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New Year Message from Russell Yates, Managing Director

28 December, 2020

Despite COVID-19, 2020 has shown the resilience of customers who bounced back after the first lockdown and haven’t looked back. I certainly hadn’t envisaged that joining AluFoldDirect would coincide with a national pandemic, but I knew we would have to put our agility into action, and we were able to adapt quickly to deliver certainty to installers as soon as possible.

With the home improvement market booming after the first lockdown, we wanted to make sure that we could maintain our fast, reliable service for installers, even with growing sales, so we put investment in place to achieve this. It included 19 new staff joining the fabrication team, two additions to the customer support team and another four extra team members in processing, IT and design. We also invested more than £1.5 million in stock to deliver more aluminium windows and doors to customers every week. We were back to 2-week lead times on Everything Aluminium by September.

I was also keen to start opening up new opportunities for customers as soon as possible, and after chatting to them, I could see that there was a real appetite for aluminium flush windows. We launched them for AluFoldDirect customers in November and we have already had great take-up from installers who can see their potential for replacing old timber and steel-frame windows, as well as giving them the ideal aluminium alternative to the massively popular PVCu flush sash products.

As well as thriving in the post-lockdown market, launching new products and improving our customer buying experience, we’re putting the wheels in motion to create the new vision for AluFoldDirect. The market is so receptive to aluminium, and we want to support more customers to get into new areas of aluminium glazing installation, whilst still delivering AluFoldDirect’s winning combination of product choice, service and speed.

There are more plans in the pipeline and 2021 looks likely to be a busy year for the business. We’re looking at new markets, new products and new ways of working so that we can deliver exactly what installers need from their aluminium glazing partner.

Whilst it may not have been the ideal situation to take the helm of AluFoldDirect after Lockdown 1.0, it has certainly shown me how much the business and the team can achieve and that’s a very exciting prospect.