What are the biggest challenges facing the sector currently?
Like many other sectors, the PVC-U fabrication and installation industry is facing economic headwinds resulting from the current cost of living crisis and growing, well publicised inflationary pressures. This will inevitably have some impact on consumer sentiment.
As a manufacturer, the sharp rise in energy costs also presents an economic and operational challenge for us and other energy intensive organisations. It is one that will have to be managed carefully in the months ahead.
In addition, increasing regulatory scrutiny as we move towards 2025’s Future Home Standard means we must continue to create and deliver sustainable product solutions that contribute to the nation’s decarbonisation journey.
Finally, the whole sector must recognise the problem of recruitment into the industry and the difficulties in attracting new talent. We must collaborate to promote the benefits of working within an evolving, stimulating and rewarding sector and ensure this message gets out to young people.
What does the industry need to focus on for the coming twelve months?
The PVC-U fabrication and installation industry plays an important part in people’s lives. We deliver aesthetically pleasing, long lasting and sustainable product solutions that can help enhance and transform homes, living spaces and workplaces and we should be proud of the impact we have.
At Eurocell a spirit of product innovation drives our thinking. This is one of our key strengths and our commitment to ensure this remains the case will further support our fabrication and installation partners to optimise business building opportunities. This then needs to be backed by exemplary service standards and quality work to ensure consumers enjoy a positive experience and become advocates for the raft of benefits the PVC-U sector delivers.
The sector also requires a consistent and joined-up approach when it comes to dealings with government and policy makers, so it is strongly represented when it comes to issues surrounding building regulations, ongoing planning processes and sustainability.
What's in store for Eurocell for the remainder of 2022 & into 2023?
There’s lots of exciting developments happening at Eurocell. We have a strong programme of new product development in place, as well as continued innovation across our existing product groups. We are committed to providing industry-leading product solutions that installers want to offer and consumers want to purchase. Our unique position via our UK branch network also pushes us to continue to innovate and we are seeing this with fantastic new solutions for roofs and the growing outdoor living market.
We remain totally committed to our trade sector partners and pledge to continue to promote the Eurocell brand so fabricators, installers, and consumers increasingly engage with us and our extensive product range. We are customer-centric and believe this will be the foundation for future success and will continue to work hard to ensure all our customers benefit also.
What changes have been made to the business and how can this help fabricators and installers?
We aim to continue to lead the industry through innovation, fresh thinking, and active support for our partners. This means, for example, the strengthening of our technical teams to offer specific technical support for our fabricator partners, as well as investing in further training and development for our engineers who are an extension of our valued customer service offering.
Another exciting development has seen further investment into the commercial team that underpins our commitment to a sustainable future. Led by Alex Hamilton, our newly appointed Head of Recycling, we have embarked upon a step change to the company’s industry leading PVC-U waste collection and recycling service, Eurocell Recycle.
We now offer to help fabrication customers manage common waste materials such as plastic packaging, cardboard, steel, aluminium, wood, and glass – as well as PVC-U waste – via a packed service that promises to enhance recycling and sustainability performance across the UK’s fabrication industry.
What’s more, we know how important getting the product needed at the right time is, that’s why we hold 7,700 SKUs in stock, worth over £26m to ensure we can get our customers what they need, when they need it. In fact, our customer order delivery performance, measured as On Time In Full (OTIF), is consistently exceeding 98%.
How has the new manufacturing facility helped to improve the business?
The significant innovation and technological advancements introduced at our new and bespoke 260,000 sq. ft state-of-the-art warehouse, manufacturing, and head office facility in Alfreton, are providing many customer, operational, and commercial benefits.
We have enhanced our manufacturing capacity by commissioning new extruders and a foiling capacity that now exceeds 500,000 metres per week. We have also installed state-of-the-art racking in the facility, incorporating the tallest cantilever racking in the UK, with capacity for 7,500 stillages of product, and we have space for a further 5,000 stillages outside the racking, giving total storage of 12,500 stillages.
Our efficiency improvements also include the installation of the tallest automated carousels in the UK to hold all our smaller products. This move has seen our picking capabilities increase from 20 picks per person, per shift to 20 picks per person, per hour.
Coupled with the new location, this means we are well placed to meet the needs of the company’s growing national network of fabricators and installers as demand for PVC-U systems continues to accelerate.
It was also great to see the project awarded Warehouse Initiative of the Year at the 2021 Supply Chain Excellence Awards, testimony to the advantages it is already delivering for both Eurocell, our partners and our customers.
Thinking of switching profiles house? Contact us and our experts will be in touch to see how we can help your business thrive: https://www.eurocell.co.uk/pvc-u-trade/grow-with-us