As group consultant for Truseal Plastics Group, Eugene Whelan was tasked with reviewing the composite door offering at Easyframe, the group’s manufacturing division. Easyframe was buying in complete doorsets and had worked with several suppliers over the years.
“The group recognised that there was opportunity for growth,” says Eugene. “Through our depot network, Truseal Plastics, we have direct access to the trade – local builders and installers. Not only is there potential to increase the number of doors going to our trade customers, but we can capitalise on the connections and capability of Truseal Plastics Group.”
Eugene and the management team wanted to partner with a single door supplier that understood their requirements and would deliver “…on what they said,” continues, Eugene. “I’ve been in the industry since 1982, and I’ve worked with many door suppliers. We know what we need. Obviously, we spoke to several suppliers, but it was clear that Distinction was offering something more.
“I’d say Distinction Doors is number one in the industry. They go above and beyond; their support package is far superior, and within just three weeks we knew we’d made the right choice. They were very accommodating. 12 months in, and they’ve delivered in every area and more.”
Fully prepped service
Easyframe uses Distinction’s fully prepped service, receiving a prepped, painted and glazed GRP composite door. “This approach is spot on. It gives us some flexibility – say, with our choice of locks and hardware, while removing the pressure of manufacturing the doors ourselves.”
Easyframe and Truseal offer all the Distinction products, including the pioneering nxt-gen door range. To cement the partnership, the group introduced the strapline, ‘a door of distinction’ across its door range.
One year on, and Easyframe customers are happy. “We are selling a better product, it’s as simple as that. We are making life easier for our customers – offering a high-quality product that consumers want. And it makes financial sense, especially when it comes to cutting down on the number of call backs.”
Easyframe supplies doorsets to all 18 of the Truseal Plastics depots across the East Midlands and the North of England, from Leeds to Hinckley. The doors are then purchased by local trades, or in some instances, procured by regional housebuilders.
“Through Truseal Plastics Group we are fortunate to secure contracts with some of the UK’s biggest housebuilders. We have recently picked up another four sites,” comments, Eugene.
At its core, Truseal Plastics Group is a family business. Founder and director, Ken Skellett has been succeeded by his son, Russ as managing director. Now in his 70s, Ken, alongside his wife and co-director Evelyn, is still very much involved in the business, and loves nothing more than getting on the tools or delivering to customers first thing in the morning.
Russ is the founder of the depot network, Tru Plastics Ltd and oversees the daily management of the business. His sister, Yvette is also a director and manages the finances. Today, the group employs around 120 staff, 23 of whom are employed at Easyframe. This family ethos is felt throughout the business and is a philosophy they like to see in their supply chain.
“We’re a family business and people are important to us,” says Eugene. “We build relationships with our suppliers, and for me, this is one of the highlights of working with Distinction. The sales and customer service are second to none. Our customer service contact, Lois Lockwood is a diamond! And Julie, our BDE is there whenever we need her. We’ve built a solid foundation on this familiarity and honesty.
And that’s something else that Eugene has found refreshing. “The communication is excellent. They’re open and honest. Even if there’s a hiccup, which does happen in business let’s face it, then they’re on the phone to tell you about it. We then work together to find a resolution. It is a partnership.”
Added value service
Support was integral to Distinction securing the Easyframe deal, and Eugene is pleased to see that this isn’t confined to the factory. “We have received support across all areas of the business – sales, customer service, manufacturing, marketing and technical. Sales and marketing have been particularly impressive.
“The marketing team is both friendly and helpful and has responded well to any requests, answering questions and queries promptly.” The Distinction Doors marketing team has worked with Truseal Plastics Group to create a bespoke Distinction Doors product brochure. This is complemented by the very popular online sales tool – the door-designer, which is already proving invaluable.
“There’s no doubt that Distinction Doors has added value to our business. We have ambitious growth plans and with Distinction’s service and support we are confident that they will be achieved.”