Only time will tell whether the government supported growth through significant investment and whether we did indeed, Build Back Better. For now, it’s down to businesses like Distinction Doors to provide affirmation and instil confidence through investment.
Distinction has used this time wisely. Not only has the company demonstrated its commitment to being the UK’s trusted composite door brand through planned investment, expansion and recruitment, it has seized opportunities presented by the pandemic.
Supporting Increased Capacity
Surging demand and high volumes have been reoccurring themes recently. Fortunately, plans put in place by Distinction prior to the pandemic allow the composite door supplier to respond.
A new edgebander is due to arrive this month – the company’s third. “Time is one of the most important resources in any business,” comments Andrew Copeland, general manager for Distinction Doors. “Modern edgebanders process edges quickly, with ease and as efficiently as possible, helping to increase and support capacity.”
This machine is one of several large assets earmarked for Distinction’s Barnsley manufacturing facility. Both a CNC machine and beam saw are due later this year, giving the company a competitive edge. It will have an unrivalled quantity of CNC machines, alongside three beam saws.
“These machines will help our production process, providing additional capacity and invaluable back-up. We’ve also added additional glazing benches which will also help capacity.”
Another meaningful investment is the expansion of the company’s paint facility with a new spray booth. This upgrade allows Distinction to increase the efficiency of its paint line to support growing customer demand for its painted products.
To complement the line expansion, Distinction has also invested in its extraction system. Furthermore, the paint shop has been revised to include a new paint mixing zone and the drying area has been extended.
These changes allow the composite door supplier to strengthen its full-service package for the long term, meet customer demands more effectively, increase paint volumes and support capacity.
New Software Upgrade
In June, the company also rolled out its biggest upgrade of its online ordering portal. All Distinction customers will now benefit from new and extended functions, and improved user experience when ordering online.
Highlight features include automated functionality when selecting #AnyRAL options, one-click ‘Copy’ on prepped orders, and additional products in response to customer demand.
“These developments will enhance customer service, communications and account management, improving our customer experience. It will make dealing with Distinction Doors even easier – a must during these busy and extraordinary times.”
Distinction also made the most of opportunities presented by the pandemic to accelerate expansion plans and look at activity-based design and layout. “We invested in a unit on Vantage Park in Sheffield several years ago with a view to move our office-based functions here; making our Barnsley premises a dedicated manufacturing facility. Due to the demands of the pandemic, we were able to speed this process up – the working from home directive meant there was minimal disruption for our office staff.”
Located just half a mile from the M1 and 10 minutes from the head office in Barnsley, Vantage Park is ideally situated. The unit comprises office, warehouse and display space.
“By expanding into Sheffield, we have created a collaborative office environment. Sales, customer service, finance and marketing teams are united in light and airy spaces – meaning greater integration, communication and engagement – ultimately to the benefit of our customers.”
“These investments and developments put customer experience at the heart of our business, helping our staff to maintain strong relationships with existing customers and tantalise prospects.”
During the past year, Distinction has identified opportunities within its structure – this has led to business-wide recruitment. Most notably, respected industry-figure and formerly of IG Doors, Owen Jones joined as technical and engineering manager.
As part of its adoption of lean manufacturing processes, the company has strengthened its operations team with two new skilled specialists.
Elsewhere, the customer service team headed by Mark Booth, has boosted its numbers, and both IT and procurement departments welcome new starters this month.
Showcasing its commitment to closing the skills gap and creating the next generation of fenestration champions, Distinction has also placed several apprentices within the business.
“We are extremely proud to have bucked the trend and delivered on our planned investment strategy during a challenging time. These developments, coupled with further investment due later this year and in 2022, will help Distinction provide and maintain best-in-class services.”