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Safestyle sales and manufacturing continue to be strong

A strong year for Safestyle UKWe're into the final stretch of the year and sales are over 10% up on last year, which can only be reassuring to everyone in the company as a whole.With the market itself being down as a whole, our market share increasing can only be a reflection of the quality product and service we give to our customers.

We have the major product changeover at the start of the New Year and this will affect the majority of us throughout Safestyle, so we're looking at our own areas of the business and how this may affect us. We cannotunder estimate the size of the project, this is by far the biggest undertaking that we have ever done. Everyoneis playing an active part in ensuring that we deliver this on time and on budget! Every minute detail has to be right, every single component has to be here and fully tried and tested.

Commodities have currently stabilised but they usually do around this time of year, however we expect further challenges on these in 2012.It's key that stakeholders throughout the Safestyle Group keep communicating on all fronts and making sure everyone has the latest information to help live up to and exceed customer expectations, to ensure we continue our recent successes into next year.

On the technical and quality front, well Christmas is not far away which means that the Window Season is well and truly here! As Sales are doing exceptionally well it's fantastic news for us all andlong may it continue, but the next stage will be to engage the installation depots and let themfamiliarise themselves with the new double glazing products. Sample frames are being dispatched and feedback will be requested. Feedback will be critical to any issues being highlighted. We need to work closely on this to ensure a smooth transition.

With it being the largest project ever undertaken by Safestyle Manufacturing, deadlines have been set and can't be moved or delayed, because we have to be ready. The tooling trials and machine set-ups take place every weekend and will continue to do so right up to Christmas. Many problems of varying degree have been encountered so far, which are challenging ourselves, machine manufacturers and profile supplier. We have the right project team from all parties to ensure we bring this project home.

Further trials take place on a daily basis keeping the disruption to a minimum in the PVC factory. These are essential for our people to get hands-on experience of working with the new profiles, while collecting the feedback so we can iron out any issues before the switch-over. The hundreds of new samples required for our sales teams are well underway being hand-finished to the highest standards ready to be delivered for the New Year.

As the glass factory continues to improve, it highlights areas for improvement within the PVC factory, which is a reversal of the problem we had 12 months ago. Problems are to be encountered as continuous improvements are made; improving one production process sometimes shows a different process is now a constraint and so the cycle continues improving the constraints. What we do is incrementally improve all areas whilst best utilising our labour and materials to reduce the cost. This fight will continue alongside the relentless battle against waste in all its forms.

It's three years ago that the Safestyle recycling centre was established at Safestyle Manufacturing in Barnsley, initially the intension was to process factory materials such as cardboard, polythene and PVC off-cuts from the manufacturing process, etc, but once established and the benefits were realised we commenced receipt of post-consumer waste from the installation depots. We have processed this material at the recycling centre since February 2009, the glass, metals and hardware are removed from the old windows and doors, and all the items are segregated and sent for recycling. To date we have recycled somewhere in the region of 4,500 tons of post-consumer waste PVC, 250 tons of polythene and cardboard, 2000 tons of post consumer glass, 410,000 thousand corner caps which have been put back into production and this alone has generated considerable savings of 1000s annually!

All these activities contribute to reducing landfill costs, the ability to recycle more waste material, reduce overheads for the Safestyle Group and help us to be a "greener" business. While we are recycling 92% of all our waste, only 8% is sent to landfill, but we are working hard to bring this figure right down.

Finally, the annual Christmas Raffle is well underway and a big thank you to all those who have either donated a prize or purchased tickets, your efforts have been recognised and you are helping to raise money for four very worthy causes: NSPCC, RSPCA, Cancer Research and Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice.

23 November 2011

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