19th, 2015

Sights firmly set on further innovation

Gareth Mobley is the CEO of Solidor Group that have for the last few years been the fastest growing composite door company in the sector. With new investment from DW3 Product Group, Solidor has its sights firmly set on further innovation and market leadership

Gareth Mobley - 2014Some people may argue that we are already a market leader in our own right thanks to our unrivalled range of composite doors, which boasts a number of industry exclusives in terms of 17 colours inside and out and an unrivalled range of hardware. Our marketing strategy and campaigns have also been rewarding in terms of sales for our customers and in the number of awards we have received, including G13 Promotional Campaign of the Year and as a finalist this year too in the same category. Our research and analysis suggests that we still have some way to go in terms of realising the potential in the business and the recent investment from DW3 Product Group will help realise this in a structured and measured manner, yet I will still remain the majority shareholder of the business, which was started back in 2004.

We have a complete focus on the needs of our customers from product specification through to the way in which we present ourselves to the consumer, including the promotion of our 500+ strong network of Recommended and Premium Installers. It’s been an on-going investment programme at Solidor for the past 5 years with new CNC machinery, welders and even a new 46,000 ft2 factory, in which we are now just about to lease a further 12,000 ft2 in the facility, amounting to 58,000 ft2 in total. We’ve also increased the workforce to 137 and there are several new additions to come in the next few weeks at senior level including a big one in December, as we ensure that we have the staff and infrastructure to cope with sustained growth.

With the unprecedented growth in sales for the last few years, we’ve had to rely on the abilities of our supply chain to ensure we carry the necessary stocks of products. This includes Kömmerling PVC-U door frames in 18 colour options, Werbar reinforcement from Window Widgets, door skins in 17 colours, glazing cassettes from ODL, decorative glass and a number of hardware options including the exclusive Avantis lock. Indeed, as of 4th November, 2014 we had stock valued at almost £1million, testament to the current sales volume and range of options for our solid-core composite doors.

We continue to invest in new products, something that has captured the imagination of our customers and style-savvy consumers too, who continue to flock to our website and on to our exhibition stands at Grand Designs Live for the last 2 years at the NEC, Birmingham. In addition, this year’s FIT Show was used as the platform to launch a 62mm door slab with a new Residence 9 door frame from Eclectic Systems and the same slab was also encompassed in the KBE System 88 frame, with each product capable of the Passivhaus standard u-value of 0.8 W/m2K. The Solidor marketing machine has also benefited from considerable investment, as our retail campaign has been so successful on a scale that’s necessitated the employment of a full-time retail marketing manager and we continue to exhibit at Grand Designs Live at the NEC each year. Our internet presence in the search engines is impressive too, with 13 keywords appearing in the top 5 of Google including number 1 positioning as at 1st August 2014 for ‘coloured composite doors’, ‘composite door’, composite french doors’, ‘composite front doors’, ‘composite stable doors’, ‘Irish oak composite doors’ and ‘solid composite doors’.

Our eagerness to be the first with most things in the industry saw us launch the first Augmented Reality (AR) app in the sector earlier this year, which is all about hidden content, behind a marker in Solidor’s adverts and brochures. A downloaded software app needs to be installed on a device such as a mobile phone or tablet and used in a steady position to identify and analyse a marker in a near identical way that we recognise QR codes. This also complements our Door Designer app for Android and Apple phones and tablets and a Design a Door feature on the website which has been incredibly popular. The website also features Solidor TV which includes a number of videos about our product and the 7-stage journey from enquiry through to installation and these also appear on our YouTube channel. The investment has been huge over the years and with our customers we have shared the collective success, yet our greatest achievement is yet to be realised as we continue to invest, grow and deliver to our customers and the end consumer what we believe is the nation’s favourite home improvement product.

Tel: 01782 847300