When I rejoined AluK in September 2023, I made it clear that my priority was to make AluK a great place to work and a great company to do business with, and I’m staying true to both of those.

In terms of being a great place to work, there’s real excitement around here again as we start to roll out new product plans and new service initiatives; and it’s no coincidence that we’ve seen the likes of sales manager Paul Greenaway and specification guru Jordan Kingman rejoining AluK in the last few months to be part of our new chapter.

We’ve also got a dynamic new finance director on board in the form of James Schools, and we’ve scored a major coup with the recruitment of industry heavyweight Paul Booth as our new R&D Director.

With our new product development programme, our aim is to give customers all the tools they need to make the most of both current and future opportunities in aluminium. Flexibility and choice will be at the heart of that, so we’re focusing on developing a clearly defined suite of easy to fabricate and easy to sell products that can be adapted to suit different markets.

In the short term, we’ve just announced the launch of Quik Clip™ – a new clip-in bead for our tested, tried and trusted BSF70 bifold, which takes just seconds to fit either by the fabricator in the factory or the installer out on site.

We’ll be rolling Quik Clip™ out across many of our other systems over the coming months, and the good news is that customers will be able to use the same bead for all of them.

The BSF70 bifold is getting a new handle and some competitively priced new hardware as well, so AluK customers will have an even sharper offering for the trade sector.

We’re also launching a stylish new 70mm slider shortly to sit alongside the BSF70 as a comparable alternative for all those buyers who prefer a slider to a bifold.

We’ve shown this new product to 15 AluK customers so far, and all 15 of them have said they want to start fabricating it. That’s just about the best endorsement we could hope for, and it will be in going into lots of their showrooms over the coming weeks.

Again, it’s been designed with a view to helping our customers win new business. As well as a competitive price point, there’s a 70mm frame depth, which makes it ideal for refurbs, a 1.4 U-Value double glazed, which allows it to compete head on with PVC-U, and a fast to fabricate/fast to install design.

That doesn’t mean we won’t still be offering the BSC94, now that it has certified DER ratings. The BSC94 will remain as our entry level system, with the new 70mm slider sitting firmly in the mid-market and a new, more premium lift and slide door to come in the next few months. All have clearly defined target markets, and our aim is to ensure that AluK customers don’t miss out on any opportunities.

In the medium to long term, I’m determined that a resurgent AluK will once again be setting the pace when it comes to innovation, particularly now we all have a clearer picture of what the market will look like post Future Home. I know that’s one of the reasons why Paul Booth was so keen to come on board with us, along with the fact that we have such strong backing from the AluK group to invest in design and development.

I was obviously pleased that there was a positive response from customers to the news that I was rejoining AluK. What really matters though is the great response I’m getting now to the new product and personnel announcements I’m making. Customers can obviously see how these will directly benefit their businesses and our partnerships with them will be stronger as a result.

More info at: uk.aluk.com

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