Published On: Wed, Mar 28th, 2018

Sioned Webb, Marketing Director, AluK

First Job: I started work aged 16 as a commercial trainee at Rehau, working at their Amlwch plant on Anglesey.

When did you join current company: I joined AluK in March 2016 as Head of Marketing and was appointed Marketing Director in July 2017.

Most useful/favourite gadget: I love everything about my iPhone, but couldn’t live without the Deezer music streaming app.

Favourite/most useful website: I’m such an online shopper, the days of having the luxury of shopping on the High Street are definitely over for me, so all my favourite clothes brand sites are crucial. I’d be lost without them.

Business person you admire: That’s a tough one – I can appreciate the achievements of some of the big names obviously, but my real admiration is for those people who I know and whose journey I can see from their perspective. On the recent Paddle2Pedal challenge for instance, I was in awe of the stories of so many of the women taking part and how they had got to where they are in business. One stood out for me though and that was Tina Moorhouse, MD of Oakland Glass. She really is a true inspiration for all women and she deserves a medal!

Recommended hotel for business: I’m a regular visitor at AluK’s London Design Studio and use the Hub by Premier Inn. These are hard to fault – great value and just smart in terms of their approach and understanding the needs of business travel.

Favourite UK restaurant: I’ve been lucky enough to eat at some wonderful places but, as it’s my local, I have to say The Angel at Abergavenny. This is an award-winning restaurant in my home town and they’ve worked so hard and invested a lot to make their mark in the UK restaurant and hospitality sector.

Best business decision: Repositioning AluK in the trade/residential market with a clear product strategy, and then launching that at the FIT Show. I’m thoroughly enjoying being part of and having input into AluK’s journey of development and growth.

Other interests: Having just completed the GM Fundraising Paddle2Pedal challenge, I’m hooked on road cycling now.


Working Day: If I’m not out visiting customers, I like to be in the office between 7.30 and 8. I work with the rest of the marketing team on a whole range of strategic projects and it’s my job to make sure those are kept on track. With AluK launching so many new products at the moment, as well as a brand new Select Partner scheme, it’s exceptionally busy and I have to work hard to reduce the time I spend in meetings and maximise the amount of time I can spend on strategic planning. I usually leave fairly promptly at around 6 to make sure I spend time with my family in the evening, but the laptop does often go on again.

Working Location: AluK moved this year to its new 350,000 ft2 home in Chepstow, which for me is a perfect 30 minute commute. My office is right in the heart of the action, in the new purpose built offices which sit alongside the vast production facility. The whole building is fabulous and showcases lots of AluK’s windows, doors and curtain walling systems, not just in the newly opened Design Studio but in the structure itself. We literally live and breathe our products and are very proud of our new offices!


AluK made a very significant strategic decision this year to clearly position ourselves in the trade and residential markets. We redefined our product offering, focused on the expertise of our team and committed ourselves to a new level of partnership with our customers. At the FIT Show, AluK made a very big statement about our commitment to this market and our ‘Experts in Aluminium’ campaign which ran from January to June was deliberately created to reinforce that. All this coincided of course with our move to new 350,000 ft2 premises in Chepstow and a huge investment in the UK market by the AluK group. We now have an ISO9001 accredited facility. We are also the only systems company in the world to have an online pre-anodised vertical Polyester Powder Coat paint line, which will be fully commissioned early next year. At a time when the aluminium sector is already outstripping the rest of the market, with growth in 2016 of 24%, AluK now has the capacity and resources to maximise the huge opportunity which undoubtedly exists for us and for our customers in the years ahead.

The latest Palmer report that has been released predicts that the overall glazing market will struggle until at least 2020. However, it also stated that the outlook for aluminium is very much brighter, with further growth of 20% forecast by 2021, driven initially by bi-fold doors and then increasingly by windows. Arguably, there has never been a more exciting time to be in this sector and certainly there has never been a more exciting time to be at AluK. In marketing and product terms, we introduced three clearly defined new product tiers at this year’s FIT Show. These are – Optio for our mainstream products, Luminia for our premium range and Infinium for our high-end retail offering. This strategy means our customers now understand exactly which products fit their customer profile and, more importantly, can access products from across our portfolio to suit any type of project. We are focused not just on closing any gaps in our range which might have previously been filled by our competitors, but also on giving our customers additional new products which can deliver stronger and more sustainable margins.

Our aim is to take our customers along with us on what promises to be an enjoyable and very rewarding journey. Our plan is not simply to go on adding more fabricators to our customer base. Rather, we want to work with existing customers – giving them the products, service and sales and marketing support they need to grow with us and increase the number of installers buying from them. And, for that reason, we took the significant step of launching our Select Partner scheme this month, appointing partners for our Infinium and Luminia products. These will be those fabricators who have demonstrated a real commitment to AluK over the years and where we believe there is potential for us to really add value to their businesses and their showrooms and drive future growth together. We’ll be backing these partners with technical, sales and marketing support and helping them to reach those installers and developers who are so critical to our success in both the home improvement and new-build sectors. For instance, we have launched the Infinium panoramic slider specifically to enable those customers targeting high-end Grand Designs type properties to supply a UK manufactured AluK product with full local support, rather than having to turn to suppliers based in Europe. Similarly, we’ve just launched the Luminia Veranda system to give customers a great new add-on or retrofit sales opportunity on every bi-fold or sliding door installation they complete.

And, at the end of October, we launch what we believe will be a game-changing product in the bi-fold market – our Luminia F82. This features symmetrical all-round rebates of just 97mm to provide larger glazing panels and fantastic thermal performance U-values of just 1.34 W/m2K when double glazed – a first for any aluminium bi-fold. It is unashamedly targeted at the premium end of the bi-fold market where demand remains very robust, yet it is quicker and easier to fabricate than existing doors in our range. It will be released only to our Luminia Select Partners, giving them a real point of differentiation in the market and helping them to increase their share of the predicted 28% growth in bi-folds over the next five years. It really does represent an attractive proposition.

Our product development doesn’t stop there though – we’ll also be rolling out the brand new Luminia SC156 sliding door shortly. Looking even further ahead, the next stage in our marketing plan is to increase our targeting of the all-important consumer market. That won’t come from a big press or TV campaign because our budgets simply don’t run to that. But, it will certainly involve clever but cost-effective digital marketing, and will work hand in hand with our customers in the form of printed and digital marketing information and of course showroom branding. One key element for targeting consumers is the new AluK Design Studios. We opened our first in London’s design quarter last year and have just opened the second at our Chepstow HQ. These showcase full-size versions of virtually our entire product range and provide a fantastic venue for presentations and events. Our original intention was to use the London Design Studio to target architects and specifiers working in the commercial sector and certainly it’s proving ideal for that. But, it is also a facility which our customers can use for hosting their own events or simply directing prospective customers towards to view our full-size products. It is certainly proving very successful for that and we are seeing upwards of 40 homeowners a week visiting to look at products for themselves before they place orders with customers, further justifying our investment. There’s lots more to come from AluK throughout the rest of this year and into 2018 and beyond. We have a fantastic brand, underpinned by exceptional products and are now, I believe, perfectly placed to make the most of the rising demand for aluminium from across the trade and residential sector and, more importantly, to help our customers to make the most of that too.