Monthly Archives: May 2012

FIT Show is looking good!

builder

It was a sunny afternoon yesterday when I met with Matthew Glover who had agreed to show me around the Telford Centre .

Driving up the M6 Toll road it seemed that Telford was not that much further than the NEC, but my first impression of the centre was “Oh that looks a bit small”. Still a warm welcome was awaiting and my spirits lifted when I first saw the frontage, a long glass entrance looked perfect to show case our newest exhibition for the industry.

Once inside the air-con helped and the building took on a “Tardis” feel. There are the three main halls plus another side hall and meeting rooms galore. Upstairs there are dozens of meeting areas, private balcony areas for hosting pre dinner drinks or networking over a coffee. Frankly the organisers are spoilt for choice. The building can be adapted to numerous functions.

The point is that if they get this right the show itself will have some fantastic attractions for visitors. It wont be an NEC experience!

It isn’t just a shed with an entrance and visitors are in for the day, there will be many attractions, hospitality areas and network events outside the main halls which exhibitors may think takes away from their displays, however I think the added events will boost visitor numbers justifying the stand investment.

With scanners for data collection, wifi for exhibitors, this is set to be a hi tech show, so our visitors will be able to add themselves at the show or use our hospitality to amend their company details and check for sales enquiries.

As for hotels, the early birds will be delighted, the entrance to the Holiday inn is literally 200yds away from the entrance, so no excuses for being late on the stand!

Although just under a year away, the venue was a surprise, it could be a fantstic event for purchasers of windows doors and conservatories, and with the promise of FREE bacon butties and a coffee for pre registered visitors you may have to make an early start!

DGC will be exhibiting in Hall 2 stand no 14. To find out who else is attending the FIT Show click here, to find out more about DGC and get a FREE 30 day trial without any commitment click here so you can see for yourself, just how you can get better exposure for your business and for your customers too!

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The GGF attending the FIT Show

ggf logo

According to Glassi, the GGF publication, they have decided to attend next years FIT Show. With BFRC, Fensa, GGFi within their group of companies it seems a perfect opportunity for them to highlight their services to the industry at the first show for nearly 5 years.

Follow this link for FREE tickets and click here to see the latest floor plan

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Get your FREE ticket for the FIT show

FIT show logo 2013

Ok there is still plenty of time yet before next April but why not get organised, the exhibitors have and it’ll reassure the organisers that installers intend going too!

The FIT show is set to be the first major trade show for the industry and if Matthews publicity machine works as it has done til now, supply of tickets will be limited, so why not get your tickets sorted too, here’s the link

We’re going so that we can make sure every company in the industry can claim their FREE entry on doubleglazingcompanies.com . Have you checked lately to see if you are included, its FREE advertising! Add your own company here.

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Government consulting with Green Deal critics

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According to the Roger Harrabin of the BBC, the government has been holding discussions with critics of the Green Deal who are against its introduction in the current form.

We reported previously that GD had its critics and that Greg Barker admitted that savings could not be guaranteed!

Seems that only 60% of the UK housing stock has adequate loft insulation (125mm) so loft insulation should be a priority. The window industry has some great energy efficient products yet consumers are disadvantaged because they are forced to pay 20% VAT, not the 5% that other measures are charged.

With 20% VAT, Doc L changes and CE marking next year, is it any wonder that the additional legislation surrounding Green Deal is being seen as a step too far?

It seems the government may be listening, but unless the act to change the structure of their proposals, they risk their flagship sinking before it’s launched!

 

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Increase in sash window burglaries

burglar break in

According to reports in West London Today, the Police in Hammersmith and Fulham are warning residents of the growing spate of sash window burglaries, especially the SW6 area. A police spokesperson said that burglaries offences are falling in this area but there have been a number via sash windows.

The reason sash windows get targeted is because standard windows only have very basic latches. Look for yourself, you can probably stand out side your sash window and slide a putty knife or butter knife between the two sashes. Once the latch is unhooked, both sashes slide open!

Sash windows can be made more secure.

Old wooden ones can have locks fitted which limit the travel of the sash, others clamp the two together, or you can get magnetic ones (called Sashminder) which have an auto locking mechanism, ideal for vulnerable lower sashes.

Some people think PVCu sash windows provide better security, standard ones don’t unless they have the enhanced security options needed to comply with the polices “secured by design” standards. Many PVCu sash windows have very basic latches, often the screws fixing the “keep” portion of the latch, is only screwed into the glazing bead, any force means the bead pops out offering no security at all!

Moral of the story, ask for SBD Police preferred standard of security, so that you’re not another statistic of these crime figures, and follow some basic good housekeeping tips.

Remember burglarers tend to be opportunists, they don’t want to be seen and wont hang around unless they think they feel confident.

Make your home as secure as you can, don’t make it easy for them. Padlock gates, make sure the security lights are working and illuminate the quiet corners of your property, especially at the rear away from the busy street. Keep doors and windows locked, not just pulled too, locked.

Install visible deterrents, alarms, camera’s and neighbourhood watch signs and lock away garden tools like spades. Most burglars won’t carry break-in tools, they prefer to use yours! Lock anything that could be used as a crowbar, or step ladders etc.

And finally, hide your valuables from being seen, if they cannot see your laptop, keys or wallet within easy reach, they will be more inclined to try next door, but warn your neighbours too!

 

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EU Commission fines nine producers of “window mountings”, €86 million for price fixing cartel

price of double glazing

The EU has found a number of window hardware companies guilty of price fixing.

The nine companies who produced “mountings for windows”, (mainly tilt and turn gearing), were fined a total of € 85, 876, 000 for operating the cartel, for agreeing common price increases, which is in breach of EU antitrust rules.

Their report (here) relates to a period from November 1999 to July 2007. According to the report the cartel was, “well organised” and the meetings, “followed a regular pattern”, apparently in the third week of November each year. It says,

These regular meetings were called the “Permanent Conference”. In the morning before the official meetings, the parties sat together in order to set a price increase for the following year or to agree on a surcharge for raw material costs. In the course of the following year, the cartelists met again to inform each other about the various steps they had taken to implement the agreed price increase. Local sales representatives all over Europe also had regular contacts to ensure the success of the cartel.

The companies are named as Roto, Gretsch-Unitas, Siegenia, Winkhaus, Hautau, Fuhr, Strenger (all of Germany), Maco of Austria and AGB of Italy. Roto were also involved but received full immunity from fines as it was the first to provide information about the cartel whilst Gretsch-Unitas and Maco fines were reduced, reflecting their cooperation in the investigation.

Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia said,

“For more than seven years, buyers of windows throughout Europe have had to face a cartel. We are determined to fight such illegal practices, whether they come from large multinationals or family-owned companies. While we have ensured that the fines we imposed today remain proportionate, they are high compared to the companies’ turnover and will make them think twice if they ever think of fixing prices again.”

Now before anyone starts saying this is typical of “double glazing companies” lets get one thing straight, it is the double glazing companies (and their customers) who have suffered because of the illegal actions of these major suppliers.

Whilst cartells of this nature are very rare, it has to be good news that the EU has investigated the issue, digested the information and decided that these companies were guilty of fixing the market prices to preserve their company finances. The fines impossed seem large but the profits these companies made during this period was achieved because they manipulated the price that all companies were forced to pay.

The individual fines are as follows

Fine (€)* Includes reduction (%) under the Leniency Notice
1. Roto 0 100%
2. Gretsch-Unitas 20 552 000 45%
3. Maco 18 501 000 25%
4. Siegenia 18 995 000 0%
5. Winkhaus 19 537 000 0%
6. Hautau 3 179 000 0%
7. Fuhr 2 215 000 0%
8. Strenger 104 000 0%
9. AGB 2 793 000 0%

(*) Legal entities within the undertaking may be held jointly and severally liable for the fine imposed.

 

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