To say it's been a busy year for the newly-formed VEKA UK Group would be an understatement, but as the dust starts to settle around the Bowater/Halo acquisition, Sales and Marketing Director Colin Torley has another announcement to make.
Fresh from the news of the Bowater/Halo acquisition last year, the VEKA UK Group is now about to relaunch Bowater Doors. Gone is the VEKA Composite Door System, as the two businesses have now merged and retained the name of the well respected Bowater Doors brand. Bowater Doors was already an ￡8m business when we bought it, with a strong reputation - especially in the commercial marketplace. It wouldn't have been logical to keep the two door ranges separate. Both VEKA and Bowater have spent considerable time and money investing in the technical performance and development of their door ranges, so we have combined the superior performance of both brands, plant and people, and are now ready to relaunch as Bowater Doors. We've even appointed a new National Sales Manager dedicated entirely to Bowater Doors; John Park-Davies, who brings over 27 years of industry experience to the role. Working on every aspect of the offering, including marketing, product ranges and maintaining our high levels of customer service, John is another example of our commitment to this major investment.
In a move that's set to further strengthen the Group's position in the UK market, the production of all doors has now been moved to Bowater's 80,000 square foot fabrication centre in the Midlands. Consolidating the production of the entire product range under one roof was important to us; allowing John and his team to ensure total quality across the whole manufacturing process. As we integrated the two brands following the acquisition, one thing was clear - that staff from both brands were working closely together, to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of the loyal customers of both VEKA and Bowater, and by moving everything under one roof, this allows that teamwork to flourish.
To support the launch of the new Bowater Doors, we have rebuilt the brand's website – www.frontdoors.uk.com – where homeowners have the opportunity to create their own door with the door designer system, and free homeowner leads are generated for installers of the system. There's also a brand new suite of brochures and other marketing materials that have been redesigned and redeveloped; Bowater Door, Bowater Duo Door and Duo Diamond for the homeowner and then there's the new comprehensive Specification Guide for the commercial market.
As the old saying goes, a brand is nothing without excellent products behind it, and Bowater Doors is certainly no exception. The newly expanded range now includes a composite door for every application. For homeowners, there's the Bowater Door (single rebate), which uses the highly-acclaimed Capstone 44mm slab, and its high specification means homeowners have a wide range of choices. The Bowater Duo Door is a 68mm double rebate door, which we believe is second to none in the marketplace, and the Bowater Duo Diamond, part of our elite range is another that we believe is unlike any other door system, featuring bespoke glass designs, enhanced thermal and acoustic values and many other unique features.
Aside to these, there are several more specialist products, including fire doors and perhaps most topical at the moment, our flood doors, which offer up to 200 times less water seepage than single rebate doors.
Of course, most of the benefits of this relaunch don't need any explanation, but one thing we are keen to highlight is that the massively widened product range means that, now from a single source, Bowater Doors can offer more choice than any other. The breadth of offering at the supply end now has the added diversity of both brand's customer base, giving us a stronger representation in every sector, from major commercial to small-scale retrofit. This relaunch is something that we are really excited about. It's been a big year for the new VEKA UK Group, granted it's had its challenges but we have achieved a huge amount in these last 12 months and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what impact the new and improved door range will have on the market.