I joined Deceuninck in 2014 as part of a management team tasked with turning the company’s fortunes around. We had ambitious plans to develop our product range, grow existing customers’ sales and win new fabricators. Deceuninck had a solid foundation and loyal customer base, but we needed to change our strategy and invest to grow profitably.
We spoke to fabricators and, working with MRA Marketing, we analysed the market, demographics and homeowner/property trends to identify emerging trends and opportunities for Deceuninck and our customers. We saw the fierce competition and squeezed margins in the white mass market, and the emerging opportunity in premium where customers could sell more at better margins. Our strategy was, and is, to invest in exciting new products, and sharp service and support to enable customers to sell more in the better-margin premium sector.
Colour is a crucial part of this strategy. We looked at mainland Europe and Ireland where colour significantly outsells white, and we saw UK homeowners’ and specifiers’ growing keenness for colour. British homes were made for colour and, inspired by high end brands like Fired Earth and Farrow & Ball, colour is growing strongly in popularity inside and outside the home. Given the choice, homeowners choose colour. Our challenge, the industry’s challenge, was to make it possible for fabricators and installers to sell colour with confidence, so they could offer that choice and sell colour as easily as white.
More specifically, the challenge was an unrealiable supply chain, lack of choice and inconsistent and incomplete deliveries made fabricators and installers nervous about selling colour.
Deceuninck’s ‘lightbulb’ moment was to invest in a wide range of colours in all the products, including cills, end caps and ancillaries, from stock so whatever customers ordered would absolutely arrive on their next delivery. That gives fabricators – and their installer customers - the confidence to sell colour.
We invested in a 140,000 sq ft warehouse, a state-of-the-art foiling plant and world-class foiling team, and the logistics and online ordering to supply 30 colourways from stock. No ifs or buts. Fabricators can even order a single length of colour profile with end caps etc, knowing it will arrive on their next delivery.
Other systems companies probably thought we were mad holding £4.5m of foiled profile in our warehouse! But sales quickly grew from around 25% colour in 2015 to over 60% today – more than twice the market average. All Deceuninck’s top 20 customers sell comfortably over 50% colour. In 2019, we extended our offer to 30 colourways from stock plus 20 further colours in 15 working days.
Mike Parczuk of Sternfenster explains: “Their colour range, product quality, service and deliveries are very good. Our ability to respond quickly to customers, knowing that whatever we order from Deceuninck will arrive on our next delivery, gives us a big sales advantage.”
Kurt Greatrex of Dekko Windows adds: “Other fabricators might offer a handful of colours, but they can’t match our 30 colourways from stock across a full suite of products including windows, flush doors, tilt and turn windows and patio doors. Deceuninck’s support is critical. Their investment in warehousing, logistics and foiling lets us sell colour with confidence. They hold £4.5m of foiled products in their warehouse so we know anything we order – from a single length of profile to a stillage – will be on our next delivery. Everything is foiled in-house so quality is always first-rate too.”
Fabricators who want to know how Deceuninck’s colour solution can unlock their market can call me, Rob McGlennon on 07818 383 385. Visit www.deceuninck.co.uk and following @DeceuninckUK.