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Tradeframe's 31 years service with Glazerite

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When Mark Smith started working for Peterborough based PVC-U fabricator, Trade Frame, he was an office junior at a company that was still very much in its infancy. Now, over 30 years later, not only has he worked his way up to become Managing Director, but Trade Frame has also gone from strength to strength over the years – and is now well placed for further dramatic growth, thanks to a recent acquisition by The Glazerite UK Group Limited.

Mark, who started work at Trade Frame in July 1985, is not the only long serving member of staff at the company. Ian Harris, who joined shortly after in November ’85, is now the Factory Foreman, while David Neve, Team Leader in the dispatch department, started in November 1986 – that’s just three employees with over 90 years of industry experience between them!

According to Mark, the industry has changed dramatically over the years, from the ‘heydays’ of the 1980s, to more recent periods that have proved to be much more of a challenge: “When I started at Trade Frame, we were doing just 20 frames a week, and whilst we were previously operating at about 500 fpw, we were being squeezed harder and harder because of increased operating costs and the ever reducing margins on the selling price of frames.

“However, thanks to the acquisition and subsequent investment by Glazerite in February, we now have a fantastic opportunity to not only strengthen our position in the market, but to grow significantly in the future,” he added. “To be successful these days, you need to be as efficient as possible so we are not just overhauling the factory with new machinery and production software, including barcode scanning that will allow customers to track their orders, but will be benefiting from Glazerite’s expert marketing support and online ordering systems as well.

“We now have the best of both worlds,” concluded Mark. “The experience of myself, Ian and David who have grown with the company, a loyal customer base, and the unrivalled support from Glazerite – all of which should combine to help us achieve our current goal of 1,000 frames a week. That will be quite the milestone when you consider how many we were making 30 years ago!”

Glazerite is VEKA UK Group’s largest UK trade fabricator and a long-standing Network VEKA member. It offers a fully nationwide service based on manufacturing units in Northants, Peterborough and Greater Manchester as well as its South West distribution hub in Bristol serving South Wales and The West of England.

Recent News

Glazerite grows again with dedicated 'Specials' factory
The Glazerite UK Group has completed the latest phase of its ambitious expansion programme with a major step-up to a 30,000 sq ft Special Products plant, with plans already underway for the next phase. The company's aclaimed Vertical Sliders, Residence Collection products and the VEKA Imagine bi-fold, patio and flush doors will all be made in the purpose-equipped factory by a specially-trained fabrication team with its own dedicated management and Quality Control systems.  The new unit, close to Glazerite's Wellingborough HQ, is more than twice the size off its original Specials factory opened in 2014 and gives further capacity for the group's ever-growing range of niche, premium and specialist windows and doors.  "These are all specialist products," said Group Director Jason Thompson, "So they deserve specialist attention, both in the technology of the manufacturing processes and in the skills of the people involved at all levels. The fact that we have outgrown the original Specials factory in less than three years shows how not only the range but also the volume of demand for these products has grown in that short time. By adding this very spacious new factory, we are not only showing our commitment to the future growth of these products but also adding ample capacity to give the same attention to whatever future trensds have yet to emerge." The launch of the new unit also gives Glazerite a fourth specific production centre, along with Halo fabrication at Glazerite East, the former City Beads factory in Peterborough acquired by the Group last year, and its mainsteam VEKA production at Wellingborough and Bolton. Jason explained the philosophy behind the move:  "We offer one of the most comprehensive product ranges available anywhere but our customers deserve more than just a Jack-of-all-trades. On the other hand, some specialist fabricators have a very limited product offering. Now, with the three seperate centres, each with its own dedicated skills and production lines, we can offer three distinct centres of expertise all from a single buying point." The second phase of development at the Wellingborough site, which will include a showroom and training facility as well as a trade counter to serve its local customer base, is due to be completed early in 2018. The Glazerite UK Group is VEKA's largest trade fabricator in the UK and a long-standing Network VEKA member. It offers a fully nationwide service based on manufacturing units in Northants, Peterborough and Greater Manchester as well as its South West distribution hub in Bristol serving South Wales and The West of England.
  |   Tags: Glazerite
PVC-U and Aluminium work together for special school colour-coding
When the specification for a new-build special school called for a colour coding of windows with unusual bespoke reveals and cills, the solution came in a combination of PVC-U windows set in made-to-order aluminium surrounds. Birkenhead-based K2 Aluminium Systems Ltd, despite its name, is also an established PVC-U installer, so was ideally placed to come up with the solution based on pressed aluminium cills and exterior reveals around VEKA frames from the Glazerite UK Group. Palmerston School, Liverpool, is a special school for pupils aged 11 to 19 with multiple learning difficulties, and is now housed in the new-built premises replacing an original building nearby. The windows are colour coded in red, blue, yellow and green to help pupils to navigate around the school and to identify different areas. The work, for main contractor Kier Construction, entailed 55 windows, each with four top-openers, in RAL 7012 Basalt Grey foil of white. The aluminium elements were pressed and powder coated to order for K2 and also included an upright panel between each frame and cill to allow additional ventilation space beneath the lower openers. Also in the contract were five glazed doors fabricated in Schueco aluminium. The bespoke elements required careful planning and drawing, as K2 commercial manager Liam Bird explained: “It was quite an unusual specification but one where our background in both PVC-U and aluminium paid dividends. Working with Glazerite on the PVC-U fabrication and with our own experience of aluminium, we were able to complete the work to specification and without problems and the result speaks for itself.” The Glazerite UK Group is VEKA’s largest trade fabricator in the UK and a long-standing member of the Independent Network and its predecessor Network VEKA. It offers a fully nationwide service based on manufacturing units in Northants, Peterborough and Greater Manchester as well as its South West distribution hub in Bristol serving South Wales and The West of England.
  |   Tags: Commercial
Glazerite announced as G17 Finalists
The Glazerite UK Group Ltd have been named G Awards finalists with nominations in both the Fabricator of the Year and Unsung Hero categories. Director, Jason Thompson said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this year’s awards and it is an honour to have got to this stage. We are especially pleased to be up for Fabricator of the Year as it gives all of our staff some well-deserved recognition for their hard work which has helped put us in the running. “Melanie Jacobs was nominated as our unsung hero as she has been the driving force behind the success of our customer services department at our head office in Wellingborough since becoming Sales Office manager in 2010. Her passion, drive and propensity to go above and beyond allow Melanie to effectively lead her team year on year. All of which she does whilst managing the symptoms of rare auto-immune condition Myasthenia Gravismake. She sets a fantastic example to all of us.” Jason concluded: “It will be interesting to see what happens on awards night as there is some strong competition. The Glazerite table has been booked and until then we’re all keeping our fingers crossed that between ourselves, suppliers and customers we win a few of them on the night.”
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The Glazerite UK Group Ltd manufacture and supply uPVC Windows, Doors and Conservatories to trade customers from sites in the Midlands, Northwest, East and Southwest.

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