AluFoldDirect, the Lancashire-based trade manufacturer of aluminium bi-fold doors, is enjoying significant growth only a year after it was founded. Already, the company is supplying in excess of 1,000 frames across the UK per week, after generating national interest from the glazing industry for its innovative approach.

Based in Haslingden, AluFoldDirect was set by Craig Miller, a glazing industry veteran whose achievements include winning Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008 from the Institute of Directors.

AluFoldDirect Ltd began trading on 1st November 2014 to cater to the growing market for aluminium bi-fold doors, using his extensive industry experience to devise a system that avoids pitfalls he’s seen in other suppliers.

“Aluminium bi-fold doors are a great product but prone to wide variations in the quality, speed and ease of manufacture and, most importantly, installation. That uncertainty can lead to significant delays on site, and that’s not on.

“The aim of AluFoldDirect has been to simplify the process. Customers deserve a high-quality product, delivered quickly and precision-made to fit exactly. As our name suggests, we provide exactly that ‘direct’ approach.

“Judging by the overwhelmingly positive reaction we’ve received, that message has been received loud and clear,” he adds.

Window installers and building contractors are increasingly seeking out AluFoldDirect for bi-fold door solutions. Backed by major investment in aluminium stock-holding, the company guarantees delivery within one week for unglazed or a fortnight for glazed. All the installer needs to do is measure the exact gap for the door and AluFoldDirect will manufacture to exactly those specifications, ensuring that installation is a fast, simple process.

Weekly output is now regularly in excess of 1,000 frames, around 63% of which are being manufactured for bi-fold door installations. As a result, the AluFoldDirect team has grown from 15 when the company was founded a year ago to 48 members today. AluFoldDirect takes its responsibilities as a local employer very seriously.

“We have a deliberate strategy of recruiting local, unskilled people who just need the right opportunity to showcase their talents,” Craig explains.

“We provide trainees with valuable vocational skills via an Academy process. We pay our trainees above the minimum wage, and offer a clear structure for further development. Step one is to make them qualified fabricators; step two, to become trainers capable of sharing their skills with new trainees.

“It’s a system built for growth and it’s already working. Frankly, the size and speed we’ve grown is testament to the hard work put in by everybody in the team and we couldn’t have reached a four-figure weekly output without them.”