Glasgow’s newest fabricator Made For Trade Windows started making their own windows in September 2021, having previously bought in frames, in a bid to improve service and improve their offering of niche products.
Originally starting out as a trade counter in east Kilbride in 2017, and buying-in frames to sell on to end installers, owner James O’Hara established a new facility in Baillieston manufacturing windows and doors in the Deceuninck system in 2021.
Operations Director Mark Owens, who was appointed in January 2021 to spearhead the move into fabrication, said the decision was always appealing.
“Fabrication is in our DNA,” he said. “It was always our long-term ambition to be a manufacturer, as we could see there was great potential in providing a direct manufacturing service to trade desks and installers. Not only that, but the ability to offer a broader product range and shorter lead time were also key aspirations.”
Made For Trade chose to partner with Deceuninck primarily because of the broad product range. Mark explained that specialist products like the Flush Casement and the Sliding Patio Door gave the fabricator access to a potentially larger customer base. As did the systems company’s colour offer.
“Most fabricators can’t offer a wide range of colour options on a standard lead time, so they don’t push colour out to their customers,” Mark said. “The fact that we have access to 30 colourways from stock definitely gives us an edge over our competitors.
“We’ve seen many examples in the past of whole projects being held up because of the delay on one coloured product or even profile, meaning a negative experience for the fabricator, the installer, and ultimately the end user.”
Mark said that Made For Trade is one of the few fabricators in Scotland to make sliding patio doors.
“When we were buying frames in, we had to buy sliding patio doors in from England, in some cases having to buy through other suppliers rather than the original fabricators,” Mark said. “So, making them ourselves is a big thing because it allows us to control cost and quality to a far greater degree than we could previously.
“Manufacturing sliding patio doors allows us to offer customers a more complete package of products, at competitive rates, which they can’t necessarily purchase elsewhere.”
Similarly, Deceuninck’s Heritage Flush sash is providing Made For Trade Windows a unique supply opportunity.
“There still aren’t many fabricators in Scotland offering flush sash casement windows. However, given its increasing popularity in England we decided it was a good time to introduce something new to our core product range. With its pleasing sightlines and similarities to traditional timber windows, particularly in wood effect foils, demand for the product is constantly growing and again this allows us to offer something our competitors don’t.”
Made For Trade Windows started making 100 frames per week, and has quickly grown to 200 frames per week, with significant growth on the horizon.
“Deceuninck’s Heritage windows haven’t really surprised us with their popularity given their huge popularity in other parts of the UK, while the comprehensive colour range and significant stock holding has allowed us to confidently start fabricating as we emerge from the pandemic, with a view to quickly growing our customer base,” Mark concluded.
For information on Made For Trade Windows visit www.mftwindows.co.uk