Have you seen the new website?
Take a look at www.networkveka.co.uk to see the valuable new resource that we've created in partnership with our award-winning Design Agency.
With all the product and guarantee information that homeowners could possibly need, there's also the option for them to activate their guarantee easily and efficiently online.
We'd love to know what you think. Let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the Network VEKA Business Centre
From 12 noon at this year's AGM on Saturday 21st March, attendees will be able to visit exhibitors at the day's 'Business Centre' and talk to suppliers, surveyors, finance and marketing specialists, affiliate companies, training partners and more.
We want to help you grow your business even more.
Our figures show that, last year, Network VEKA member companies grew at 2.5 times the rate of the rest of the industry.
Speak to our specialists on the stands to see if you could get even more from your membership.
Look out for the Network VEKA Academy
We'll be unveiling our exciting new training offering at the Network VEKA AGM! A new way for learners to gain relevant, valuable qualifications perfectly suited to working for a Network VEKA company.
Disco the night away!
The Gala Dinner and Awards Evening will kick off at 6pm with a champagne reception. Our visitors - wearing their best black-tie attire - will be welcomed once again, by Brand Ambassador Steve Davis and have the opportunity for celebration photos with the Six-Times World Snooker Champion.
The results of all the regional awards are very, very close - so there might even be some surprises on the night!
After the awards, we'll be treated to a delicious meal and then the evening will kick off with a fantastic 70s band and disco. There'll be optional fancy dress items available from 10pm and it's a great opportunity for hard-working member companies to really let their hair down!
If you haven't sent your booking form back yet, you'll have to act fast to secure your place!
Fitter of the Year
Our new (and hotly contested) award for this year is 'Fitter of the Year' with member companies having nominated their installation teams to go up against the best of the best, to be in with a chance of claiming the trophy.
The nominees had to answer an in-depth questionnaire before Austin Greene visited and observed them all on site. We've taken customer satisfaction questionnaire results into account and we will soon be announcing the shortlist of just three! These Fitters will have to complete a final test on the day of the AGM.
We're obviously doing something right...
Did you know that the end of 2014 saw members' cumulative weekly sales top £1m and registrations reach an eight-year high?
It's no wonder that our membership renewals stand at 99.2%!
Stats like these affirm that the package we've honed over the past 19 years really delivers.
Member sales totalled almost £65m in 2014.
One of the greatest benefits of being a member of Network VEKA, is the 'chain of quality' that customers are guaranteed. Network VEKA Installers must use Network VEKA Fabricators who, in turn, must use VEKA systems.
Long-standing Network VEKA fabricator Glazerite has helped South Essex Windows win a lucrative social housing contract with VEKA's Fully Reversibles. Read the full story here.
The early bird catches the WER
We're delighted to be able to tell you about another industry first from The VEKA UK Group, and one that, as a Network VEKA member, you can use free of charge.
This is a new U Value / WER calculator, the only one in the industry to be notified by the BSI and certified by the BFRC.
The U-Value calculations should be of interest - particularly if you buy in frames and glass from different suppliers. This will ensure that you are compliant for Network VEKA and competent person scheme inspections.
When it comes to window energy ratings you need to be aware that new rules came into effect in September 2014. These rules cover the simulation of spacer bars in WER calculations and, in changing them, the BFRC effectively made results from all existing Simplified Energy Label (SEL) calculators invalid and consequently unlawful.
It is the only calculator that, observing September 2014’s changes in BFRC rules, generates valid and therefore legal SELs, DSELs for doors and notified U-Values for CE Marking.
The potential repercussions of using outdated calculators are serious. Many people are burying their heads in the sand, but CE Marking is a legal requirement for windows and doors and making false declarations about U-Values may lead to prosecution for fraud! It is estimated that currently, less than 40% of the industry are fully covered by every aspect of CE Marking.
While the calculator can help you remain legal as far as U-Values, CE marking and Assure auditing is concerned, it can also calculate window energy ratings (the clue is in the name!)
However, the BFRC has found that some energy rating users have not been charged for their SEL licences over the last couple of years. This has resulted in the BFRC asking that we make sure all appropriate fees have been paid before the energy rating warning is removed from the Calculator.
So if you promote window energy ratings to consumers and use ratings for compliance you will need to be registered with, and pay BFRC fees:
Through Network VEKA these fees (excluding vat) are:
Fabricators: £840 for 3+ window energy licences (saving £1160 over what you would be charged if you go direct to BFRC for 7+ licences). The same fees apply if you want to do door ratings.
Installers (Approved Retailers): £200 for unlimited window energy licences (saving £150 on the fees for non Fensa companies, and another £200 if you want a calculator for door energy ratings.
Another advantage for Network VEKA installers is that if you elect for Network VEKA to do your audit then BFRC annual audit fees of £400 per year are reduced to £200.
The calculator, bespoke for each installer, is ready for manual release, with an online version to follow. It only lists the systems you buy and parts that are compatible with them, ensuring you can’t generate a ‘wrong’ result. And, besides saving you money on window audits and notification, experimenting with combinations of cost-effective components could even show you a cheaper route to that all-important ‘A’-rating!
All you need to do to receive your FREE bespoke calculator is contact the Network VEKA office or, if you want the version for window and door energy ratings then request a BFRC application form from us.
Heavers of Bridport fits free entrancing entrance
During the Melplash and Dorchester Shows, Heavers of Bridport offered a free prize draw for a new door, with the guarantee that names and addresses would not be used for marketing purposes.
More than 500 people entered and the winning ticket was drawn by Steve Davis.
The lucky winners were Mr and Mrs Norris of Dorchester.
A delighted Mr Norris said “when we got the phone call telling us we had won Heavers' free draw, we were over the moon. A really lovely surprise for us to receive on the return from our holiday.”
Pictured: Director Luke Heaver handing Mr & Mrs Norris the keys to their new front door.
We're here to help with changes in consumer finance regulations
Network VEKA has proactively addressed changes in the regulation of consumer finance, helping member companies to continue winning the larger contracts typically associated with such funding.
Consumer finance is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), formerly the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Since the FCA assumed responsibility for consumer finance in April 2014, the regulatory regime for companies wanting to promote consumer finance has become more challenging - the process involved in applying for consumer credit licences being a case in point.
We've found that the FCA's regulatory changes make greater demands of companies that wish to offer consumer finance - so much so that many businesses have been dissuaded from doing so.
Knowing that the ability to offer consumer finance often allows companies to command orders of greater value – homeowners opting to re-glaze their whole house rather than, say, just the front or back, for example – we recognised the need to put mechanisms in place that would preclude our members from missing those opportunities.
Network VEKA now offers two different types of support, depending on whether member companies are interested in actively offering consumer finance:
Besides the offer of assistance with applying for consumer credit licences, members could instead opt to add a Network VEKA banner to their website, directing homeowners to finance providers who can potentially offer personal loans for home improvement expenses. There would be no cost and no hassle for the member company with this option.
Customers benefit from very competitive rates compared to other sources of finance, making this a mutually advantageous offering for both them and our member companies.
Guarantee activation goes online!
We're proud to have utilised the new Network VEKA website to offer the option for homeowners to activate their insurance-backed guarantee online.
The ten-year cover, which represents one of the industry's most fail-safe packages of customer support, is instated as soon as homeowners have submitted a completed feedback form evaluating the standard of work and service they received.
Previously administered solely in hard copy by post, homeowners now also have the option to submit their feedback online, saving time and postage costs and providing instant reassurance that the process is complete.
Make sure you're in with a sporting chance!
We emailed all our members recently with details of a number of sporting events including snooker, darts, boxing, ping-pong and Fishomania! These are events that - through our association with Steve Davis and Matchroom - we may be able to secure tickets.
Make sure to let us know if you would be interested as these are of limited availability and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Email email@example.com confirming the event(s) along with the numbers of tickets you would like and we'll check if these are available.
Turning over a new leaf
Don't forget to order your NEW Network VEKA marketing literature, now available in smaller quantities. http://www.networkveka.co.uk/turning-new-leaf-network-veka-2015/
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Don't forget! If you have anything to include in The Oracle next time, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Network VEKA contact telephone and email
Main Number: 01282 473170
Fax Number: 01282 473175