Within our humble industry, worth more than the UK music industry, there lies very many influential and powerful people and brands. There are however one or two that stand out a little more than the rest. Who have the power to actually change the way the industry works and the direction it goes in.
This is my list of five of the most powerful people and brands in the UK window and door industry. It’s numbered one to five, but this isn’t in an ranking order, just five of the big ones.
1. Gareth Mobley + DW3 Products Group
Perhaps one of the best known names in the window and door industry, Gareth Mobley cut his teeth at Solidor, helping them grow to become one of the biggest and leading composite door manufacturers. Leading the way with their solid timber door slab, others have now followed where they went first.
It is however where he is now is the reason for him being on this list. A couple of years ago the DW3 Products Group was born. Much money was poured into this new group, which formed Solidor, and then acquired Residence Collection and Window Widgets. As well as whole host of talent from across the industry.
The DW3 group houses one of the biggest high end composite door suppliers, the largest timber alternative systems company and a business that literally has a product to solve any problem or conundrum in Window Widgets. Combined the group represents some serious turnover and even more influence.
2. Nick Dutton + Brisant
A list like this cannot omit a name such as Nick Dutton. Synseal, Door-Stop and Brisant, Nick Dutton has been at the helm of these companies that have gone on to materially change the way our industry operates and it’s direction.
Perhaps the best known for these achievements is Door-Stop. After selling Sysneal, he went on to co-create Door-Stop. A composite door company built from scratch with the sole purpose of making it easy for installers to sell and order composite doors and have them delivered in a matter of days. The first company of it’s kind in the industry and is now under Masonite ownership.
But it is with Brisant where Nick can be proud of his achievements. In Ultion, he has shaken the high security door cylinder industry like no other product. I have never seen a product launch and then take hold like the Ultion cylinder has before. If it was put on a graph, Ultion’s success would show as a near vertical line. Installers and fabricators couldn’t make this product a standard option quick enough. How many of us know of a product that has been so rapidly successful as this?
3. Matthew Glover + FIT Show
When Glassex was canned, the industry was left without a trade show. Our industry was left unrepresented in the exhibition trade. Not for long however.
Matthew Glover, involved previously at West Yorkshire Windows and later the Conservatory Outlet, founded the FIT Show. A new exhibition with a refreshed feel to represent the industry once again.
Held at Telford for the first three years, it has now grown to become the key event in the industry calendar for many companies wishing to exhibit and industry visitors too. Now at home at the NEC in Birmingham, the show attracted 10k unique visitors for the first time, cementing it’s place in our sector. It also boasted a record number of exhibitors this year too. The next show is in 2019.
There is no doubting that the FIT Show filled, and then grew, a key industry event that if not filled would have been a travesty for an industry worth over £5bn a year to the UK economy.
4. Ian Short + Morley Glass
I have personal experience with Ian and his company Morley Glass. For many years our family run installations business has been buying products from Morley Glass for a long time. Longer than I’ve been in the business.
But then Ian got involved with integral blinds. They use the Uni-Blinds® system. Our home owners have been buying them from us for well over a decade and have become more and more popular over the years.
Since their introduction, Morley Glass have become the world’s biggest producer of Uni-Blinds® integral blinds, which if you’re Ian Short must be amazing to know. They recently completed a factory move which saw their production capacity quadruple to cope with their high demand. These days they’re blind makers, with a bit of glass on the side. Morley Glass have probably changed the integral blinds market more than anyone else and in more ways than any other blinds company in the UK.
In the world of conservatory roofs, the biggest and most renown continues to be Ultraframe. Once a FTSE100 company, Ultraframe continues to shape the always evolving roof market.
They don’t always get it right however. They do a lot of products these days. Some sell very well, some not. But that’s never a bad thing, as all roof companies strive to find the direction the roof market is going to go in.
First on the scene with diversification products such as the Loggia, LivinRoom and Cornice gutter products, they were among the first to recognise that traditional conservatories were dead and that there had to be change if home owners were to fall in love with these types of products once again.
These are five who I personally believe hold some of the most sway and influence, particularly in their own parts of the market and this is very much my own opinion. There continues to be a whole bunch of people and companies changing the way our industry works and the direction it is going in. I of course welcome your suggestions for this list via the comments section below.