On this page we aim to keep you informed of what's happening at VBH. This could be product news, stories about the members of our superb team, or just interesting news about VBH. It's a mix of stories from the trade magazines and just snippets from the day to day life of your hardware partner
Hardware manufacturer VBH, reports that more customers than ever are using the improved trade counter facility at the company’s Swansea site.
The counter is open during weekday working hours and offers a large selection of hardware from VBH’s own greenteQ brand, as well as from other top marques including Yale and AGB.
VBH advise that fabricators, installers and maintenance companies within a wide radius of Swansea regularly call in to collect products including profile cylinders, patio door gear, resi-door and window hardware, vents and construction chemicals among other items.
Operations Manager at VBH Swansea, Dave Prout, says, “Often, customers can’t wait for a delivery so prefer to call in and pick up what they need for the day. As well as the convenience of being local, we cater for orders of all sizes, with no minimum order value and no need to pre-order. Walk-ins are welcome.”
The trade counter has proven so popular that it has been listed as a finalist in this year’s National Fenestration Awards in the Trade Counter of the Year category.
Dave concludes, “We may not have the biggest or most plush counter, but our wide stock range and friendly, experienced team make it an attractive option for local businesses. Being named as a finalist is a massive pat on the back for our hard-working team, and a win would be the cherry on top!”
VBH Swansea can be contacted on 01792 794566, and the full address can be found in the ‘Contact’ section of www.vbhgb.com.
This story first appeared in the industry press during October 2022.
Rob Norman, Business Development Director at hardware manufacturer VBH, talks about the necessity of evolution in business, and the benefits that it brings to everyone in the supply chain.
It’s a fact of life that most things in life evolve. Some for the better and some not so, but not many things stay the same over time. It’s true to say that if you stand still, in reality you’re going backwards.
In our own industry, we’ve seen some massive evolution in the market in recent years.
From the depths of despair during lockdown, we, as an industry, collectively rose like a phoenix from the ashes to achieve record results in the second half of 2020 and all through 2021. What goes up generally comes down, though, and we’re now facing a much-anticipated downturn.
It’s not fun, but we’ve all been there before so we just have to adapt (or evolve), and make the changes that will ensure that our companies remain healthy and fighting fit.
That could mean new staff, new products, new working practices and much more.
At VBH, we have done all of the above and more. Our new products have had a knock on effect on our Q-secure consumer security guarantee, which in itself has evolved over the years into a better version of its original self.
The headline evolution for end users and those clever installers who use Q-secure to sell is that the top line compensation figure has risen from £3250 to £8000. That certainly grabs the attention.
There have been many changes in the product mix that Q-secure Approved Manufacturers can choose to fit, too. The introduction of new hardware from both our own greenteQ range and from third party supply partners has meant that we can add even more choice to the guarantee.
We have recently added the greenteQ Invicta shootbolt and Securitas security window lock to the already wide choice of casement window locking systems. Patio door suppliers can now offer Q-secure approved inline sliding patio doors and lift/slide patio doors, thanks to the addition to the Approved Hardware list of our greenteQ Clearslide and ClearLIFT hardware systems.
We are proud that Q-secure is a multi-brand guarantee, so it is not just our own greenteQ products that are bolstering the ranks of approved hardware that Q-secure fabricators can choose from. The AGB ArTech tilt and turn system is proving hugely popular and that is now approved for use on Q-secure approved windows (in its PAS24 spec, of course).
That said, we are very excited to be adding even more greenteQ options for casement windows and residential doors in the coming months. Products in the final phases of development all combine ease of use with the high levels of security that the market has come to expect from our greenteQ brand.
They will also give salespeople a few extra features to talk about with their potential customers, making a Q-secure approved installation even more of a ‘no-brainer’.
Clearview’s readers will hear more about these products towards the end of the year.
So evolution is the name of the game, and VBH have been busy evolving our products, services, procedures, staff and guarantees. By taking something that is already very good, and tweaking it here and there, we can make it even better!
You can do that too, in your fabrication or installation business. As hardware is such a major part of your finished product, a tweak to your hardware (in the direction of VBH, of course!) could make a big difference to so many aspects of your company.
This future-proofs our businesses by making us more attractive to deal with than our competitors.
If you would like to find out about how VBH and our product range have evolved for the benefit of our customers, do get in touch on 01634 263263 or drop an email to email@example.com.
This article first appeared in Clearview magazine in October 2022.
Hardware manufacturer VBH, the company behind the greenteQ brand, has recently added two new colours to its suited range of residential door, patio door and window furniture.
In response to requests from customers, the popular Alpha resi-door handle set is now available in two anodised aluminium finishes.
This brings the number of available finishes to 12.
VBH describe greenteQ Alpha as a premium quality handle set for use with entrance doors and bi-fold doors. It features a number of benefits including sprung levers, thicker fixing bolts and a flange around the cylinder profile cut out. As a part of the greenteQ Suite, it is matched in colour and lever style to Alpha casement and tilt & turn handles, and Aspire lift/slide patio door handles.
Gary Gleeson, Marketing Manager at VBH says, “Alpha was originally launched in 8 painted and plated finishes, before we added our Enduro and Antique Black options in 2019.
“A number of customers who buy these original finishes also have a need for gold and silver anodised finishes, and don’t like mixing handle styles to obtain these colours. We are happy to have used these requests as the catalyst to expand our colour range further.”
As components of the greenteQ Suite, the new anodised handles are covered by the greenteQ 10-year performance and surface guarantee, and are approved for use on Q-secure guaranteed installations. These installations are guaranteed against break-in, with up to £8000 available in compensation.
For more information on the new finishes, contact VBH on 01634 263263, email firstname.lastname@example.org or send them a Tweet @vbhgb.
This article first apperaed in the industry press in October/November 2022
Hardware specialist VBH (GB) has reported a continued increase in take up of its proteQ10 profile cylinder guarantee.
proteQ10 is a free guarantee offered with each greenteQ Orion TS007 3 star profile cylinder.
If the Orion cylinder is snapped in situ, allowing the door to be opened unlawfully, VBH will pay the resident £2000 direct in compensation, according to the terms of the guarantee.
Orion was launched early in 2021 and has proven to be very popular among manufacturers of all kinds of doors, from residential doors through to bi-folds and sliders.
VBH advise that the guarantee is also proving to be a hit with consumers as the numbers of cylinders registered under the scheme in the combined months of April and May were 25% up on the previous two months.
Gary Gleeson of VBH says, “We get nothing but positive feedback on Orion both from industry professionals and from consumers. End users really appreciate the fact that their locks are guaranteed to the tune of £2000, and the fact that the operation of Orion is guaranteed for 10 years.
“As consumers, we are all very switched on to all aspects of a potential purchase, and many door buyers are making the simple choice of opting for the installer who is offering proteQ10, over those who don’t.”
VBH has recently introduced a bespoke key alike service to allow Orion cylinders of different finishes and sizes to be operated with the same key.
This story originally appeared in the industry press during summer 2022.
Hardware expert VBH, the company behind the popular greenteQ range of hardware and furniture, has reported a steep rise in registrations for its Q-secure consumer security guarantee.
Q-secure guarantees the security of windows, doors and patio doors up to a potential £8000 payout, which is paid direct to the end user in the event of a break in through a registered product.
Installations must have been carried out by an approved Q-secure installer and registered direct with VBH.
VBH advise that registrations in the first quarter of 2022 are 87% up on those in the final 3 months of 2021.
Marketing Manager Gary Gleeson says, “A near doubling of registrations is really encouraging and shows that our guarantee is proving a hit with our customers, who find it to be a real help in closing deals. Q-secure Network members have a valuable, but free, extra carrot to dangle now that sales people once again have to work hard to achieve new business.”
VBH help by generating free leads for the Network with advertising and other activities direct to the general public.
Gary adds, “We are talking to quite a few potential new customers who are interested in switching to VBH so they can offer Q-secure either direct or through their installer base. We expect to be reporting another big rise after Q2 as more people realise that Q-secure is beneficial to everyone in the supply chain, and just needs to be offered by the salesperson at the sharp end. It’s a no-brainer, really.”
This story first appeared in the industry press during April and May 2022.
Hardware manufacturer VBH, the company behind the greenteQ brand, has announced that customers who have added the Q-Smart electronic door handle to their door furniture options have seen increased sales recently.
Q-Smart is a stand-alone product that enables the user to gain entry to their home without the need of a traditional key. Instead, they can use their fingerprint, contact card or a phone app to gain entry. Locking is carried out by simply lifting the lever.
Temporary or permanent ‘keys’ can be sent to anyone from anywhere via the smartphone app, which is ideal for granting access to carers, or when family members need to be let in unexpectedly.
Companies who buy Q-Smart have the option of joining the Q-Smart Network, which is a list of companies that end users are directed to if they contact VBH for a Q-Smart quote or installation.
VBH advise that they have invested in direct marketing of Q-Smart to help provide free leads to the network’s members.
Activities have included localised advertising and telesales campaigns, advertising in well-known national consumer titles, and even sponsorship in the 2022 British Touring Car Championship.
Gary Gleeson, marketing manager at VBH says: “The vast majority of our products mean absolutely nothing to the general public as they are just components on a window or door. Q-Smart is an exception, though, as it is a stand-alone item, and anyone can easily see what it does and what benefits it brings.
“With that in mind we decided to support our customer base by carrying out some B2C marketing, in a similar way to what we do with our Q-secure consumer security guarantee. We have picked up quite a few sales as a result, which is great for us and great for the members of the Q-Smart Network.
“Many customers have built on the work that we are doing, and have installed a Q-Smart in their own showroom. They are reporting that Q-Smart really is an attention grabber. We would recommend that installers talk to us about getting a sample in place as soon as possible.”
Companies wishing to join the Q-Smart Network should email VBH at email@example.com or send them a Tweet @vbhgb.
This story first appeared in the industry press during summer 2022.
Simon Monks, MD of hardware company VBH, tells us why having the right people in the right place is vital to the success of any business, and how a smile can help, too!
Many factors make up a successful business.
Three of the most obvious are to have products that people want to buy, to have stock available for your customers to order (even in the most trying of times such as we have recently experienced), and thirdly, procedures to make sure that those piles of excellent goods get to the customer when they want them.
A fourth factor is ‘people’; your staff is vital in bringing all these strands together and that’s why it’s important to get your recruitment right.
It’s not always easy, as not only does the team need to be efficient, but also the individuals need to be a pleasure to deal with for customers, suppliers and indeed, colleagues. I am sure that we all have experience of companies who get the job done, but who we don’t particularly enjoy dealing with. I refer to companies outside of the industry, of course!
At VBH, we believe that we have the best team of any hardware company. It is a mix of (lots of) experience and youth, with all the new ideas and working practices that youth brings.
2021 was a fantastic year for VBH with our sales figures exceeding those of 2019 by 40%. Our existing team members in all departments did a great job of ensuring that we kept up with customer demand, with only a few glitches along the way.
We have spent the last few months recruiting new people and moving existing staff into positions where their abilities can have a big positive impact on our performance, to make us easy to deal with.
Steve Thomas has moved from our Swansea sales office to the position of Area Sales Representative for South West England. Our customers are already benefitting from Steve’s years of experience running the production line at one of our PVCu fabricator customers.
Tyler Shutts, Earl Tate and Colin Thomas have all been promoted to Regional Manager, for Northern England, Wales and South East England respectively. This follows massive increases in business on their sales areas. Tyler is the National Fenestration Awards Young Person of the Year for 2020 and 2021, and has been building her customer base since joining VBH straight from university. Colin has been looking after fabricators in Wales since 1989 and his area has never looked so healthy, whilst Earl is a ‘new boy’, having joined VBH in 2020 following many years industry experience both at a fabricator and at another hardware company. He is now doing great things for VBH. All have different strengths but all are well liked by their customers.
In Scotland Pamela Paterson is now Operations Manager at our East Kilbride site, with responsibility for the day-to-day running of the depot. Pamela is in her third decade with VBH.
Karen Campbell moves to the position of Internal Sales-Co-ordinator in Gillingham, linking the activities of our sales and marketing teams. She is relishing the new challenge and it is already bearing fruit.
As well as promoting from within, we have also been recruiting to ensure that we continue to exceed customer expectations in what is set to be a tougher year than we have been used to recently.
Simon Eshelby returns to VBH in the new position of Distribution & Systems House Manager, following six years away. Simon brings all his technical knowledge to bear in his new role.
Lastly, we have bolstered our Customer Service team with the recruitment of Leah Organ and Georgia Rowlatt at our Gillingham head office. Both are new to the industry having previously worked in banking and retail, but both are bringing their people-skills to the job and are attracting rave reviews from customers. Along with Tyler, they are great examples of the new younger people that we need to attract to our fantastic industry.
In summary, you need to have all your pillars in place, but perhaps the most important things in these days of technology are to make sure that your systems are customer-focused and that you have people who are efficient and a pleasure to deal with. People buy from people at the end of the day.
This is what we do at VBH, and it is paying dividends for us, our suppliers and most importantly, for our customers.
This article first appeared in the June 2022 issue of Clearview Magazine.
Hardware manufacturer VBH, the company behind the greenteQ brand, has forged a strong reputation as a supplier to specialist patio door manufacturers. The greenteQ range includes hardware and furniture solutions for aluminium bi-fold and lift/slide patio doors and, most recently, PVCu inline sliding doors.
VBH advise that the greenteQ Clearslide lock has been well received by manufacturers of Deceuninck, Kömmerling, Rehau and Veka PVCu sliders since its launch.
The lock and keep are manufactured from hardwearing stainless steel, and both are covered by a 10-year guarantee.
Eight sliding hooks and two anti-lift pins ensure that Clearslide locks provide a very strong connection to the frame. The lock meets the requirements of all relevant security standards, and is covered by Kitemark KM727991 (Building Hardware used in Windows & Doorsets.
As a consequence of this, VBH have added Clearslide to the Approved Hardware list for its Q-secure PREMIUM consumer guarantee. This means that Q-secure installers can offer a guarantee of up to £8000 on their sliding doors.
Clearslide can be operated by the greenteQ standard Alpha Patio P-Handle with its 10-year guarantee, or by the Coastline stainless steel handle set that is supplied with a 25-year surface guarantee. The handles are interchangeable so upgrading when required is easy.
VBH Business Development Director, Rob Norman, says; “We do great business with Clearslide on the four profiles that we launched with, and have had many requests from users of other PVCu systems who want to use the lock on their doors.
“We’re busy developing further solutions that will satisfy these requests and expand Clearslide’s reach. Watch this space.”
Get in contact with VBH on 01634 263263, email firstname.lastname@example.org or send them a Tweet @vbhgb.
This story first appeared in the industry press during Sptember 2022.
VBH turned 40 this July.
After originally supplying British fabricators direct from Germany, Peter Kinze, of VBH group company Heinz Wagner GmbH, persuaded the board that a local company was needed to capitalise fully on the riches that the fledgling UK market could bring.
Peter recruited two experienced industry professionals, Graham Organ and Barry Amey, and Heinz Wagner (GB) Ltd opened in Rochester on 7th July 1982. This company was to change its name to VBH (GB) Ltd in 2009.
The first product lines were mainly European and included brands such as CES, Gege, BSW, Hautau, Wehag, and Fuhr. Wagner even sold door panels for a while. Although many of the brands have disappeared from the range, some, such as Roto and Deventer, are still very much part of VBH’s product portfolio alongside the company’s own greenteQ brand.
None of the original staff members is still at VBH, but there are a number who joined soon after. These include Commercial Manager Robb Crampton, who joined in 1984, and the class of 1985, Lesley Mills and Lee Pollard.
2009 was a milestone year. Not only was there a name change, but the year also heralded the launch of the company’s own greenteQ brand of hardware and ancillaries. This marked the shift from VBH being ‘just’ a distributor of other people’s products to being a hardware manufacturer in their own right.
greenteQ has since grown hugely as the New product Development team has brought in a stream of exciting products dictated by the tastes and trends of the British market. greenteQ is now recognised as a top quality hardware brand, with products for windows, resi-doors, and patio doors, including the Clearspan bi-fold system.
The VBH team celebrated in style with a dinner/dance at Leeds Castle in Kent in May. Staff from all three UK sites got together to remember old colleagues and, in many cases, to meet new ones.
This story originally appeared in the industry press in July 2022.
Working from home, or at least hybrid working, appears to be here to stay for the foreseeable future at least.
Many of us, who are able to WFH, have found that having the option to do so at least part of the time can bring great benefits. This is particularly true in situations where having peace and quiet is necessary, such as when being faced with a blank Word document that eventually needs to contain a (hopefully) interesting piece of prose!
Sometimes getting away from the hubbub of a busy working office is just what is needed to let the creative juices flow. As much as I like being around my chums at VBH House, and I really do, sometimes I’m the only company that I need in order to get the job done.
My working needs are fairly typical, and that’s good, because it means that many of us across the land have been spending our hard saved cash on converting bedrooms to workspaces or on having beautiful home offices built in the garden. Moreover, as home offices need windows, doors and patio doors, that’s great for us window industry types.
As is well documented, bi-fold doors have been, and remain, an incredibly popular home improvement item as they let the light in when closed and, famously, ‘let the outside in and the inside out’ when fully open to create the seamless living that we all crave these days.
The good news is that bi-fold, lift/slide and inline sliding doors are also ideally suited to these freestanding home office structures as, without all the natural light that they supply, these buildings could be a tad gloomy inside unless you have the light on, which is a big no-no for financial and environmental reasons.
At VBH, we are seriously into patio door gear and have even given these products their own Product Group. The ‘Lifestyle’ group accounts for a major slice of our sales pie each year.
At present, the Lifestyle range includes greenteQ Clearspan bi-fold hardware, Clearslide PVCu inline sliding door gear, ClearLIFT lift/slide hardware and Aspire lift/slide handles. Clearspan makes up the bulk of our Lifestyle sales as we supply hardware solutions for half a dozen of the most popular aluminium bi-fold systems.
Many of these solutions have been tested to PAS24, which brings a number of benefits. All PAS24 specs are approved as Q-secure PREMIUM products, so are eligible for our Q-secure guarantee that pays up to £8000 in the event of a successful break in. They are all covered by Kitemark KM727991 and they can be used in new build installations, as compliance to Building Regs Document Q can be demonstrated.
We have seen our already very healthy sales of Lifestyle products get an extra boost from the ‘home office’ industry. This boost may last a long time, or it could be a part of the bubble that may or may not start to deflate sometime soon.
That is very much up for debate at this time but, either way, the boost is great for VBH, and our advice to manufacturers and installers would be to give your own sales a boost by getting into the Lifestyle products market if you are not already there. Take advantage of the home office boom before the anticipated deflation starts.
There has never been a better time to be involved in supplying patio doors of all styles. When selecting your hardware supplier or finished door supplier, remember to make sure you factor in the benefits of ensuring that the hardware gives your customers a little extra something to help clinch the deal; like a free £8000 security guarantee, for example.
This article first appeared in the Doors Active supplement of Windows Active magazine in March 2022
Leading hardware company VBH has recently appointed Simon Eshelby to the newly created position of Distribution & Systems House Manager.
Simon re-joins the company after six years at another well-known hardware manufacturer where he held sales and product specification positions.
Simon’s new role at VBH will see him support and develop the company’s nationwide network of sub-distributors and become the main point of contact for profile systems houses. As he has great experience of working with the UK’s largest and most successful composite door manufacturers, Simon is confident that he has the products and services to expand VBH’s presence within that buoyant market.
VBH advise that Simon will identify market requirements based on client feedback, and liaise with the VBH New Product Development team to develop bespoke greenteQ hardware solutions for key partners. Simon will also work closely with the company’s strategic supply partners to aid the flow of their products into systems houses and the distribution network.
Commenting on his return, Simon says, “I’m very excited to return to VBH as Distribution & Systems House Manager. The company has evolved greatly during my six years away.
“Although we still very much work with strategic supply partners and have great success promoting their products, the ever increasing appetite from all sectors of the industry for the greenteQ range continues to grow, driving impressive product development.
“We have a comprehensive catalogue of standard products to suit most needs, yet we also now have the ability to develop bespoke greenteQ solutions in conjunction with door and window manufacturers, systems houses and distributors. This is very exciting, and was a major factor in my decision to return to VBH.”
This story first appeared in the industry press during February and March 2022.
Gary Gleeson of VBH explains how the company and its partners benefit by offering more than ‘just the product’
People are more likely to buy from you if you can offer them something more than ‘just’ the product itself.
This can be a number of things, and I would like to highlight the success that VBH, as an expert in the field of hardware, is having through guarantees. Firstly, though, I will explain how we now offer our customers a very useful additional service by partnering with one of our long-standing customers who are themselves, experts in their field.
The greenteQ Q-Smart electronic door handle offers users the ability to throw away their door keys and, instead, access their homes via phone app, fingerprint recognition or proximity fob.
There are many features that I will not go into here. Suffice to say it fast became a very popular addition to our product range. We are actively selling Q-Smart to our established door manufacturer customer base, and it has ‘opened the door’ to a number of new accounts.
Some of our customers have requested a supply and fit service. This is not a service that we offer through our own team, but one of our Q-Smart customers, DG Supplyline, can easily fill that gap in the market.
DG Supplyline has a long-standing reputation as a main supplier to installers and the aftercare/locksmith market. Their MD, Dan Rosewell, immediately saw the potential of Q-Smart and ordered stock. Like VBH, they are now enjoying much success selling Q-Smart into their core market.
Unlike VBH, they also have their own servicing arm, which has been servicing and repairing windows and doors since 1983. GreenFenster powered by DGS boasts a diverse network of skilled engineers across the country. These engineers are well placed to carry out installations on behalf of VBH, so fabricators can now opt to buy Q-Smart from us and fit it themselves or they can arrange for an approved Greenfenster engineer to install it for them.
By teaming up with this servicing specialist, we are now able to offer the option of a nationwide installation and aftercare service package. This additional service has made Q-Smart more popular than ever and benefits everyone in the supply chain.
Moving onto guarantees, we offer three guarantees over and above our standard 10-year greenteQ mechanical and surface warranty.
Our greenteQ Coastline stainless steel door furniture range is guaranteed for a market leading 25 years.
Our greenteQ Orion TS007 3-star cylinder comes with the proteQ10 snap guarantee that will pay £2000 direct to the homeowner if the cylinder snaps to allow a break in. It also comes with the added security layer of the Key Security Scheme.
Our Q-secure consumer security guarantee will pay the end-user up to £8000 direct in the very unlikely event of a successful break in due to hardware failure. Q-secure is designed to help our customers win business, without them resorting to selling on price.
Our guarantees tell everyone in the supply chain, including fabricators, installers, specifiers, and the end-users, that Orion and the other Q-secure approved hardware is long-lasting, secure and robust.
We stand by the quality of our products at the risk of paying out if they fail, but from the rate of consumer registrations for Q-secure and proteQ10, we can see that these monetary guarantees are working for VBH customers.
We all want to sell more products at prices that are sustainable for everybody. Sometimes it is the little added extras, such as services and guarantees, which make all the difference in reaching that goal.
To find out more about Q-Smart and VBH’s guarantees, visit www.vbhgb.com, email email@example.com, or call 01634 263263. For more information on DG Supplyline’s services visit www.dgsuppyline.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01702 351911.
This article first appeared in the January issue of Windows Active/Hardware Active magazine.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year, take stock of 2021 and, more importantly, look forward to what we may face in 2022.
For many of us, conducting business in 2021 was a challenge for a whole host of reasons including the pandemic itself, the continued surge in general consumer buying, product availability issues and never-ending, but necessary, price rises for the raw materials that we all depend upon.
However, as a collective, our industry not only coped; we prospered. In the case of VBH 2021 was an exceptional year.
As I write this in November, we look set to record our best year since the UK company was founded in 1982.
While I recognise that VBH has benefitted from ‘the bubble’, as we all have, I can also point to other factors that have pushed us ahead of the curve. Among these is our decision, taken at the beginning of the pandemic, to grasp the nettle in terms of product development.
We pushed on with New Product Development when many of our rivals battened down the hatches, and that decision has borne fruit in the form of an almost relentless stream of new products for our sales team, and our customers, to get their teeth into.
Securitas security espagnolette, Invicta shootbolt, Orion 3 star cylinder, Q-Smart electronic door handle, Clearlift lift/slide patio system, Clearslide inline sliding patio system, two new Omega letterboxes, new additions to our Clearspan bi-fold range, Coastline sliding door handles; It’s a long list, but one that we believe will stand is in good stead as we move into 2022.
I don’t want to be a harbinger of doom but we need to face some facts. We don’t know when, but that bubble that I mentioned earlier will burst, or at least deflate a little as consumer spending slows. Product availability will take a while to stabilise and the signs are that material prices will continue to rise or possibly plateau. They are not coming down any time soon.
Companies that will thrive are those like VBH who invest wisely in products for healthy markets and/or markets that are set to flourish. These companies are also those who think innovatively and offer their potential customers something extra to set themselves apart from the rest.
I believe that installers should concentrate on products that are set to grow. Those of us who have the option of working from home at least some of the time have found that it can have real benefits. We made it ‘do-able’ in 2020/21 in spare rooms and kitchen tables but now we’re making it comfortable with garden rooms being built for use as home offices or gyms, or even just a place to relax. Other people are choosing to re-model their homes to accommodate the home-office.
Extensions and garden rooms need windows but they lend themselves particularly to lifestyle products such as bi-folding and lift/slide doors. It’s a great market to be in. You need to sell a lot of windows to make the same money as you do on one patio door!
Of course, you will not be the only company in your town selling these products so you need to differentiate yourself. You can’t reduce the price, because of the price increases that I touched on earlier, and in any case, who wants to be known as a BOGOF merchant?
Instead, upsell your customers to a smart front door handle, or give them that’s worth having, but which costs you nothing to give. We can help with that. Our Q-secure consumer hardware guarantee will pay the homeowner up to £8000 direct if they are broken into through a Q-secure spec window or door and the hardware is at fault. Our Orion 3 star cylinder comes with the proteQ10 £2000 snap guarantee.
Both guarantees cost you nothing, and we can see from the registrations that arrive daily, that consumers are buying into both in a big way.
So grasp the nettle in 2022. Specialise in burgeoning markets, focus on quality, and differentiate yourself from the rest.
Follow on Twitter @vbhgb and @VBHgreenteq.
This article first appeared in the January 2022 issue of Clearview magazine.
Hardware expert VBH has teamed up with servicing specialist DG Supplyline Ltd to offer a nationwide installation and service package for the greenteQ Q-Smart electronic smart handle.
Q-Smart enables users to access their homes via phone app, fingerprint recognition or proximity fob and has been a very popular addition to both companies’ product ranges since launching this year.
VBH are actively selling Q-Smart to their door manufacturer customer base, while DG Supplyline have a long-standing reputation as a main supplier to installers and the aftercare/locksmith market.
DG Supplyline also have a servicing arm, which has been servicing and repairing windows and doors since 1983. GreenFenster powered by DGS boasts a diverse network of skilled engineers across the country. These engineers are well placed to carry out installations on behalf of VBH, so fabricators can now opt to fit Q-Smart themselves or arrange for an approved engineer to install it for them.
Dan Powell, Head of Sales at VBH comments “VBH has a great reputation for quality in our own field of hardware supply, so it was vital when seeking a service partner that we worked with a company of a similar standing within their area of competence. We have found that company in DG Supplyline.”
Dan Rosewell MD of DG Supplyline says “We’ve been dealing with VBH for many years and we know that they supply only top quality products. When they introduced us to Q-Smart we immediately knew that it was a winning product. We also knew that we had the infrastructure to fill a gap in the market that would benefit everyone.”
As well as their installation service, a major part of DG Supplyline’s offering is to provide an aftercare service, including planned maintenance programs for Q-Smart doors.
Dan Powell concludes “As with all hardware, smart tech needs to be properly maintained to ensure that performance levels stay at their optimum, and DG Suppyline’s experienced engineer network is perfectly placed to provide that crucial maintenance role.”
To find out more about Q-Smart, visit www.vbhgb.com, email email@example.com, or call 01634 263263. For more information on DG Supplyline’s services visit www.dgsuppyline.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01702 351911.
This story first appeared in the industry press during December 2021 and January 2022.
Simon Monks, MD of VBH, talks time zones and field zones, emerging trends and family role models, flourishing teams at work and 'play', and how to relax at home and away.
When did you join the company?
I joined VBH in 2007 as an Area Sales Manager and, via a string of promotions, became Managing Director in 2018.
Describe your working day...
I enjoy the fact that no two days are the same but one constant is that I get up early to help get my two sons ready for school and check messages that might have come in overnight. As VBH GB is part of a multi-national group, and we have suppliers and customers in various time zones, I’ll often receive emails outside of normal UK working hours.
Work can either be in the VBH office in Gillingham, at home, or out on the road. Video and phone calls have been great in helping us all conduct business during the pandemic, but you can’t beat a face to face meeting to really get the job done.
The home office option does run the risk of the occasional interruption on a VC call by my sons, checking out who their Dad is talking to!
Much of my day is spent talking to customers, suppliers and colleagues. I enjoy spending time with the New Product Development team discussing the latest proposed additions to our expanding greenteQ range. We’ve launched many new products in the last year including our Securitas and Invicta window locks, Q-Smart electronic door handle, Orion 3 star cylinder, Clearlift lift/slide and Clearslide inline patio gear, and new additions to our Clearspan bi-fold range.
We are very successful in identifying emerging trends and developing products to suit. Examples of this are ‘lifestyle’ big ticket items such as patio doors and smart tech. We’re always keen to develop products for those areas. Product development costs money, but I’m happy to say that we push the ‘go button’ on a project more often than not.
What is your workspace like?
I have a tidy desk and office. It helps to focus the mind. Most of what I do is paperless anyway so that helps keep me in check!
First thing you do when you get to your desk?
I’ll sort through and deal with any emails that didn’t need immediate action earlier, then I’ll check in on the teams before tackling whatever the day brings.
What websites help you?
I’m a keen social networker and spend a lot of time interacting with others from the industry on LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s a good way to gauge the mood of the industry at large and appreciate the issues that people are facing.
7. Most useful business tool?
My smart phone pretty much organises all aspects of my work and social life these days. It’s invaluable.
8. Best business decision in your current role?
The VBH team that I inherited when I became MD was second to none, and developing our culture and staff within VBH rather than hiring from outside was easily my best decision. This strategy has allowed us to promote people into more responsible roles. Giving them the opportunity to flourish benefits everyone, not least our customers. I am a firm believer in helping people to develop and over my tenure so far as Managing Director this gives me the greatest satisfaction.
9. Favourite role models and why?
I admire business leaders such as Jeff Bezos and sports stars like Michael Jordan for their work ethic. However, my greatest role model is my Dad; one of the hardest-working people I have ever come across. Despite his successful career that took us to live in places such as Chicago and Sydney in my youth, he always put his family first. He claims that he’s “just a working class Yorkshireman that done alright”, but he did a lot more than he takes credit for.
10. How do you unwind?
I love work but I am also a devoted family man. They really help me to unwind. Outside of that I love watching sport, particularly football, Basketball and American Football. I attend the NFL London games every year and will often travel to see my teams. Also, immersing myself in a film, documentary or a good Stephen King book is something I enjoy.
This article first appeared in the December 2021 issues of Professional Installer and Clearview magazines.
Hardware specialist VBH has introduced the brand new greenteQ Securitas Security Window Espagnolette.
Securitas sits alongside the entry level greenteQ Window Espagnolette and popular PAS24 tested Invicta Window Shootbolt to provide three lock options for manufacturers of outward opening windows.
Securitas features pairs of mushroom headed cams that lock into both sides of a night vent striker plate. VBH advise that these double cam locking points are extremely strong as they spread the load if the window is attacked rather than allowing all the force to be concentrated on one point.
Each Securitas lock has a minimum of 4 mushroom cams (2 pairs) with the larger sizes boasting 4 pairs.
Securitas is as quick to fit as a standard espagnolette as all fixings are applied in the same direction and there are no extensions to fit.
VBH advise that the new window lock comes with industry standard 20 and 22mm backsets to ensure compatibility with most current window systems and with a choice of two mushroom cam heights.
VBH Marketing Manager Gary Gleeson tells us “Adding Securitas to our range allows fabricators to fit a greenteQ PAS24 rated window lock whether their preference is for a shootbolt or espagnolette – type product.
“Fabricators have told the greenteQ design team here what they want from a window lock all through the development phase so we know that Securitas meets their needs. It will hit the ground running and quickly become one of our core products.”
Securitas has been successfully tested on a number of profiles to PAS24:2016 at BSI. As a result, it is rated as a PREMIUM products in the Q-secure Approved Products List.
This article first appeared in the industry press during October and November 2021.
Hardware specialist VBH reports that more customers than ever are making the move to its greenteQ Suite of matching window and door furniture.
greenteQ is VBH’s own brand of hardware and furniture and the Suite is an integral part of the range.
The greenteQ Suite includes over 30 different products such as handles, hinges and furniture in 9 core colours, with some products, such as door hinges, being available in many more.
VBH Marketing Manager Gary Gleeson says “The greenteQ brand has a superb reputation amongst manufacturers of patio doors of all kinds, and is the preferred choice of many from the smallest to the largest. It is because of this that the greenteQ Suite has evolved into what it is today.
“Many suited ranges cater for casement windows and resi-doors, but the greenteQ Suite extends to tilt & turn windows and, importantly, we have developed furniture to sit alongside our patio door operating systems too. We offer suited furniture for bi-folds, lift/slides and inline sliders.”
The Suite is supplied with a 10 year mechanical and surface guarantee as standard. Many of the products are interchangeable with those in VBH’s Coastline stainless steel range that carries a market leading 25 year surface guarantee.
Gary concludes “VBH customers can tie in a FULL HOUSE installation in terms of the colour and style of the furniture across windows, doors AND patio doors. That’s a winning hand against those installers who haven’t been dealt a full house by their hardware dealer.”
This article originally appeared in the industry press during August & September 2021
Simon Monks, Managing Director of VBH, explains how becoming the patio door hardware specialist is reaping rewards
Jack Of All Trades or specialist?
There will always be examples of companies and individuals who have enjoyed success via either route.
In fact, VBH started out as a Jack of all trades, with great success. VBH started life in Germany in 1975 as a distributor of other people’s products. They were so good at it that they expanded worldwide, including opening a company in the UK (that’s us) in 1982 and we repeated the process here. We distributed hardware from literally dozens of manufacturers, many of whom where in competition with each other. Our ethos was very much “If you want it, we’ll stock it.”
As the range and our expertise grew, we realised that if we had umpteen thousand different products in stock, often with half a dozen versions of the same thing, although we had a wide choice of products we couldn’t have a particularly deep stock holding of each. Financially and logistically it wasn’t possible.
We decided that sustainable growth lay in identifying emerging markets, developing great products to serve those markets and become the acknowledged specialist in those areas.
We pruned our product range, removing the less popular product lines. This allowed us to provide better service by holding deeper stocks of the narrowed ‘3rd party’ range that makes up around half of our sales. The other half comes from our own greenteQ range of hardware and furniture which is designed by our New Product Development team here in the UK. It is greenteQ that gives us the ability to specialise.
We examine the market and decide which products we need and what features these products need to have to give our customers an advantage over their competitors.
greenteQ includes hardware for windows, residential doors and patio doors, including the greenteQ Suite of colour and style matched furniture. Most suites cover only resi-doors and windows at best, whereas the greenteQ Suite also covers patio doors as you’ll discover later in these notes. This allows installers to offer a ‘Full house’ of matching furniture.
We have concentrated a lot of our R&D budget and resource into developing solutions for patio doors, as we identified early on that this market set to get stronger. We took the decision to make patio door hardware a specialism, and group the products that we developed as our Lifestyle range.
We introduced the first of our profile specific greenteQ Clearspan hardware solutions for slimline aluminium bi-fold doors in 2013. Clearspan was an instant hit with manufacturers and installers as it is easy to fit and, thanks to its inbuilt adjustment, very easy to install.
We now have Clearspan bi-fold solutions for 7 aluminium systems as well as a comprehensive bi-fold furniture range in the colours of the greenteQ Suite.
We next identified lift/slide doors as an emerging market as they were becoming a popular choice amongst consumers who preferred more glass and less profile.
Our first lift/slide product was the Aspire handle, again available in 9 Suite colours. We followed this in Q3 2020 with the ClearLIFT hardware system for 300KG lift/slide doors. ClearLIFT is now a well-established component of the Lifestyle collection.
The most recent addition to the collection is our Clearslide 8 hook stainless steel locking system for PVCu inline sliding doors. Clearslide forms part of a top quality package alongside standard Alpha and Coastline stainless steel handles and the Orion 3 star profile cylinder.
All products within the Lifestyle collection are rated as Q-secure PREMIUM approved, enabling approved installers to offer the Q-secure £8000 consumer hardware guarantee.
Our Lifestyle collection is in such high demand as these door styles are not only being ordered to replace tired existing patio doors, but many people have installed garden rooms to be used as home offices. With ongoing uncertainty surrounding possible future Covid restrictions and where we can and can’t work, this garden room boom is set to continue, and where there’s a garden room, there’s a Lifestyle door!
VBH has benefitted substantially from the popularity of Lifestyle doors, having recognised the trend and becoming a specialist in that area. We have also concentrated on developing security products and guarantees, and on evolving the comprehensive ‘Full House’ greenteQ Suite of furniture that matches across windows residential doors AND Lifestyle patio doors.
So to answer the original question, although being a Jack of all trades no doubt works for some, VBH has enjoyed great success by identifying and specialising in a few core areas, and becoming the ‘Go to company’ for those products. We heartily recommend specialisation!
This article first appeared in Windows Active magazine in September 2021 2021.
Hardware specialist VBH has promoted Pamela Paterson to the position of Operations Manager for the company’s East Kilbride facility.
The East Kilbride site deals with VBH’s customers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland, as well as some in the English northern counties.
The growing number of customers within these areas, coupled with the increased workload brought about by record sales levels, have resulted in Pamela assuming more responsibilities for the day-to-day running of the site. Allan Price, General Manager for Scotland & Northern Ireland was quick to recognise this fact and offer the promotion.
Pamela, who joined VBH in 2002 as an internal sales co-ordinator, is the main internal customer contact at East Kilbride and also liaises with local colleagues and those from VBH’s other sites to ensure that the correct stocks are in place and that customer orders are processed quickly and accurately.
Pamela says, “I’m very pleased that my efforts have been recognised by this promotion. The team here at VBH EK is very tight knit and we always strive to do our best for our customers and for VBH.
“We may be small in number but we pack a punch where it comes to customer service. This is reflected in the fact that two of our warehouse team, Jonny Torley and Cameron Cole each received enough nominations from our customers that they both reached a final shortlist in November’s National Fenestration Awards.”
Allan Price concludes with “VBH Scotland and the customers that we serve have always been a major factor in the success of VBH and that continues to this day. It is vital that the day to day running of the depot is in safe hands, and that’s precisely what Pamela gives us.”
This story first appeared in the industry press during January and February 2022.
Having been in business for 40 years this year, VBH (GB) has many candidates for Company Hero.
Some have joined us relatively recently and have excelled in their new positions, bringing dynamic new ideas to keep VBH at the top of our game.
Others have been with us since the 80s or 90s and have provided VBH customers with top-level service for decades.
This combination of new and not so new blood is what makes VBH the preferred hardware supplier for so many fabricators, large and small, so it is difficult to pick out one individual. However, following events at the G-Awards last November, VBH’s Company Hero has to be Colin Russell.
Originally from the Vale of Leven in western Scotland and a metalworker by trade, Colin moved to Kent with his wife in 1978 following redundancy from Manlove Tullis in Clydebank. This willingness to move to the other end of the country sums up Colin’s work ethic from the outset.
He eventually joined VBH (then known as Wagner) as an office based Technical Adviser on March 1st 1993.
Although not a newcomer to the industry, after having previously had roles at Zenith and Everest, Colin was new to hardware.
He was immediately thrown in at the deep end as he set to work gearing up a number of windows and doors for a trade exhibition being held later that month. A steep learning curve and no pressure whatsoever!
As part of the Technical Team, it is also part of Colin’s job to man the stands at such shows, and he was immediately hooked by the exhibition buzz. Colin is very much a ‘people person’ and his keenness to meet and help people face to face remains as strong now as it was then. Colin has always been a fixture on (and builder of) VBH stands since 1993, having attended many Windowfabs, Interbuilds, Glassexes, Scotbuilds and FiT Shows among many others. Unfortunately, he has had little opportunity to do so over the past couple of years.
Colin put his people skills and technical knowledge to good use when he hit the road during his 5-year spell as a Technical Sales Representative covering the South East. He was a big hit with customers and built up many great relationships during that time. Many of these are still in place today now that Colin is once more an integral part of our internal Technical Team, although contact is now generally via phone or email.
Colin is always on hand to answer queries from customers and colleagues (and suppliers) and always goes out of his way to find solutions to any requests for hardware or help, whether the enquiry is simple or complicated. Colin is the ‘go to guy’ for many in the industry. This is perhaps because, to quote Colin himself, “I’ve always worked with the attitude that no questions are silly or stupid, although sometimes my answers might be.”
At one point one of our competitors’ reps was so impressed with Colin’s knowledge that he would phone in using an alias to tap him up for technical help – he was soon rumbled and the error of his ways pointed out to him!
Colin thrives on helping people and, as part of the technical and product development team, he has the freedom to help VBH customers with any queries they may have with window and door hardware. He finds the best solution for their particular project, before putting them in contact with our sales teams to do the deal.
Colin has nearly 40 years’ experience in the fenestration industry and is eager to share this with anyone, whether they are new to the industry or long established in it. Conversely, he is still eager to learn new skills and draw on other people’s experience, too.
Colin was announced as joint winner of the Unsung Hero category at the 2021 G-Awards. The accolade is fully deserved, as can be witnessed by the number of customers, suppliers and even competitors, who took the time to seek him out and congratulate him.
Colin Russell is a real asset to VBH and to the industry at large, and we are proud to call him our Company Hero.
This article first appeared in the January 2022 issue of Clearview magazine.
2021 was a record breaking year for VBH. Happily, although VBH benefitted from the inflated market, as we all did, our successful 2021 wasn’t all down to boom.
The introduction of a host of new greenteQ products and new strategies have resulted in us serving more customers with more products. Crucially, new processes led us to achieve high efficiency levels with an average OTIF in the high 90s, despite the general issues of product supply.
We go into our 40th anniversary year confident that when the bubble deflates we have put ourselves in a position to be able to thrive and continue to offer the best products and the best service.
By concentrating on lifestyle, security and smart products we capitalise on the desire for big ticket items such as bi-fold and lift/slide doors, smart access and the peace of mind that security guarantees such as our Q-secure consumer security guarantee and £2000 proteQ10 anti-snap cylinder guarantee can bring.
Choose your 2022 products, suppliers and customers wisely.
Happy New Year.
This article first appeared in the December 2021 issue of Glass News magazine.
Simon Monks, MD of VBH, gives an example of how customers benefit when hardware and profile suppliers work in partnership.
As one of the largest and longest serving hardware specialists in the business, we are often asked to work alongside companies from other aspects of the window and door industry to develop hardware products.
Having our own greenteQ hardware brand, with its UK based product development team puts us in an ideal position to partner with major players such as large fabricators seeking bespoke fittings for their own fenestration products.
We also partner with systems companies to develop solutions for brand new window and door systems that are coming to market.
One such partnership is that which has formed between VBH and the aluminium systems company, Garnalex.
When Garnalex was formed and started the process of designing their impressive Sheerline suite of window and door systems, they were very aware that hardware needed to be factored into the design at an early stage to provide the best solutions for their customers.
VBH’s New Product Development Team have been working with their counterparts at Garnalex over the past few months on a number of developments, including the new Prestige bi-fold door system that has recently been launched.
Sheerline’s new bi-fold is a top quality product, allowing up to a seven pane configuration, the choice of fitting it as an outward or inward opening door, and having four different threshold combinations.
As the doors could be up to 6.5m wide x 2.6m high, Garnalex’s choice of hardware has to be sufficiently strong and hard wearing to cope with large, heavy sashes. This requirement is compounded by Prestige’s ability to cope with double glazed AND triple glazed units to achieve a U value of 1.0 W/m²K.
The greenteQ Clearspan bi-fold hardware range has been tried and tested since first launching in 2013. It has become a market leader on a number of profiles in that time and ticks all the boxes required by the Sheerline spec.
The weight situation is ably coped with by the Clearspan running gear, as it is designed to carry sash weights of up to 120KG with ease.
Ample adjustment is provided to make the installation of even large sashes very straight forward, with the adjustment points being protected from the elements by a discreet cover cap.
Clearspan hinges are available with or without an integrated pull handle so Clearspan is suitable for both inward and outward opening doors. The 3 standard finishes of anthracite grey, black and white perfectly complement the 12 stocked colours of the Sheerline suite.
As well as our standard Clearspan set for Sheerline, we have also developed a PAS24:2016 security solution, which features the popular greenteQ Orion TS007 profile cylinder on the main passage door.
Being a 3 star cylinder, this enables the fabricator to fit either our Alpha Slim lever handle set, or our standard Alpha lever handle which is available in 10 colours of the greenteQ Suite of matching window door and patio furniture. As the Suite covers patio doors it enables installers to tie together a Full House installation, giving them an edge over their competition.
Sheerline bi-fold doors geared with the greenteQ PAS24 solution are also eligible for our Q-secure PREMIUM consumer security guarantee which will pay the homeowner up to £8000 in the event of a break in being achieved due to the failure of an item of Q-secure approved hardware.
I’m personally delighted to be working with Garnalex, and am very pleased at the way that the two technical teams have worked together as one to bring this project to fruition; it’s been seamless.
The relationship between us is set to grow further as the two companies work in tandem to provide more excellent products for our mutual customers.
To find out more about VBH’s range of hardware visit www.vbhgb.com, call 01634 263 263 or email email@example.com. If you would like further information on the Sheerline range call Garnalex on 01332 883960, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sheerline.com.
Follow both companies on Twitter for the latest news using @vbhgb, @GarnalexSystems, @VBHgreenteq and @SheerlineSystem.
This article first appeared in the November 2021 issue of Glass Times magazine.
Gary Gleeson of VBH talks about the importance of New Product Development
One of the main drivers of success for any company is new product development.
It’s important to monitor market trends and ensure that you have the products to satisfy them, or even set your own trend if possible – as long as it’s lucrative!
There are many ways to do this including keeping a close eye on the pages of Windows Active, monitoring social media and, of course, talking to people. We would recommend to all fabricators that they take time out to do all these things.
By ‘trends’ we don’t mean flash in the pan moments. We mean new ideas or major shifts in product styles or requirements that will be with us for years to come; in many cases, permanently.
A very important aspect of our external Sales Managers’ roles is to get feedback from customers on new products that we are proposing to develop. Input from the people who will actually be using a product is vital, and hopefully stops the development of ‘white elephants’. They also listen to ideas from customers and feed those back to our New Product Development (NPD) team. If the idea has legs, we’ll put in in the NPD process. Of course, we also expect our guys to sell what we already have in stock and, to be fair, they have been doing a great deal of that lately!
We developed many new products and initiatives over the last year or so. As well as trends such as smart tech (Q-Smart and Mirage) and large element patio doors (ClearLIFT and Clearslide), we’ve also addressed a subject that has been trending for decades – home security.
Our greenteQ Invicta window shootbolt offers all that a fabricator would want in a shootbolt including adjustable bolt throw and PAS24 certification. It’s a great product that not only performs, but also looks the part.
However, many fabricators are turning to the convenience of a security espagnolette, and we have introduced our greenteQ Securitas product to satisfy this market. A major benefit to the fabricator is that Securitas is very quick to fit as it is a single piece lock. There is no cropping and no extensions to connect. Additionally, all fixings are applied from one direction which further speeds up production. Stock holding is simplified as there are fewer parts.
There are still two camps where it comes to locking systems; a continued strong support for the shootbolt but with a shift towards Securitas and its ilk. Whatever the customer’s preference, both Invicta and Securitas are covered by our £8000 Q-secure consumer hardware guarantee as PREMIUM products.
In the early days of the TS007 Kitemark standard for Euro profile cylinders the majority of fabricators opted to gain their 3 star solutions with a 1 star cylinder and 2 star handle combination. Our greenteQ Q-Star cylinder continues to be a huge seller for us, but the recent trend seems to be towards fitting a 3 star cylinder with a standard handle. It’s quicker, and easier. We introduced our greenteQ Orion 3 star cylinder earlier this year and it’s been an immediate hit.
As well as its security performance as attested to by its 3 star rating and inclusion in VBH’s hardware Kitemark, Orion is supplied with additional benefits for the end user.
Firstly, our newly introduced proteQ10 snap guarantee will pay them £2000 if a break in is achieved due to Orion snapping. Secondly, users can register their lock with us for the Key Security Scheme. They register a unique password and keys can only be cut in the future when the password is given.
There’s a trend for getting something for nothing and both the proteQ10 and Q-secure guarantees provide that in spades.
These are just a few of the new products and initiatives that we have developed in answer to trends and customer feedback in the last year. There are many more.
NPD never stops. Thankfully!
Follow VBH on Twitter for the latest news using @vbhgb and @VBHgreenteq.
This article first appeared in the October 2021 issue of Windows Active magazine.
Dan Powell, Head of Sales at VBH, highlights the importance of picking the right hardware partner for your business
Remember that not all hardware companies are the same.
It’s important to draw up a list of ‘Must Haves’ and ‘Desirables’ and do your research when comparing suppliers, and even more so when it’s for a regular long term business relationship. Getting it wrong can have a devastating effect on your business. Conversely, getting it right can bring so many unseen benefits in terms of time savings and generally having an easier life.
Because many hardware companies sell the same brands or (what may appear to be) similar products, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’re all the same. Dig deeper and you will find that we’re not.
Here are a few examples of some key areas to consider and why we believe that VBH offers our customers benefits that give them an advantage over their competitors.
Product Range – We healthy balance between hardware from our own established greenteQ brand and products from a number of other leading manufacturers, including AGB, Roto and Yale to name but three.
Product Development – VBH has its own UK-based greenteQ product development team, ensuring that all greenteQ products meet the requirements of UK fabricators, installers and consumers.
Having our own team gives us the ability to develop new products quickly, and frequently. In the last 6 months we have introduced many new products into the greenteQ range. Perhaps the most notable are the ClearLIFT lift/slide door system, the Invicta window shootbolt, the Orion TS007 3 star profile cylinder, and Q-Smart electronic door handle. Q-Smart allows the user to operate their door without a traditional key, using fingerprint recognition, tag or phone app instead.
This active product development, even though the uncertain times of 2020, underlines VBH’s commitment to giving our customers a steady stream of hardware innovation that gives them the edge.
Stock availability – This continues to be a hot topic as it’s well documented that our industry has experienced stock shortages in recent months.
At VBH we have the financial stability to allow us to forward plan our purchase orders and maintain very high stock levels. These levels across all three sites are at an all-time high to cope with demand. Of course, not everything is within our control and with the spikes in demand and external logistical challenges that the industry continues to experience, sometimes things do go on back order. If this happens, VBH always puts the needs of the customer first and we will do all that we can to plug that gap quickly.
Product Quality, Testing and Accreditation - We invest heavily in testing and certification to help our customers sell their finished windows and doors. We have been awarded the BSI Kitemark in respect of Building Hardware (AKA the Hardware Kitemark). This covers hardware for casement and tilt & turn windows, residential door gear, and various patio door styles including bi-fold and lift/slide. The Kitemark is a genuine badge of quality for our products, and enables us to support our customers in helping them gain new business in the New Build and Commercial sectors.
Guarantees – Our Q-secure homeowner security guarantee is free to use for our Approved Partners and helps them sell more by offering more to their customer. It pays out up to £8000 in the event of a break in caused by the failure of our Kitemark tested hardware. We advertise Q-secure in leading B2C titles to generate enquiries and orders for our Approved Partners and we see this as a great example of us being a partner, rather than a mere supplier. Take a look at www.qsecure.co.uk for more information.
Customer Service – VBH customer service complements our top quality products. Our Customer Service Co-ordinators across all VBH sites have been largely been working from home these past few months. This hasn’t stopped them providing award winning customer service throughout the pandemic, as our recent win in the Hardware Company category of the National Fenestration Awards a few months ago attests.
To recap, not all hardware companies are the same. Make sure that you consider all these key areas when selecting or reviewing your supplier.
Give VBH a call!
This article first appeared in the June 2021 issue of Clearview magazine
Gary Gleeson, marketing manager at hardware specialist VBH, tells us how ironmongery for casement windows is still very much a vital component of the company’s product range.
The teams at Glass Times and the other trade magazines go to a great deal of effort to bring you, the reader, a selection of topics each month. Regular subjects include profile, glass, people, current issues, companies, windows, doors and, importantly, hardware.
Is it just me, though, or has anyone else noticed that although the pages are stacked with interesting content introducing readers to a plethora of wonderful new door locks, cylinders and door handles for you to choose from, there isn’t much going on in the way of new window hardware development?
Could it be that window hardware is now being treated as a commodity and is being overlooked?
Not at VBH it isn’t.
With a typical UK 3 bedroomed semi-detached house having somewhere between six and ten windows, window hardware makes up a big chunk of business for all of us. That’s why we have continued to invest in new product development of window hardware.
Over the last few months, we have introduced two new casement window locking systems to the market to bring the number of products within our own greenteQ window lock family to three.
Last year we saw the introduction of our greenteQ Invicta window shootbolt. It has been very well received and a good number of prestigious manufacturers now fit Invicta as standard to their windows. Invicta suits many of the most popular profile systems, as it is available with a choice of industry standard 20 and 22mm backsets, and two mushroom cam heights.
From February 2022, fabricators can also manufacture 2-sash French Casement Windows using Invicta, as our first deliveries of passive and active sash French Casement shootbolt extensions have arrived into stock.
Our first bulk deliveries of the brand new greenteQ Securitas security window espagnolette arrived in December and January. Securitas was developed in response to calls from customers who prefer the speed and convenience of fitting a security espagnolette to their windows rather than a shootbolt, but wanted to use the trusted greenteQ brand.
Securitas offers great levels of protection against forced entry and, being a one-piece product much like a standard espag, is quicker to fit and easier to stock than a shootbolt system. All the fixings are applied from one direction, and there is no cropping and connecting required.
Both Securitas and Invicta are covered by Kitemark KM727991 and are approved to Q-secure PREMIUM level, which means that they can be fitted to Q-secure windows made by approved manufacturers. Q-secure PREMIUM will pay the homeowner up to £8000 direct in the event of a successful break in.
These new products join our standard Window Espagnolette, which is available for windows where a high security locking system is not required, such as those that cannot be reached from outside, for example.
The greenteQ Suite includes the Alpha window handle, which is currently available in eight finishes to suite in with our resi-door and patio door furniture. Look out for further additions to the greenteQ handle range throughout 2022.
VBH is all about giving customers choice, and our new products join those from a number of our key supply partners who also offer top quality 3rd party branded locking systems, handles and friction stays for casement windows.
VBH may now be a market leader in the supply of patio door hardware, but by developing our own innovative window hardware solutions to offer alongside our third party brand products, we also continue to give UK window fabricators real choice and a constant stream of new products for casement windows.
Product development is the name of the game for VBH across all of our ranges.
This article first appeared in the March issue of Glass Times magazine.
Drastic changes to customers’ ordering patterns gave rise to some head scratching at VBH’s sales and distribution centre in Swansea recently.
The Swansea centre serves VBH’s customers in Wales and South West England, and it had become apparent that more stock needed to be held locally to help react most efficiently to the requirements of customers whose hardware uptake had rapidly increased or, in some cases, had become erratic.
The focus was to ensure that sales orders from Welsh and South Western customers in 2022 and beyond would be supplied complete first time from Swansea, without the need to ship part orders from other VBH sites.
Floor area was at maximum capacity so Dave Prout, VBH Operations Manager - Swansea, and his team decided that the only way was up!
They designed and installed high level picking spaces and pallet racking to take full advantage of the building height.
The re-design has allowed for a deeper stock holding of VBH Swansea’s most popular lines, including those from the greenteQ brand, and has created an extra 120 pallet spaces with no loss of picking shelves for smaller, slower moving products.
As part of the warehouse upgrade VBH have also invested in a new high-level order picker to be used in the narrow aisle design layout. The picker is capable of reaching all levels of racking and is computer guided to allow for safe working in narrow aisles.
Dave told us “The whole changeover was carried out in just two weeks and we are happy to say that disruption to the depot’s customers was kept to an absolute minimum. In fact, we are very proud to say we never missed one consignment throughout the whole process.”
This story first appeared in the industry press during January and Februray 2022.
The greenteQ Omega letterbox range from VBH has evolved to include both a remodelled standard sized box and a completely new 56mm Slim version to suit ultra slim transoms. Both versions feature the clean, contemporary styling that is so popular on doors of all styles and materials.
The opening on Omega Slim is offset towards the bottom of the box’s frame. The greenteQ design team has calculated that this maximises the available aperture whilst ensuring that the letterbox doesn’t overhang the bead on even the slimmest sections.
Omega letterboxes feature attractive convex curved metal flaps that open to near vertical both inside and outside, ensuring that relatively thick packages can be put through the door without putting stress on the letterbox’s springs. There is no groove in the flap to allow it to open fully, leaving just the attractive curved surface. The frame ends are also metal, and are gently curved to continue the modern styling.
Omega has been tested to BS EN 13724 with a classification of 4241. This calls for 25,000 full ‘closed – fully open – closed’ cycles.
Both versions are available in nine finishes of the greenteQ Suite, VBH’s expanding range of colour and style-matched window, residential door and patio door furniture that allows a full house installation to be seamlessly tied together.
All finishes will exceed 480 hours salt spray testing to BS EN 1670 Grade 5.
The letterboxes feature a strong, yet cushioned, closing action to stop rattling in windy conditions, and have an internal brush and an external foam seal to provide excellent draught and water protection.
VBH Marketing Manager Gary Gleeson says, “The original Omega has been very popular but the redesign has given it a new lease of life and, possibly, a wider appeal.
“We are really pleased to have added the Slim version to the greenteQ Suite now. It was developed in response to requests from customers who have been desperate to fit greenteQ to their mid-rail doors, but Standard Omega was just too deep. With its contemporary good looks, we’re sure that Omega Slim will be a popular addition to the greenteQ range.”
Both boxes are fully weather- and cycle-tested and are suitable for doors between 40-80mm thick.
This story first appeared in the industry press during January and February 2022.
Hardware specialist VBH has been successful in 2 categories and finished as runner up in 3 more at the prestigious National Fenestration Awards.
The company won Best Digital Marketing Campaign for their promotion of the Q-secure consumer hardware guarantee which will pay out up to £8000 in the event of a break in, and Regional Sales Manager Tyler Shutts shared the Young Person of the Year award to follow up her outright win in 2020.
Marketing Manager Gary Gleeson said, “It’s great to be recognised in this way by the industry and we really appreciate every vote cast our way. We see all awards success, regardless of category, as a giant pat on the back for the whole team and everyone at VBH is thrilled to bits.
“Having said that, for Tyler to get the nod two years in a row in her individual category shows just how highly rated she is by her customers in the north and is testament to the great service that she and her Customer Service Co-ordinators provide.”
A team from VBH travelled to Doncaster races for the awards ceremony and a great time was had by all.
This story first appeared in the industry press during November and December 2021.
Simon Monks, Managing Director of VBH, explains how VBH and their customers benefit from the hardware specialist’s strategy of building on their strengths
Business is tough.
No matter what the economic climate, there are always setbacks to overcome and hurdles to jump over. Last summer, installers emerged from Lockdown 1 to customers banging down their doors with orders. Everything looked rosy in the window and door industry. Wind the clock forward a few months and the well-documented supply issues have put a rather large spanner in the works for many, although I’m pleased to report that as I write these words in early September hardware availability for VBH customers remains very good.
To help keep a measure of stability in the generally unstable business of conducting business, I believe that it’s best to find what your company’s core strengths are, focus on those and then expand your product range in a controlled way.
This is what the introduction of our own greenteQ hardware brand in 2009 allowed VBH to do in the ‘second phase’ of our company’s development. We moved from being just a distributor of other branded products to being a manufacturer in our own right, in tune with the demands and trends of the UK market. Of course our customers have the pick of the best hardware as we continue in our role as a major supplier of 3rd party brands.
We decided that sustainable growth lay in identifying emerging markets, developing great products to serve those markets and in becoming the acknowledged specialist in those areas, with a feature packed product range that gives our customers an advantage over their competitors.
greenteQ includes hardware for windows, residential doors and patio doors, including the greenteQ Suite of colour and style matched furniture. As the greenteQ Suite covers all window and door types it enables installers to sell the idea of a matching Full House installation.
The wide scope of the greenteQ Suite has made it very popular with fabricators and installers, so we have designated the Suite as one of our Core ranges. A lot of our New Product Development Team’s resources go into continued development of the Suite. We’ve recently launched 2 new letterbox styles, including a slim version for mid-rails, and readers can expect more new suited products before the year is out.
Another Core area for VBH is patio doors. We identified early on that this market will only get stronger. We took the decision to make patio door hardware a core specialism, and group our patio door products together as our Lifestyle range.
We introduced the first of our profile specific greenteQ Clearspan hardware solutions for slimline aluminium bi-fold doors in 2013.
We now have Clearspan bi-fold solutions for 7 aluminium systems as well as a comprehensive bi-fold furniture range in the colours of the greenteQ Suite.
The emerging market for Lift/slide doors also has huge potential. They are an increasingly popular choice amongst consumers who prefer more glass and less profile.
Our first lift/slide product was the Aspire handle, which we introduced in 2017 in 9 Suite colours. We followed this in Q3 2020 with the ClearLIFT hardware system for 300KG lift/slide doors. ClearLIFT is now a well-established component of the Lifestyle collection.
The latest addition to the collection is our Clearslide 8 hook stainless steel lock for PVCu inline sliding doors. Clearslide forms part of a top quality package alongside our Alpha and Coastline handle options and the Orion 3 star profile cylinder.
All Lifestyle product ranges are rated as Q-secure PREMIUM approved, enabling approved installers to offer the Q-secure £8000 consumer hardware guarantee to help gain business.
VBH has benefitted substantially from the popularity of Lifestyle doors, and from the uniquely British taste for colour matched furniture. Interestingly, non-matching furniture doesn’t seem to bother our European neighbours.
The continued success of these Core products enables us to take our time when developing new greenteQ products such as the Invicta window shootbolt and Orion 3 star cylinder. This ensures that they are an instant hit with customers to such a degree that they become Core products themselves.
By building on our strengths we build our range.
This article first appeared in the October 2021 issue of Clearview magazine.
Hardware specialist VBH has announced that it has been working with aluminium systems house Garnalex to develop the hardware solution for the new Sheerline bi-fold door.
The new bi-fold allows up to a seven pane configuration, the choice of fitting it as an outward or inward opening door, and offers four different threshold combinations.
With doors measuring up to 6.5m wide x 2.6m high and possibly triple glazed, Garnalex’s choice of hardware had to be sufficiently strong and hard wearing to cope with large, heavy sashes.
VBH’s greenteQ design team worked closely with their counterparts at Garnalex, with the result being the greenteQ Clearspan hardware system for Sheerline with a weight capacity of 120Kg per sash.
greenteQ’s bi-fold hardware for other systems is tried and tested and is favoured by fabricators and installers. Clearspan for Sheerline is designed with everyone in the supply chain in mind; it is quick and easy to put together and there is ample adjustment for installers.
Clearspan is available in a standard version and in a PAS24:2016 tested security spec that features the greenteQ Orion TS007 3 star profile cylinder. Being a 3 star cylinder, this enables the fabricator to fit either the greenteQ Alpha Slim lever handle set, or the standard Alpha lever handle which is available in 10 colours of the greenteQ Suite of matching window door and patio furniture. As the Suite covers patio doors it enables installers to tie together a Full House installation, giving them an edge over their competition.
Companies offering Sheerline doors built to VBH’s PAS24 hardware spec can join the Q-secure approved partner network. The Q-secure consumer security guarantee will pay the end user up to £8000 in compensation in the unlikely event that a break in is achieved due to hardware failure.
Simon Monks, MD of VBH says “I’m personally delighted to be working with Garnalex, and am very pleased at the way that the two technical teams have worked together as one to bring this project to fruition; it’s been seamless.”
To find out more about VBH’s range of hardware visit www.vbhgb.com, call 01634 263 263 or email email@example.com. If you would like further information on the Sheerline range call Garnalex on 01332 978000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sheerline.com.
This article first appeared in the industry press during November and December 2021.
Hardware specialist VBH has released an update on the position regarding their ability to supply in the face of the well documented issues surrounding freight and port delays, shortages of raw materials and over-capacity production lines.
These are subjects that we have all grown accustomed to over the last year in both our work and home lives.
They all combine to put immense strain on any supply chain. In the face of this, VBH advise that they are very proud to have achieved an OTIF (On Time in Full) outbound fulfilment average of 96.8% over second quarter of this year.
VBH have drastically increased stock levels of their own greenteQ products, and those from 3rd party partners, too. This investment in stock is paying dividends for VBH and their customers as airfreights are kept to a bare minimum and OTIF has not dropped below 95% for many months.
As well as building up stocks, the purchasing analysts at VBH, led by Purchasing Manager Karl Thompson, are in constant dialogue with the greenteQ factory production planners to ensure a steady and controlled flow of hardware and furniture to VBH (GB).
Karl tells us: “This year has definitely had its obstacles when it comes to the supply chain. However, by increasing our local stock holding and working closely with all our factories and suppliers, we’ve been able to minimise any disruption to VBH customers.
“We are very proud of the OTIF we have achieved and maintained over what has been a very unpredictable time for both supply issues and sales volumes.
“Our approach to stock and stock control has enabled the sales team to take on many new customers during the past year, whilst not compromising the availability of products for them and our existing customers. This is vitally important and is our number one priority. We have now set our sights on achieving and exceeding the 97% OTIF target for the rest of the year.”
This article originally appeared in the industry press during August 2021.
Hardware specialist VBH has added a number of new products to its Lifestyle range of products, their umbrella term for hardware solutions for patio doors.
Having introduced the greenteQ Clearspan for bi-fold doors 8 years ago, VBH reports that it has enjoyed great success with the product and it is now one of the company’s most popular ranges.
Until recently Clearspan has been available for two aluminium profile systems but a flurry of new product development has seen the introduction this year of solutions to suit five more leading systems, including Exlabesa and Reynaers.
VBH Marketing Manager Gary Gleeson says “We get nothing but great feedback from customers who already use Clearspan and we’re very excited about making the product available to many more fabricators with the introduction of solutions for more aluminium profile systems.”
Although the Lifestyle range also encompasses Clearlift hardware for aluminium lift/slide doors, and Aspire handles to suit, VBH point out that PVCu fabricators will also find products under the Lifestyle umbrella.
As an example, VBH have recently launched the greenteQ Clearslide stainless steel hook lock for PVCu inline sliding doors.
Gary adds “Because of the success we’ve had with bi-fold and lift/slide hardware, we’re seen by many as the industry’s patio door hardware specialist.
“Clearslide has come about in response to requests from fabricators for VBH to develop an 8 hook locking system within the greenteQ brand. It suits the leading PVCu sliding door systems and our customers can now fit a Clearslide lock, Orion 3 star cylinder and their choice of standard Alpha or Coastline stainless steel handles for a true greenteQ sliding door solution.”
This article first appeared in the industry press in August 2021
Hardware expert VBH has added the Q-Smart electronic smart handle to its range of premium quality window and door hardware and furniture.
It’s a keyless product which gives the homeowner 3 methods of gaining access. The first is a proximity fob that communicates with a reader built into the handle unit; the second is via the Blusafe app that allows the user to use their mobile phone as a key, and the third is finger print recognition. The large reader pad is concealed under a hinged tab to keep it dry.
The app enables the main user to send permanent or temporary timed keys to people’s phones VBH say that this eliminates any need to lose control of physical keys by leaving them with neighbours or in a ‘safe’ place’. The app has the added benefit of keeping a log of operations, thus providing visitor management records
VBH Head of Sales, Dan Powell, advises “Everyone who has seen Q-Smart has been very positive and they all remark on the fact that, by having no less than 3 means of operation, every member of the family’s personal preference should be covered.”
No mains wiring is required as Q-Smart is battery powered. The handle warns when the batteries start to run low, but if the user does allow them to go flat, enough temporary power can be provided by plugging in a micro USB power source. VBH supply one with each unit.
Dan concludes, “Q-Smart is a great way for fabricators and installers to get new business and more profit by offering a simple step onto the smart ladder.
“From a fabrication and installation point of view Q-Smart is very simple to fit and from the salesperson’s perspective it’s easy to sell. This is due to its compact size, its choice of colours and the fact that it is feature-packed but simple for the end user to understand and use.”
Q-Smart is fully tested at BSI and certified to ETSI TS103 645 (CYBER; Cyber Security for Consumer Internet of Things).
You can view a product video in the Videos section.
This article first appeared in the industry press during January 2021
Dan Powell, Head of Sales for England & Wales for hardware company VBH discusses how it’s vital that companies move forward if they wish to prosper in these difficult times
“If you don’t move forward, sooner or later you begin to move backward.”
“If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind.”
However this well know phrase is worded, it’s true about so many things, including how to run a successful business. In the hellish year that we had in 2020, many companies who weren’t in a forward gear when most of the industry closed its collective doors during lockdown 1 struggled when everyone came back to work and many have since failed, or are working with vastly reduced staff and/or output.
Happily, if you’re reading this, it suggests that, like me, you work for a company that did do right things and is now extremely busy as the recovery in the home improvement sector reaches ever new highs and shows no sign of slowing any time soon.
Each sector and each company has different ways that they can move forward. At VBH we’ve done that on a number of fronts.
Firstly, we’re still recruiting great people. Our new Area Sales Manager in the south, Earl Tate, settled in to the VBH family incredibly quickly and his appointment is already reaping huge benefits for VBH.
Secondly, we didn’t furlough our New Product Development team. They used the quieter time available to really push on with a number of new products that were on the drawing board.
We saw the first results of this when our new greenteQ ClearLIFT lift/slide hardware system arrived last autumn. ClearLIFT joins our extremely popular Clearspan bi-fold door hardware system, and the Invisifold slide & fold door and window system in our ‘Lifestyle’ family of products. ‘Lifestyle’ is our name for the large element aspirational products such as patio doors that are so popular now. We are particularly strong in this area and will shortly be introducing Clearspan solutions for even more aluminium profiles.
We have been working long and hard to come up with what we believe is the best TS007 3 star profile cylinder on the market. The fruit of the NPD team’s labour is the greenteQ Orion, which hits our shelves this month.
As well as offering all the physical protection that the TS007 kitemark calls for as standard, we have also built in further benefits under the proteQ10 guarantee.
Under proteQ10, Orion also provides the home owner with 2 additional layers of protection. If a break in is achieved as a result of Orion snapping, VBH will pay the victim £2000 in compensation. The second element of proteQ10 is the Key Security scheme. When the user registers their cylinder for its 10 year guarantee, they can set a unique password online. From then on, additional keys can only be supplied when this password is given.
Orion is the 3rd member of our greenteQ profile cylinder family, joining the original Gamma anti pick/anti-drill and Q-Star TS007 1 star products.
Another new product arriving in bulk this month is the brand new greenteQ Invicta shootbolt. Tested to PAS24 at BSI, Invicta allows fabricators to gear up their casement windows using exclusively greenteQ hardware.
Even when it has something that’s already good, a ‘forward moving’ company will always be thinking about how they can improve it further. That’s example number 3, as it’s exactly what we’ve done with our Q-secure consumer hardware guarantee. It already had a number of benefits over other guarantees, including the very fact that it’s multi-brand, so the manufacturer has a choice of hardware. However, we added a number of new products to the list of Approved Hardware, including Orion and Invicta, completely overhauled the website and literature suite and more than doubled the potential compensation figure to £8000.
These are just a few examples of how VBH, as a hardware company, continues to move forward in terms of the products and services that we offer.
Our customers reap the rewards and so do we. In December the industry voted us Hardware Company of the Year for the second year in succession at the National Fenestration Awards.
We must be getting something right.
Have a great 2021!
This article first appeared in the January issue of Windows Active magazine
Dan Powell, Head of Sales for England & Wales at VBH, looks back on a successful end to 2020 and has good reasons for optimism in 2021
It’s safe to say that 2020 was a year to forget, although at VBH there were a few positives towards the end of the year.
In October we recorded our best ever sales month in the 38 year history of VBH (GB) Ltd. Our result eclipsed the previous best from 2003. The value of our greenteQ own brand sales also hit a high point, thanks largely to the UK’s seemingly insatiable appetite for Clearspan aluminium bi-fold door gear and the popularity of our suited range of window and door furniture.
December saw us named as Hardware Company of the Year for the second successive year in the prestigious National Fenestration Awards. We also won both the Young Person and Social Networker categories through our North of England Area Sales Manager, Tyler Shutts, and Marketing Manager, Gary Gleeson, respectively.
We upgraded our Q-secure homeowner security guarantee towards the end of the year with a brand new website, new products and a higher level of compensation payments should a Q-secure window, residential or patio door get broken into as a result of hardware failure. The new Q-secure PREMIUM protection level will pay out up to £8000. This is a market-leading guarantee and has been met with much excitement.
So there were some highlights to what was otherwise a grim year.
Now that 2021 is finally here we can all, as an industry, look forward to a new start.
The life blood of any company and any industry is to keep developing and evolving the products on offer. Every month we read in the pages of Clearview about new products and trends that give us all something new to sell, and improve the quality, features and performance of the products that we provide the end user. PVCu profile companies are introducing new colourways and flush systems, and some are adding aluminium systems to their ranges.
There’s a whole host of other developments across the industry. This is great news for companies like VBH, who can quickly develop hardware systems for these new products, and the UK based greenteQ design team here at VBH has been very busy.
Their hard work ensures that our customers will have a basketful of new ranges that they can choose from to improve their own products in 2021.
Our brand new greenteQ Invicta shootbolt means that PVCu manufacturers can now gear up their casement windows using exclusively greenteQ hardware. Invicta has been tested on a number of PVCu systems to PAS24, and is a Q-secure PREMIUM product.
Door manufacturers can also benefit from the introduction of our own TS007 3 star profile cylinder. greenteQ Orion offers full protection against picking, drilling, bumping and snap & extract without the need for a security handle or other support
As well as being a Q-secure PREMIUM product, Orion also provides the home owner with 2 additional layers of protection under the proteQ10 guarantee. If a break in is achieved as a result of an Orion cylinder being snapped, VBH will pay the victim £2000 in compensation, without quibble. The second element of proteQ10 is the Key Security scheme. When the user registers their cylinder for its 10 year guarantee, they can set a unique password. From then on, additional keys can only be supplied when this password is given.
Orion is the 3rd member of our greenteQ profile cylinder family, joining the original Gamma anti pick/anti-drill and Q-Star TS007 1 star products.
Invicta and Orion are just two examples of how VBH is helping our customers ring out the old and ring in the new in a hardware sense, and Q-secure demonstrates how VBH is investing to give our customers additional tools to make their products better than the competition’s. Business may be booming at the moment but when it slackens, you need to be one step ahead.
There are many more new services and products on the horizon including new developments for aluminium bi-fold doors and electronic door access among others.
At the time of writing we do not know how the Brexit situation will pan out, but as an industry we clearly showed in 2020 that we can, and will, overcome any obstacles that are put in our way.
Have a great year.
This article first appeared in the January issue of Clearview magazine
The winners of the 2020 National Fenestration Awards were announced via a live video link on Monday 7th December and VBH won 3 of the 4 categories in which we were shortlisted.
For the second year running, we were crowned Hardware Company of the Year, making it a hat trick following the win in the G-Awards in 2018 and, of course 2019's NFA success.
VBH also recorded wins in the Social Networker and Young Person categories, which were won by Marketing Manager Gary Gleeson and Area Sales Manager Tyler Shutts respectively. Our Customer Service Team Leader in Gillingham, Louise Eagle finished as runner up to Tyler.
VBH sees all these wins as a reflection on how hard the whole team works to make our customers' working days easy, as well as recognition of the excellent products and services on offer, including our own greenteQ brand and Q-secure consumer security guarantee that will pay compensation of up to £8000 in the event of a break in.
Hardware expert VBH has added the Invicta shootbolt locking system for outward opening windows to its greenteQ range of premium quality window and door hardware and furniture.
Invicta has been successfully tested to PAS24 on a number of profiles and is suitable for windows where a high security locking system is required.
The system consists of a gearbox, in a choice of industry standard 20 or 22mm backsets, and a series of extensions to cover sash sizes up to 1540mm.
The extensions are connected to the gearbox and secured in place by an attractive central cover plate, which clearly announces the shootbolt as a greenteQ product.
The shootbolts themselves can be set to project by 15mm through the striker plate and penetrate into the profile if desired, or to a lesser projection if preferred.
A comprehensive range of night vent mushroom strikers and shootbolt strikers is available.
VBH Marketing Manager Gary Gleeson says “Invicta sits alongside our other greenteQ casement window products including Alpha handles, Delta hinges and Q-Vents to give fabricators the option of going for a full greenteQ window package.
“The Invicta name was chosen for two reasons. As well as being the name of the rampant white horse which is the symbol of our home county of Kent, Invicta is also Latin for unconquered or unvanquished, which is very apt when you see how well it performs during PAS24 testing.”
The greenteQ Invicta shootbolt is covered by the Q-secure homeowner security guarantee scheme, which promises to pay the homeowner up to £8000 in compensation if a break in is successfully achieved due to hardware failure.
This article first appeared in the industry press during October and November 2020
VBH Marketing Manager, Gary Gleeson, explains how security remains a key requirement for consumers when buying new doors and windows and how VBH can help to capitalise
Security is Key
We’ve come a long way in this industry in a comparatively short time. I’ve recently been carrying out a company history project that got me and a few other old-timers discussing how our industry has changed from when we joined back in the 1980s.
When you look back at some of the window and door specs that were the norm, or even ground-breaking, then, the difference between then and now is like chalk and cheese.
PVCu doors featured lightweight butt hinges and many locks were designed to stop bowing rather than forced entry. Compare that to the PAS24 hinges, multi-hook locks and TS007 kitemarked profile cylinders that are available now.
Back then, windows were secured by cockspur handles, or a roller cam espagnolette. When Wagner started selling some of the early mushroom headed espags, it was a major step forward.
Roll the clock forward to today and we at VBH offer a huge selection of PAS24 tested, yet affordable, shootbolts, security espags, and hinge protectors from our own greenteQ range and others.
It’s not that the industry was doing anything wrong in the ‘80s; but criminal methodology has evolved and, as an industry, we are adept at keeping our evolution ahead of theirs.
Thanks to the internet, consumers can research everything before buying ANYTHING. That is particularly true, of course, with a big purchase like windows and doors. Popular internet search terms include ‘Door Security’, Patio Door Security and ‘Window Security’. Homeowners can’t put a portcullis and arrow slits in their ‘castles’ but they can do the next best thing and install windows and doors that are designed to protect, and are guaranteed to do so.
With this in mind, you would think that everyone would be offering security products; everyone would be telling customers about how secure their products are and offering guarantees to back that up. For some reason, not everyone does, but we do. VBH are proud to tell the world that we have an ongoing testing program at BSI where we pitch our hardware against the latest security standards.
Our greenteQ profile cylinders have been tested to Kitemark TS007. Q-Star has a 1 star rating and our brand new Orion cylinder will proudly sport 3 stars when it hits our shelves in January. Our new greenteQ Invicta shootbolt has been tested to PAS24 on a number of profiles and our popular Clearspan bi-fold hardware for aluminium doors has just passed the standard again, but with a simplified spec that makes manufacturing Document Q ready/PAS24 tested bi-fold doors as standard, rather than as an upgrade, a realistic proposition.
We have brought all of these greenteQ products together, along with a selection of hardware from top brands like AGB, Yale, Roto, Maco and Securistyle, and launched the Q-secure guarantee. Under Q-secure, VBH will pay the consumer up to £8000 if they are broken into as a result of hardware failure. Our MULTI-BRAND approach ensures that everything is covered and allows manufacturers to choose their own preferred hardware spec.
Fabricators manufacturing doors, windows and patio doors using our Q-secure hardware specs can join the network of Q-secure Approved Manufacturers. Installers selling those products can join our network of Approved Installers. As such, they can offer the Q-secure guarantee to potential customers during the sales process. £8000 is a big carrot to dangle.
VBH is raising awareness of Q-secure and driving enquiries to partners through both advertising and our new website. With security still high on the agenda for potential buyers, installers offering a free guarantee such as Q-secure have a distinct advantage over their competitors.
Security is key and we are confident that everyone in the Q-secure network will win more business as a result.
For more information on Q-secure or to register to become an Approved Partner visit www.qsecure.co.uk or email email@example.com.
This article first appeared in the October/November edition of Total Fabricator magazine
VBH believe that companies who offer their customers more than just ‘the product’ are more successful than those who simply supply.
That’s why we form partnerships with our customers in order that we can tailor our product and service offerings to their particular needs. Some customers benefit particularly from the many technical support services that we offer, including product testing, scheduling and help with Document Q compliance, whilst many now prefer to buy online, which they can do through our VBH24 online shop.
Feedback from these relationships often guides us with regard to future product developments or even further improving existing products. It also tells us that our customers, and their customers, want more selling tools and we are happy to oblige with the Q-secure homeowner security guarantee.
Many forward thinking companies are offering more than basic white windows, and are making hay with options such as aluminium patio doors, flush systems, foils and colours.
The trouble is, as more people offer these options, you’re once again selling against companies with similar offerings, albeit in a smaller pool of competitors. So you need something else to differentiate yourself further, without compromising on quality or profit margins.
Q-secure is a free security guarantee that can be offered by Approved Installers to prospects to give them another strand to their sales pitch. It pays the homeowner up to £8000 direct if a successful break in occurs due to a failure of the hardware on a Q-secure window or door.
The hardware has all been independently tested on a number of profiles, so we know it works. What sets Q-secure apart from other guarantees is that it is MULTI-BRAND. Of course much of the hardware is from our own greenteQ range, but we also cover selected hardware from a number of our supplier partners, including Yale, AGB, Roto, Maco and Securistyle. This is great news for fabricators, as they can choose from a wider selection of hardware, mixing and matching brands to come up with their preferred spec. It’s also great for the homeowner as everything on the door is covered, meaning that there are no nasty surprises in the event of a claim.
Q-secure covers casement and tilt & turn windows, along with residential doors and Lifestyle products. Lifestyle is our product category for hardware for big ticket items such as bi-fold doors, lift/slide doors and inline sliding patio doors.
The guarantee runs for 10 years from the date of installation and can be transferred to a new occupier. All installations can be registered through our new website at www.qsecure.co.uk.
Fabricators can sign up to be Approved Manufacturers if they use one of the profiles that we’ve tested on, and fit the hardware from our approved list. Installers can sign up as Approved Installers if they buy finished Q-secure windows, doors and patio doors from an Approved Manufacturer. All Approved Partners are added to our website to be found by nearby customers. It’s all quite simple.
For us, Q-secure is a no brainer. Who wouldn’t want a free 10 year guarantee? If everything else is equal, surely the company offering this guarantee has an advantage. It sends out a clear message to the prospect that this company must be supremely confident in the security of their products if there is up to £8000 up for grabs if they don’t perform as promised.
Our message to fabricators and installers is this. Whatever your product range and target audience are, and whoever you are competing against, set yourself apart by offering something that your competitors don’t. The easiest, and most risk free, is to offer your customers a comprehensive free of charge hardware guarantee. If you’re going to do that, make sure it’s the best one, which, in our opinion, is Q-secure.
For more information on Q-secure or to register to become an Approved Partner visit www.qsecure.co.uk, Tweet @vbhgb or @vbhgreenteQ, or call 01634 263300.
This article first appeared in the October issue of Windows Active magazine
Leading hardware company VBH has recently appointed Earl Tate to the position of Area Sales Manager for South East England.
Earl joins the company after 12 years at another well known hardware supplier and is well respected within the hardware fraternity.
VBH Regional Sales Manager for the South, Dan Powell, comments “I have known Earl for a number of years and I admire his work ethic. He builds solid relationships with customers and earns their trust. This is the VBH way so he is a perfect fit with us.
“He’s excited to get to grips with the larger selection of products that our greenteQ range offers. We’re delighted to have him on the VBH team.”
Earl will cover the South East region from Norfolk in the East through London to Hampshire in the West, so will be familiar to many of his new VBH customers.
Fabricators in the South East and beyond can find out more about VBH’s products and services at www.vbhgb.comor by following @vbhgb or @vbhgreenteQ on Twitter
This article first appeared in the industry press during October and November 2020
We at VBH have always seen it as an obligation to be more to our customers than purely their supplier of the best range of window and door hardware and ancillaries.
We are always looking at ways to help our customers (or partners). We do this in the public domain and quietly behind the scenes. An example of the latter is that constant communication during lockdown between VBH HQ in Gillingham and our greenteQ factories and other supplier partners effectively eliminated or, at worst, minimised potential stock-flow disruption when our customers returned to work, and it continues to do so.
We constantly strive to make working with VBH very easy by employing the best people, or by offering simple services such as VBH24, our online shop. Last month a quarter of our orders arrived via VBH24, so we know that fabricators are keen to buy online.
We also help our customers to sell more windows and doors. This is, of course, everyone’s goal.
We took our first steps towards this in 2017 when we launched Q-secure, our comprehensive hardware guarantee that is offered by approved VBH customers, or their installer customers in the case of trade suppliers, to the consumer to help clinch a sale. Let’s call this group the Q-secure Network.
The Q-secure guarantee promises to pay the homeowner direct if a break in occurs during the 10 years duration of the guarantee. Our thinking is that if the Q-secure Network can offer something that their competition can’t, it gives them an edge and they can base the sales pitch on quality and security rather than price.
During the quieter moments of lockdown we were thinking about how we can help our customers ride out what was sure to be a stormy time when they returned to work. One of things that we hit upon was to refresh the Q-secure guarantee to make it even more attractive to everyone - fabricators, installers and consumers.
A big benefit of Q-secure for fabricators is that they are free to choose their own preferred hardware package from the list of approved hardware that we offer. It’s not just a greenteQ guarantee; we also include hardware from some of our partner brands. This is why we call it the Q-secure MULTI-BRAND guarantee. Not only does this give the manufacturer a choice, but it ensures that everything on a window, door or patio door is covered. No nasty surprises for anyone in the event of a claim!
Installers know that the products that they are selling are secure and get an extra sales tool to pull from their bag, and consumers get the peace of mind of knowing that the suppliers of their new windows and doors are so confident in the security of them that they offer the guarantee of major financial compensation if something goes wrong. Everyone wins!
But how have we refreshed what we already believed what was the best guarantee available? Firstly, we have added more products to the approved products list, including the excellent ArTech tilt and turn system from our Italian partner AGB, and our own greenteQ ClearLIFT lift/slide door system. The general public is as keen as ever to invest in big ticket home improvement items such as patio doors, which is why Q-secure Network members have access to guaranteed bi-fold doors, inline sliders and now lift/slides. We call these our Lifestyle products.
We have updated the www.qsecure.co.uk website to be much more informative and are investing heavily to generate leads and enquiries through a number of channels for all in the Q-secure Network.
Lastly, and perhaps the headline upgrade for many, is the fact that we have increased the potential maximum pay out from £3250 with Q-secure original to £8000 with the new Q-secure PREMIUM!
Everyone knows that we all need to do things differently post-lockdown to be successful. At VBH we urge fabricators and installers to sell on security, quality, features and guarantees, and move away from the price argument as much as possible. The companies that are thriving are those focusing on aspirational products such as Lifestyle doors, heritage flush windows and colours, and offering extras such as Q-secure.
When you dangle the added carrot of a FREE 10 year security guarantee that could pay up to £8000 in front of your customers, how could they refuse?
This article first appeared in Clearview magazine in October 2020
Leading hardware company VBH has added the ClearLIFT hardware system for aluminium lift/slide patio doors to its greenteQ range.
Lift/slide doors are gaining in popularity due to their ability to carry very large and very heavy sliders. They also provide large glazed areas that allow uninterrupted views and maximise the natural light.
ClearLIFT can carry sashes weighing up to 300Kg and measuring up to 3.33m wide or 2.7m high, subject to the systems company’s recommendations. VBH advise that stock holding is reduced as all door heights are achieved with just two gear heights.
The system has been cycle tested to 25,000 operations and is covered by Q-secure, VBH’s multi-brand consumer hardware guarantee.
VBH marketing manager Gary Gleeson says “Our greenteQ designers have gone to great lengths to make sure that ClearLIFT is a premium product, fit for a premium ‘lifestyle’ door. Precision ball bearings in the bogies ensure a smooth and quiet sliding operation, as do the built-in brushes that sweep the tracks clear of grit as the door slides. Sprung drive gears also make the initial lifting action very easy for the user, even on the heaviest doors.”
ClearLIFT joins the greenteQ Lifestyle product portfolio that already includes Clearspan bi-fold hardware, the Invisifold slide and fold door and window system and the Aspire lift/slide handle range.
Gary adds “Aspire handles are available in nine finishes to match or complement all door finishes. With the user in mind, again, Aspire handles look great and their positive location at 90º helps to ensure that the door is operated properly every time.”
For more information on greenteQ ClearLIFT or Aspire visit vbhgb.com, Tweet @vbhgb or @vbhgreenteQ, or call 01634 263300.
This article first appeared in the industry press during August and September 2020
Gary Gleeson, Marketing Manager at hardware specialist VBH, explains that by offering extras such as a free security guarantee its customers are scoring against their competition
Many of The Fabricator’s readers will know that VBH have been supplying the UK window and door market for a very long time. In fact it was in 1975 when we first started to bring hardware over from Cologne, before opening our UK operation in 1982.
Since that time we have evolved from being a distributor of other people’s hardware into being a manufacturer in our own right, following the creation of our own greenteQ brand over a decade ago.
We have now become more than just a supplier, and our major customers now see us as a partner.
It’s our duty to support our partners in any way that we can. We do this in a number of ways.
We make ordering and stock management easier by offering simple services such as VBH24, our online shop, which has seen a huge uplift in users in 2020. It has shown that online purchasing is becoming as popular in the workplace as it is at home now.
Of course, the ultimate goal of all our customers/partners is to sell more windows and doors at the best possible profit margins. We also help with that.
We offer a comprehensive hardware guarantee that is available to approved VBH customers, or their installer customers in the case of trade suppliers (let’s call this group the Q-secure Network). They can offer this to the consumer to help clinch a sale. We call this the Q-secure guarantee.
Q-secure promises to pay the homeowner direct if a break in occurs during the 10 year duration of the guarantee. We believe that if the members of the Q-secure Network offer something that their competition can’t, they have an edge. They can then focus the prospect’s mind on quality and security rather than on price.
During lockdown our thoughts turned to how we could help our customers negotiate what was sure to be a rocky road when they returned to work. We decided that by investing further in Q-secure we could make it even more attractive to everyone in the supply chain from fabricator to consumer.
Q-secure differs from other hardware guarantees in that it is a MULTI-BRAND guarantee. It’s not just a greenteQ guarantee; we also include hardware from some of our supplier partner brands. This is a huge benefit for fabricators in that they are free to choose their own preferred hardware package from the list of approved hardware that we offer. This results in each Approved Manufacturer tailoring their individual window and door products to their own satisfaction, and it ensures that everything on a window, door or patio door is covered. So there can be no quibbles if a valid claim is made. In theory a casement window could include hardware from greenteQ, Yale and Roto, for example.
Installers know that the products that they are selling are secure and they have an extra sales tool to use. Consumers get the reassurance of knowing that the suppliers of their new windows and doors are so confident in the security of them that they offer VBH’s guarantee of paying out thousands of pounds if something goes wrong.
The first step towards refreshing Q-secure was to add more products to the approved products list, including the excellent ArTech tilt and turn system from our Italian partner AGB, and our own greenteQ ClearLIFT lift/slide door system. The general public’s appetite for big ticket home improvement items such as patio doors shows no sign of abating, which is why Q-secure Network members have access to guaranteed bi-fold doors, inline sliders and now lift/slides. At VBH we refer to these as our Lifestyle product range.
We are investing heavily to generate more leads and enquiries through a number of channels for all in the Q-secure Network. Part of this investment has been spent on giving the www.qsecure.co.uk website a major face lift. It is now much more informative and user-friendly.
The headline upgrade for many is that we have increased the potential maximum pay out from £3250 with Q-secure original to £8000 with the new Q-secure PREMIUM!
We’re all doing things differently now. Consumers are researching before making even the smallest purchase, let alone making a major investment like replacing their windows and doors. They demand more bang for their buck. It’s important to know, though, that this doesn’t mean they want everything cheaper. Do we, when we have our ‘general public’ hats on? No, what we all want is extra features or services for our money. Like a free 10 year security guarantee for instance.
At VBH we urge fabricators and installers to sell on security, quality, features and guarantees, and move away from the price argument as much as possible. The companies that are thriving are those focusing on aspirational products such as Lifestyle doors, heritage flush windows and colours, and offering extras such as Q-secure.
A FREE 10 year security guarantee that could pay up to £8000 is a BIG BANG that won’t be ignored. Use it.
For more information on Q-secure or to register visit www.qsecure.co.uk, Tweet @vbhgb or @vbhgreenteQ, or call 01634 263300.
This article first appeared in the October issue of The Installer magazine
One of major VBH customer CB Solutions UK Ltd’s specialisms is the manufacture and installation of windows and doors for the modular construction industry. The COVID crisis has seen the company particularly busy with the supply of product on numerous NHS contracts, including one recently for Kingston Modular Systems.
Kingston were delighted with the service received from CB Solutions, thanking them publicly for their ongoing support in difficult times to deliver on key NHS projects.
VBH are proud to call CB Solutions a customer, supplying them with many products including greenteQ Alpha window and door handles, Q-Star TS007 profile cylinders and door and window hinges among others.
VBH MD Simon Monks says “When lock down occurred we evaluated the safety of our staff and customers and quickly came to the conclusion that we could and would remain open with a skeleton staff to service our customers such as CB Solutions, who would need hardware for such vital work. Although working from home came as a shock at first, we’ve all adjusted and have reacted quickly when called upon. Well, done to all at CB.”
This story first appeared in the industry press during June 2020
Hardware specialist VBH has reduced its minimum order value to just £10 per order to give fabricators and installers the flexibility to place smaller orders while they ‘get their ducks in a row’ following a return from lockdown.
The company hopes this added flexibility will help customers get back to normal working practices as quickly as possible.
VBH remained open during lockdown, with a reduced number of staff covering key functions from home and a vastly reduced warehouse team coming in to the Kent site as and when required to satisfy urgent orders.
VBH kept their customers informed regularly about the situation and the best means of making contact as the crisis developed.
Now that much of the industry is returning to work, the reduced warehouse team’s hours have increased and the team are keenly observing all the proper working practices to keep themselves and staff from VBH’s partners safe.
Managing Director Simon Monks states “We were quick to pull our sales team off the road and instruct them and their office-based colleagues to work from home from the week before lockdown.
“Since 1st April we’ve had a skeleton crew across the business keeping things moving and working on a number of exciting new product developments and services for later in the year.”
As orders pick up VBH advise that they will bring more staff back to work to ensure that customers receive their window and door hardware on time. Returning workers will phased in only when demand requires.
Simon adds “Our customers are working strange hours at the moment. We would recommend that those who don’t already use the VBH24 online shop to place orders and check stock consider doing so, as that service is available to them whatever hour they’re working.”
More information on VBH24 can be found at www.vbhgb24.com, or email VBH via firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story first appeared in the industry press during May 2020
Chris Champion, Glass News’ Editor, talks to Simon Monks, VBH (GB) Ltd’s Managing Director about how the Covid-19 epidemic has affected VBH’s business,and his hopes for the future.
Editor: VBH is a supplier of top brands of hardware to manufacturers and installers of windows and doors made from PVCu, timber, aluminium, composites and steel. Did you have to close, completely, or have you managed to provide a service of any kind during the lockdown?
Simon Monks: Prior to initial lockdown, we had already taken steps to ensure the safety of our staff, customers and suppliers by having our external team and most office –based people across the country work from home, and by closing two VBH sites. The skeleton logistics staff still working in Kent have been supported by providing PPE equipment and clearly defined safe working practices. As a market leading hardware supplier, our customer base is quite varied. Some were actively engaged in providing products for essential builds, such as Nightingale hospitals and other NHS/MOD projects, while others were involved in emergency maintenance and repair work. We therefore took the decision that we would bring the 3-man skeleton warehouse team in on an ad-hoc basis over the lockdown period to supply these customers when they needed us. All other support services such as customer service, technical, accounts and marketing continued from our reduced home-based team, in line with our pre lockdown plan.
Editor: How many of your customers locked down completely? Of those that kept open, what level of service did they offer during that time?
Simon Monks: Around 95% of our customers closed over this period. Those that stayed open were providing essential products and services and we were able to support them with specification work and the correct product, when required.
Editor: Did you continue to receive deliveries from your own suppliers?
Simon Monks: Some suppliers closed and some stayed open. I think some based their decision on their primary product ranges. For example our supplier of emergency exit hardware and finger protection stayed open as there was an obvious need for such products. In fact we supplied some for a Nightingale hospital project.
Editor: You mentioned that you have been running with a reduced staff level for the last few weeks. Has this presented any particular challenges?
Simon Monks: Yes and no. We’ve always been a company where people from the top down roll up their sleeves and help out where required. We’ve kept in direct contact with our customers to update them on who to contact during lock down. Originally Louise Eagle, our Customer Service Team Leader, was processing all inbound enquiries and orders from the comfort of her dining room. The level of work means that we’ve now brought in more help for her.
Technical queries are being handled by our Technical Manager, myself and our Marketing Manager, who used to work in the tech team himself, and our Management Accountant has been dealing with the purchase and sales ledgers as well as his own work.
So although things may have taken longer than usual we’ve had everything covered to a large degree.
Editor: Have you been able to put the quiet time to good use at work or is the Monks garden looking at its best?
Simon Monks: I wish. We’ve all been very busy with work.
I’ve been in constant dialogue with customers, suppliers and head office in Germany making sure that the lines of communication have been kept open so we’re in the best position to really get going when the majority of the market is back working. I’ve also been in regular contact with all of the skeleton crew to make sure they’re ok. Isolation can hit hard, and we’ve been fortunate that everyone has remained very upbeat. We’re all experts in video conferencing now.
Our product team has taken the opportunity to really push on with a large number of new developments with a number of suppliers. Great progress has been made and we’ll have lots of new products for aluminium and PVCu coming soon to help kick start the recovery.
We’ve also invested heavily in new software packages to allow us to give even better service and our marketing man has been busy (when not answering technical calls) working on a couple of new projects that will be of great benefit to VBH customers from the summer. One of these will be of particular interest to installers.
We’ve been so busy investing time and money into new products and projects that our gardens are only being tended at weekends, just like normal, I’m afraid.
Editor: What have been the key difficulties with returning to work? What exceptional arrangements have you made in terms of staff and customer protection?
Simon Monks: We didn’t stop working and as I write this, none of the non-logistics staff have physically returned to the office and there are no plans to do so soon. When they do, we are fortunate to have sufficient space to enable distancing. And we don’t have hot desks! We don’t anticipate that the market will be up to full strength for a while yet, so many of us can continue to work from home to thin out the population in the office further. Our warehouses have been marked out to ensure social distancing in the packing and goods in areas and we have introduced a system whereby only one team member can be in an aisle at any one time. It has slowed our warehouse processes down, for sure, but these are exceptional times.
When our sales team is back to work they will be contacting customers remotely until further notice. We started using Microsoft Teams prior to the initial lockdown and it has been very successful for us. That, and similar platforms, will be the norm for the time being.
Editor: Relationships are bound to change following the pandemic, particularly if you have had customers who have been slow or reluctant to pay what they owe you. Has that been an issue for VBH and, if so, is there a way to repair the damaged relationship?
Simon Monks: Good relationships are built up over time and we certainly won’t let the crisis sour our dealings with people at either end of the supply chain.
Every case is different for every customer, particularly when you factor in the varying business models that I alluded to earlier. Everyone at VBH is 100% geared towards supporting our customers as best we can. I think that illustrates how highly we value our relationships with them.
Editor: Looking at timescales, how long do you anticipate it will be before you are fully operational?
Simon Monks: We will gradually bring people back from furlough as the need arises, as we did with an additional Customer Service Co-ordinator last week. We’ll bring back enough people to service the amount of customers who resume buying. No more and no less.
Editor: Have you started to receive deliveries from your suppliers and, if not, when do you expect those deliveries to commence?
Simon Monks: Some have been delivering throughout, but mostly when we’ve needed something in particular. I’m writing this in early May and some are still closed, whilst others have re-opened to a degree. We will work out a program with each of them individually to ensure that we have product in place for anyone who needs it. We had buffer stocks in place prior to lockdown, so this will all help to smooth things out.
Editor: Do you think we are talking about months or, perhaps years, before VBH can say that you have returned to the same financial position as you were prior to December 2019?
Simon Monks: We can only perform to the best of our ability. The environment that we are working in now is completely different to what it was 3 months ago. We hope to see an upturn in demand for lifestyle products such as bi-fold and lift/slide doors, as well as other large element products as people spend the money that had been earmarked for a foreign holiday on home improvements instead. That will be a big help to us as we are particularly strong in that area. VBH’s performance and that of the window and door market in general will, of course, be driven by the economy and how fast that recovers.
Editor: Finally, what is your vision for the future? Will VBH have changed substantially? Can it be as successful as it once was? And do you think the market will return as it was and, if so, how long do think that will take?
Simon Monks: Our vision has always been to be the number 1 hardware supplier in the UK. That hasn’t changed, despite the landscape that we’re working in having changed dramatically. I don’t think VBH will change substantially. We will still have what we consider to be the best product range and the best people.
By continuing to listen to the market and develop innovative new products, selling tools and service initiatives for VBH customers we will continue to be at least as successful as we were at the turn of 2020. How long will it take? In all honesty a lot of that depends on things outside of our control but with the help of our customers and suppliers we will do all we can to get there as quickly possible.
This interview was first published in Glass News in May 2020
When major PVCu manufacturer Nolan uPVC received an urgent order for 14 sets of emergency exit doors for the new Swansea Nightingale Hospital, they knew that they would be able to meet the deadline due to their close relationships with their suppliers, not least with hardware company VBH.
VBH supplied the 14 sets of gear, comprising greenteQ Anti-Panic hardware and Sigma door hinges from stock within 48 hours. The order was shipped directly from the company’s Kent headquarters, which has remained open with a skeleton staff and reduced working days to provide products for emergency contracts such as this.
Nolan were able to manufacture the doors and have them on site within a remarkable 6 days.
The hospital has been constructed within the disused 11,000m² Swansea Bay Studios building and will initially provide beds for 500 COVID patients, with another 350 being added in the coming weeks.
This story first appeared in the industry press during April and May 2020
Leading hardware company VBH is a major supplier of a wide range of multi-point door locks, including Yale’s AutoEngage slam shut product.
‘Slam Shut’ style door locks are becoming increasingly popular on composite or wooden entrance doors where fixed pull handles, knobs or finger pulls are preferred to lever handles.
When the door leaf is closed (or slammed) into the frame, the automatic lock mechanism instantly triggers the security latches, which engage into the striker plates. This negates the need to lift a lever to throw the locking points prior to dead-locking through the key.
The door is opened by turning the key, which retracts the latches and central deadbolt.
AutoEngage’s locking action allows greater flexibility in door design whether on traditionally styled doors where a knob might be used, or on modern, contemporary styles that lend themselves to the clean lines of stainless steel pull handles, such as those of the greenteQ Coastline range.
The locks are available with a choice 35 or 45mm backsets and a range of 16 or 20mm faceplates, including a 20mm radiused end version.
VBH Marketing Manager Gary Gleeson says “As well as the AutoEngage Classic, with its main lockcase at ‘normal’ waist height, manufacturers can also opt for the Heritage version that has a high level lockcase to replicate the position of traditional rim latches.”
AutoEngage locks are all PAS24:2016 compliant and are approved under VBH’s Q-secure multi-brand guarantee.
Gary adds “Yale is one of our respected 3rd party brand partners with a great pedigree, and their products complement our own greenteQ range. In this instance, AutoEngage works perfectly with the greenteQ selection of stainless steel pull handles, cylinder escutcheons and cylinder pulls in 6 colours.”
Readers should visit www.vbhgb.com or call VBH on 01634 263300 for more information.
The article first appreared in the online and print press during March and April 2020
VBH (GB) MD Simon Monks says the recent storms act as a reminder that we need to build and protect our homes to withstand a rise in extreme weather and air conditions.
The UK has faced an onslaught of extreme weather so far this year, with storms bringing severe rain and wind across the country. There’s no denying our climate is changing. Our planet is now more than 1⁰C warmer than it was in pre-industrial times, and every degree means 7% more water in the atmosphere. With the recent floods caused by Storms Ciara and Dennis fresh in everyone’s minds, people are turning to the government to protect their homes from extreme weather conditions. But we also need to look at the way we build our homes, and the materials we use. Windows and doors need to be designed to withstand hotter, wetter and windier weather – and components like hardware will play an important role in ensuring long-lasting performance.
Extreme weather aside, buildings should also be designed to withstand the corrosive effect of air pollution in cities and urban areas. Poor air quality can be a problem in rural areas too: according to The Guardian newspaper, over four-fifths of our ammonia emissions come from muck-spreading in agriculture. But probably the biggest impact on buildings comes from the corrosive combination of moisture and salt in coastal areas. We’re a small island and as much as 70% of the UK’s housing is within reach of harsh sea air if the wind is blowing in the right direction. This means practically all UK housing needs to withstand challenging environments, and it’s important that fabricators and installers are confident the hardware they supply and install is built to last.
Hardware designed to last
We’ve all seen examples of poorly designed and low quality hardware that’s pitted, peeled, discoloured and flaking. Sometimes, if the coating is uneven or contaminated, moisture gets under the coating and it starts to fail even before it’s installed.
Over the last few years we’ve diversified and expanded our range significantly with investment in new, high performance products and finishes, particularly for our own-branded suite of premium furniture, greenteQ. Amongst this is the greenteQ Coastline range – a set of door furniture made from hard-wearing, corrosion-resistant austenitic grade 304 stainless steel that can withstand extreme weather conditions including urban pollution and coastal environments. In tests, Coastline hardware is subjected to more than 1,000 hours of salt-spray testing to BS EN ISO 9227. For added reassurance, all Coastline hardware comes with a 25 year guarantee.
VBH’s latest hardware partnership with AGB gives similar reassurance for tilt-and-turn windows. Its ArTech hardware system is fabricator-friendly and easy to install, and comes in four different hinge options with standard and security versions. Perhaps one of the biggest appeals is that all ArTech hardware is protected by Activeage coating – as standard. This three-layer process is tested in accordance with EN ISO 9227, to 2000 hours, without any sign of red rust. 2,000 hours vastly outperforms the industry standard EN1670, with its maximum 480-hour grade-5 banding – a big benefit when you consider the current environmental challenges, and adding that all-important edge when selling.
Our customers agree. Robert Tierney, General Manager of WindowPlus Home Improvements (Scotland) says: “We moved to the AGB ArTech system in 2019 after seeing it on VBH’s stand at the FIT Show. We’re pleased we did – it’s easy to go together and installers love the simple adjustment. There are also fewer parts to order and it’s easy to upgrade to PAS24. As a result our windows flew through BSI testing.
“What really makes this hardware stand out is the 2,000-hour salt spray performance. It’s far better than other products and a big benefit for our customers as a lot of our installations are in coastal locations like Dunoon and on the Isles of Mull, Arran and Bute.”
High performance hardware – with service to match!
It’s important our investment in product development is matched in service too so over the last 18 months we’ve introduced a variety of initiatives to support our customers, such as dedicated customer service representatives and technical support. Our online ordering platform, VBH24, makes light work of ordering hardware. It includes a ‘new and improved’ product configurator that works out complex specifications – such as tilt and turn windows and bifold doors. Simply tap in your dimensions and the system will calculate all the hardware you need, which can then be uploaded straight into an order.
“In terms of service, VBH has plenty of stock in Scotland and their delivery performance is perfect for our ‘Just In Time’ fabrication schedule,” adds Robert Tierney. “ We don’t change our hardware supplier often at WindowPlus, but we’ve been so impressed with the AGB tilt and turn product and VBH’s service, that we’re very glad we did!”
Make sure your hardware supplier supports you in all weathers. Call our team on 01634 263 263, email email@example.com or visit www.vbhgb.com.
This article first appeared in the March 2020 issue of Glass & Glazing Products magazine
Hardware specialist VBH (GB) has added a new tilt & turn system from Italian hardware manufacturer, AGB, to its extensive range of third-party branded products. ArTech gear is protected by the Activeage finish that exceeds 2,000 hours neutral salt spray testing to EN ISO 9227, making it ideal for coastal regions and areas with higher levels of pollution.
The ArTech system has been developed for fabrication lines of all sizes, and comes with various hinge options including surface fit, rebated, jigless and the ‘Plana’ concealed hinge system. The gear is connected via either a ‘Crop & Punch’ connection system, or can be easily assembled on a manual line by utilising ‘Crop & Cover’ connector plates, which enable manual cropping of the hardware without the need to punch a hole in the cropped faceplate.
Standard and PAS24 security configurations are available, ensuring Document Q compliance. Adjustable Anti-Burglar cams are supplied as standard too, acting as a compression point on standard windows or security mushroom cams when paired with a security striker. Gearboxes on most tilt and turn systems are clamped to the drive gear faceplate, but ArTech’s is attached using concealed screw fixings for a more attractive linear design.
Allan Price at VBH comments: “The ArTech system gives fabricators and installers a perfect ‘fit and forget’ solution for window and door installations. It’s also covered under VBH’s unique Q-secure security and corrosion guarantee, which is free to join and includes cover of up to £3,250 for windows, residential doors and folding patios.”
This item first appeared in the industry press during January and February 2020.
Award winning hardware specialist VBH has added Anti-Panic emergency exit and panic hardware to its greenteQ range of products.
Manufactured in Italy, which is well known for its expertise in this sector, the range consists of panic bolts and panic latches in cross-arm and push-pad versions, and is available from VBH stock in white and silver finishes. Touch bars, mortice and electric devices, and other finishes, are all available on a special order basis.
Panic latches are available as either single-point or 3-point versions.
VBH Marketing Manager Gary Gleeson advises, “All Anti-Panic bolts and latches are tested, certified and CE marked to the relevant BS EN1125 or 179 standards.
“Anti-Panic is available for single and double PVCu, aluminium and timber doors and there is the option of fitting an outside access device where controlled access from outside the building is required.”
greenteQ Anti-Panic devices are reversible, cutting down on a fabricator’s stock holding and eliminating handing errors.
Gary adds, “So many fabricators now use greenteQ products on their standard doors. The addition of Anti-Panic to the range now enables them to gear up their emergency exit doors using hardware from an established industry brand that they trust. They know that the door will open freely if it is ever called into use in an emergency.”
For more information on greenteQ Anti-Panic visit vbhgb.com, Tweet @vbhgb or @vbhgreenteQ, or call 01634 263300.
This item first appeared in the industry press during January 2020
Bristol based aluminium glazing specialist Nova Aluminium Systems Ltd celebrates 15 years of business in 2020.
The company operates out of a 40,000 sq. production facility in St. Jude’s and delivers to customers across England and Wales using its own fleet of distinctively liveried vehicles.
Nova prides itself on being strictly a trade supplier, serving large and small installers with contracts ranging from £2000 - £200,000 in value.
Nova manufactures aluminium windows, doors, curtain walling and shopfronts in all RAL colours, with the bi-folding door being one of their biggest sellers. They elected to use greenteQ Clearspan bi-fold hardware on this enduringly popular product.
Nova Production Manager Jason Ford says “Aluminium is the go-to material for bi-folds due to the colour options, strength and slim sight-lines. The greenteQ bi-fold solution includes everything we need from the running gear, to handles, profile cylinders and locks, right down to magnetic catches. We can either order from VBH per kit, or in bulk alongside all the other window and residential door hardware that we source from them.”
greenteQ Clearspan is now the hardware system of choice for many bi-fold door manufacturers. One of the reasons that so many use the system is that it is covered by VBH’s Q-secure hardware guarantee, giving end users a free 10 year security guarantee.
Jason concludes, “We’re picking up new business all the time from PVCu fabricators who don’t want to miss out on the aluminium boom, and also from fellow aluminium guys who are over capacity. We can always find room in the production schedules but we need a quick turnaround on our hardware orders to enable us to be so flexible. Phil Thomas and the team at VBH Swansea can always be relied upon to get our ironmongery to us when we need it.”
For more information on Nova’s product range, and also a crash course in Bristolian dialect, please visit nova-aluminium.com or call 0117 955 6463. Visit vbhgb.com, follow @vbhgb and @vbhgreenteQ or call 01634 263 300 for more information on VBH’s hardware range and to find out how they can make ordering your hardware easier.
This item first appeared in the industry press during January 2020
VBH (GB) Managing Director Simon Monks talks about the past year for the business and how, in spite of all the uncertainty in 2019, the hardware company has enjoyed successful results thanks to its focus on customer trends.
2019: how uncertainty gave rise to a year of success and #InnovationWithoutLimits
If there is one word that could define 2019, it’s uncertainty. At this point last year, we weren’t sure how Brexit would resolve itself – and we still aren’t! And things are even more tumultuous as I write this in early December. The outcome of a closely contested General Election is far from certain and the result could mean a huge change for the country. However, if 2019 has proved anything it’s that uncertainty is not necessarily something to fear – it’s been a year of growth for VBH – but it pays to keep an eye on industry and consumer trends.
VBH has always closely monitored trends and in 2019 we noticed three things that have been crucial to our success this year:
The premium end of the market is driving growth
While the budget to mid-range market is plateauing, homeowners at the premium end of the market are still spending. After noticing this trend, we knew we needed to diversify and increase our range of aspirational products – so we added 11 new products to our range this year.
For example, the trend towards large expanses of glass and the uninterrupted views they offer, has led to a boom in the lift and slide doors market. Due to their increased weight, they need hardware up to the job, so we developed the greenteQ Clearlift lift and slide hardware system and Aspire handle range for just such doors. Aspire is already hugely popular, thanks in part to its flexibility and nine finishes. Aspire is the perfect handle to operate even the heaviest lift and slide doors whether they be aluminium, PVC-U, or timber. And while it is the ideal handle to use with our new greenteQ Clearlift range, it also works with 3rd party lift and slide systems.
We soft-launched Clearlift at May’s FIT Show with a prototype gear and in the intervening months it’s been further developed and refined. It has recently undergone extensive testing, ready for a full introduction to the market in 2020.
Homeowners have fallen in love with aluminium
After 30 years of PVC-U being the top material in the windows and doors market, aluminium is seeing a definite resurgence. Installers and homeowners looking for something different with a premium edge have fallen in love with aluminium’s slim sightlines, huge colour opportunities, and its contemporary style.
As a result, our Clearspan range for aluminium bi-folds - everything from running gear, hinges, and catches to handles and locks - is enjoying great success. We focused on evolving the range in 2019 and have introduced a number of improvements. This included undertaking PAS24 testing so we can now supply security or standard versions of Clearspan from stock. The Aspire range also includes an intermediate Aspire handle, giving fabricators a third choice alongside greenteQ Slimfold and Centrefold.
Customers still appreciate reliability
No matter what the political climate, some things simply don’t change – such as the reassurance offered by a quality guarantee. Our straightforward Q-secure security guarantee applies to all relevant greenteQ products and covers costs and compensation if a property is broken into because of hardware failure. Installers buy from an Approved Manufacturer and pass the guarantee on to the end-customer. This offers the homeowner peace of mind, which is in itself a useful sales aid to the installer. The qualifying condition of regular maintenance also keeps the installer in touch with their customers, offering the chance for additional sales or up-selling.
VBH’s security guarantee offers our installer customers a clear competitive advantage and it’s so important that we are planning further upgrades for the guarantee in 2020. More and more fabricators are signing up to be an Approved Q-secure manufacturer.
Improvements to our existing offering and our new products have all been developed to address changing market conditions and have helped us achieve strong growth in 2019. We will continue to watch the sector carefully in 2020 and ensure we respond to maximise opportunities for our customers.
If you want to switch to the hardware supplier who’ll give your business the competitive edge in 2020, visit www.vbhgb.com or follow @VBHgreenteQ.
This article first appeared in Windows Active magazine in Januarty 2020
Specialist Aluminium Fabricator RayDek Window Services Limited recently celebrated 21 years of supplying high quality windows, doors and curtain walling products for commercial, construction and domestic installations throughout the UK.
As well as supplying finished products, RayDek also offers an installation service and provides full maintenance programs from their South Shields base.
The company began a relationship with VBH in 2002 and now sources a wide selection of products from the award winning hardware specialist.
Director Raymond Boundy says “We’re a busy company with a hard won reputation for quality and reliability. As such, we need a strong and flexible supply chain. We can rely on VBH to supply what we want, and on time. They keep us informed of new product trends and they are also very clued up on changes to legislation and standards. Their Area Sales Manager, Des Turnbull, is always on hand, or a quick call to Lesley Mills in the Customer Services Team always leads to a quick response.”
RayDek use many greenteQ products on their windows and doors, and like many manufacturers, they have switched to greenteQ Clearspan hardware on their aluminium bi-fold doors. As an approved Q-secure manufacturer, the company can offer customers a free 10 year security guarantee on their bi-folds.
Raymond concludes, “VBH have a wide range of products from their own greenteQ range and other brands such as Yale, but they are more than just a supplier. They believe in working with us in a true partnership. The Q-secure guarantee is a prime example of them supporting us in our quest for new business at no cost to us. You can’t stand still in business if you want to succeed, and it’s support such as this has led us to work with VBH for much of our very successful 21 years in business.”
For more information on RayDek’s services and products, please visit raydek.com or call 0191 454 1188. Visit vbhgb.com, follow @vbhgb and @vbhgreenteQ or call 01634 263 300 to find out how VBH can make ordering your hardware easier.
This article first appeared in the industry press from December 2019.
VBH has won the Product Innovation award at the 35th running of the prestigious Medway Business Awards.
The awards were set up to fanfare the rejuvenation of the Medway area following the devastating closure of the Royal Navy Dockyard in 1984, which cost the Towns a huge amount of jobs.
This is the first time that VBH has entered, and the judges were impressed with what they saw during their visit to our Gillingham head office in September.
The award is in recognition of our greenteQ product development, particularly on our Lifestyle products that include Clearspan bi-fold gear, Clearlift Lift/Slide hardware and associated Aspire handles, all of which are on display in our offices.
The winners were announced at a gala dinner at Gillingham FC’s impressive Priestfield Stadium banqueting hall on 15th November.
A great time was had by all.
The MBA award now sits alongside our G18 Component Supplier of the Year and National Fenestration Awards Hardware Company of the Year titles.
VBH has been named as a finalist in the National Locksmith Awards in the Hardware category.
This is in recognition not only of our locksmith-friendly products, including the greenteQ Gamma and TS007 Q-Star profile cylinders, but also of the outstanding customer service levels enjoyed by VBH customers across all sectors.
The winner is decided by an online vote. Please vote for VBH herehttps://locksmithawards.com/nla-voting/
Voting closes at 22.00 on 29th November and the winner will be unveiled during Winners’ Week w/c 2nd December.
We have also made the final shortlist at the Construction Marketing Awards (CMAs). This reflects the hard work that we have undertaken over the last 12 months in partnership with MRA Associates to increase awareness of our products, and the greenteQ brand as a whole.
The CMAs are judged by a panel of independent industry leaders and the winners will be announced at a gala dinner in London on 28th November.
Wish us and MRA the best of luck.
“Nothing short of excellent” is the motto VBH takes when it comes to customer service and the leading hardware supplier was not disappointed when it recently conducted a customer satisfaction survey. The study confirmed high levels of satisfaction across the board, with VBH’s Technical Team and Customer Service Coordinators achieving the excellent score of 95% for their response times. This level of customer satisfaction has been further cemented by VBH winning ‘Hardware Company of The Year’ in the National Fenestration Awards.
In a few areas where satisfaction dropped below ‘Excellent’ VBH investigated immediately. For example, ‘Product Packaging upon arrival at destination’ was rated at only 85% by some customers, which identified room for improvement. After dialogue with those customers, VBH traced the source of the problem to the carrier, which hadn’t handled deliveries correctly on certain routes. As a result, VBH has taken steps to improve deliveries by trialling different carriers.
Louise Eagle, Customer Service Leader at VBH says: “This survey has provided the team and senior management with valuable insight into our customers’ views and ways we can improve our service. We keep a close eye on customer satisfaction, and the survey gives a fantastic overview of how the team is helping UK fabricators and installers. The vast majority of customers are delighted with VBH’s service, and it’s important we continue to make positive changes. Often small tweaks can make all the difference to improving the business and making our customers’ lives easier.”
For more information about VBH visit www.vbhgb.com, follow @vbhgb and @vbhgreenteQ or call 01634 263300.
This story first appeared in the industry press in November 2019
We are delighted to have been unveiled as Hardware Company of the Year in the prestigious National Fenestration Awards this week.
We secured over half the votes to win the awards for the first time, following on from our victory in the G18 Awards as the Component Supplier of the Year.
We see this as recognition of the supreme effort that the whiole VBH team puts into providing great customer service, and also the excellent products that we supply, not least our own greenteQ range.
Thank you to everyone who voted for VBH.
‘Hardware Company of 2019’ at the National Fenestration Awards, VBH GB, adds more choice to its own-brand greenteQ Suite with new Kappa numerals and letters, available in numbers 0-9 and letters A-D.
Stylish and hardwearing, the new door furniture is made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel and comes in a choice of 10 finishes, including contemporary brushed stainless steel and the new Enduro Steel and Antique Black, to complement all door styles. At 3” high, the numerals are clearly visible but don’t dominate or detract from decorative features on the door.
VBH Managing Director Simon Monks says: “We’re constantly innovating and expanding our greenteQ suite to give VBH customers an edge over their competitors. Our new Kappa numerals and letters are another great addition to the range. They come in an impressive choice to suit both contemporary and traditional doors, and are backed by our 10-year corrosion and mechanical guarantee for extra peace of mind. Each set comes in a sealed bag with colour-matched fixings to make ordering and installation as simple as possible.”
The greenteQ Suite is a growing family of innovative window and door furniture, colour-matched for a seamless and integrated look. To find out more about the full suite call 01634 263300, visit www.vbhgb.com and follow @vbhgreenteq.
This text first appeared in the industry press during October and December 2019
VBH (GB) is celebrating seven award nominations this autumn. The leading hardware manufacturer has been shortlisted for three awards at the G-Awards 2019 and for The National Fenestration Awards (NFAs), and makes the shortlist in the Medway Business Awards too!
For the G-Awards, VBH is a finalist again for Component Supplier of The Year – which they won in 2018 – and also for Customer Care Initiative and Unsung Hero with Goods In Team Leader, Lee Pollard. Lee has worked with VBH for 34 years, making him one of the longest serving staff members at the company.
The National Fenestration Awards (NFAs) sees VBH nominated for Best Hardware Company and shortlisted in two people categories - Young Person and Social Networker of the Year – both with Area Sales Manager for the North West Tyler Shutts. Voting continues until Friday, 11th October at: www.fenestrationawards.co.uk/nfa19/
Finally, VBH’s strong service and support culture led to the company reaching the finals in the Medway Business Awards. Judges visited the Gillingham HQ earlier in September to review the business.
Simon Monks, Managing Director at VBH says: “I’m extremely proud of my team’s achievements and continuing dedication in customer care and support, with initiatives such as Csat scoring questionnaires for customers, and our Technical Team on standby for systems houses, fabricators and installers to help with any queries. These nominations are down to our fantastic staff and the brilliant culture in our business. It’s a privilege to be recognised in these nominations, and we’re keeping our fingers firmly crossed for some wins!”
For more information on VBH, visit www.vbhgb.com and follow @VBHGB.
Two new Area Sales Representatives at leading hardware supplier VBH, Harriet Adams and Gareth Dix, are proving themselves more than capable in driving new business and offering great customer service.
Harriet Adams has now been with VBH for a little over a year. As a newcomer to the industry, Harriet underwent a thorough induction period shadowing Regional Sales Manager for the South, Dan Powell. Covering the south-east of the country from Kent and Hampshire, up to Oxfordshire and parts of London, Harriet has developed a sound understanding of window and door hardware and has been involved in customer training sessions for complex products such as Invisifold alongside Wayne Hewlett, one of the company’s Technical Support Team members.
Harriet has taken a special interest in VBH’s ‘lifestyle’ hardware and systems, and she has enjoyed particular success with greenteQ Clearspan hardware for aluminium bi-folds. Harriet is now generating new business with fabricators by promoting the suiting possibilities with the recently-extended greenteQ suited range of window, door and patio furniture. Dan says: “Harriet’s strong desire to succeed came across at interview and that immediately impressed us. Her performance is backing up that desire and I’ve received nothing but great feedback from her customers.”
Gareth Dix, who covers the Midlands, joined VBH in December, having spent several years at another hardware manufacturer within their internal sales team. His vast experience of the industry enabled Gareth to ‘hit the ground running’, and he has built a strong rapport with customers. VBH Regional Sales Manager - North, Adrian Gale says: “Gareth’s industry knowledge and experience in his customer service job has enabled him to transfer well into the external sales role with VBH and build good relationships with new and existing customers. Gareth has a perfect blend of experience and infectious enthusiasm that is seeing him achieve some excellent results.”
Simon Monks, Managing Director of VBH says: “Neither Harriet nor Gareth are stereotypical ‘hard sell’ salespeople. Our sales team is made up of a healthy mix of ‘well-seasoned’ guys who have many years’ experience at VBH, and newcomers like Harriet and Gareth who are offering great service to their customers that the whole team at VBH backs up through action. They all learn from each other, and have the skills to really nurture their customers, forming partnerships. That’s the VBH way, and I’m proud of the team that represents VBH.”
Are you a UK-based fabricator who would be interested in meeting with one of the team to find out about the full hardware offering from VBH? Call 01634 263 300, direct-message @vbhgb or visit www.vbhgb.com.
This text first appeared in the industry press during September and October 2019
Total Profiles was founded in 1987 as a trade fabricator supplying local builders and installers, and within a few years this extended to a retail offering. The Hampshire-based fabricator has used VBH hardware products from the beginning and enjoyed a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership.
“From the offset it was decided that quality would always come first”, says Steve Flavell, who joined the family business in 2016 as Sales & Marketing Director. “That’s why we chose Rehau for PVC-U profile, and VBH (then known as Wagner) for the best quality hardware. After 31 years and many changes in the industry, we’re still loyal to these two brands.”
VBH supplies Total Profiles with hardware for residential doors, stable doors, outward opening casement windows, patio doors and tilt/turn windows. The fabricator chooses hardware from VBH’s own greenteQ range including Gamma and Q-star profile cylinders, door hinges and tilt/turn handles. According to Steve, greenteQ’s choice of 12 furniture finishes is another benefit for Total Profiles: “We order all greenteQ finishes, as both our trade and retail customers really appreciate the wide choice of colours and use it to their advantage. Overall trends for the last 18-24 months have seen a huge increase in grey windows, doors and bi-folds as well as flush windows. The greenteQ range complements this with on-trend finishes such as Anthracite Grey.”
Product is half the story and VBH’s outstanding service is key to this successful partnership. Steve adds: “VBH is always available for both sales and technical support, with Harriet Adams, Area Sales Representative, and Karen Campbell, Customer Service Co-ordinator, looking after our account with visits and calls. Colin Russell from VBH’s in-house Technical Team has been brilliant for any ‘out of the box’ technical issue with a non-standard piece of hardware.
“VBH’s service and support, along with the extensive product range, scores a 10/10 from us.”
Want to know how VBH greenteQ and third-party brand hardware can make ordering and installing hardware easier for your business? Visit www.vbhgb.com, follow @vbhgb and @vbhgreenteQ or call 01634 263 300.
This article first appeared in the industry press during October & November 2019
Bouyed by our success in being crowned as Component Supplier of the Year at the G-18 awards in November, we entered the prestigious Medway Business Awards this year for the very first time.
We are delighted to announce that in the face of very stiff competition from some excellent local businesses, we have reached the final at the first time of asking. Our entry was based very much around our efforts to provide excellence in all that we do, with a particular focus on customer service.
We're now looking forward to the Gala awards evening at Gillingham FC's Priestfield Stadium to find out if we've won.
Great work by the team in getting this far, with particular thankls to Sarah Talbot and Louise Eagle for putting together our entry.
One of the biggest changes in the past few years has been the shift in consumer expectations. Homeowners are moving away from standard white windows and doors to coloured profile, composite doors and aspirational products such as slide and fold doors and windows. Consumers want to enhance and add value to their homes and they now have a huge choice of products and materials to choose from. Choice is crucial and while one homeowner’s dream purchase may be a sleek aluminium bi-fold, another will love the look of high-performance timber windows.
Hardware is sometimes overlooked but nothing spoils a beautiful new window or bi-fold door like clunky, mismatched handles. The small details count and the right range of window and door furniture gives fabricators and installers a big sales advantage.
With this in mind, we developed our greenteQ range of suited hardware. It’s all about giving fabricators, installers and end-users more choice across a range of materials and we’re constantly adding new products to fill certain gaps in the market. Recent launches at the FIT Show in May included two new finishes, Enduro Steel and Antique Black, bringing the number of finishes available up to 12 – and they’re all suited. In addition, the Q-Smart Handle, outward opening window locking systems, Clearlift hardware for lift/slide patio doors, our 3-star profile cylinder, and concealed stainless-steel casement hinge, as well as a brand new tilt and turn system were all introduced this year!
Coastline – designed for the harshest environments
VBH listens to customers, and we’ve developed several new products at the specific request of a system house or fabricator. For example, we received feedback from a number of potential customers based near the coast who told us that they were experiencing problems with pitting on their current furniture. This is more common in coastal or industrial areas where moisture can get under the coating of external door furniture and cause the surface to pit or erode. Our solution was to develop greenteQ Coastline, a stainless-steel furniture range designed to withstand the harshest conditions.
All Coastline furniture is made from hard-wearing, corrosion-resistant austenitic grade 304 stainless steel. In tests, it’s subjected to more than 1,000 hours salt spray testing to BS EN ISO 9227, so it’s well equipped to stand up to the harshest conditions. The products suit doors of all styles and materials, including composite, PVC-U, timber and aluminium. Coastline comes in a choice of brushed or polished stainless steel, along with a PVD gold finish, with satin and polished stainless-steel hinges. The suite comprises our long back-plate lever/lever door handle, a brand-new letterbox and Victorian urn door knockers with optional viewing holes. Coastline’s wide range of brushed pull handles and cylinder rosettes are perfect for contemporary composite, aluminium doors, with auto-engage locking systems. The whole range can be offered as an upgrade from standard furniture with all the same fixing centres.
Product is just half the story…
We know fabricators need more than just great products so we offer service and support to match. Dedicated account managers are always on hand to help and VBH’s Technical Team is also available during office hours for any product or specification queries. We have an exhaustive BSI testing programme so fabricators can sell our products with confidence that they meet current PAS24 requirements. All of the greenteQ range is backed up with a 10-year performance and corrosion guarantee, and Coastline goes one step beyond any other supplier, offering a 25-year guaranteed performance.
What’s more, where relevant, greenteQ products are covered by our Q-secure Guarantee, set up to give fabricators and installers an additional tool in their sales arsenal. This comprehensive security guarantee pays homeowners direct in the event of a break-in caused by hardware failure. There are no get-out clauses or quibbling. It’s a powerful selling tool, and a great way for fabricators to build relationships with installers. Approved manufacturers can add their details to the www.qsecure.co.uk interactive map to help attract new installer customers.
For more information on the wide selection of products in the greenteQ range, visit www.vbhgb.com or call 01634 263263 to arrange a visit. Head to www.qsecure.co.uk to learn more about the Q-secure Guarantee and becoming an Approved Manufacturer.
This article first appeared in the October issue of The Fabricator magazine
Building on our forthcoming appearances in the finals of the Medway Business Awards and 3 categories of the National Fenestration Awards (Hardware Company, Social Networker – Tyler Shutts and Young Person – Tyler Shutts), we have reached the final in 3 categories at the G19 Awards.
We are once again in the final of Component Supplier of the Year (the award we won in 2018), and we are in the final of Customer Care Initiative at the first time of asking.
We also entered for the Unsung Hero Award. These are people who work tirelessly for their companies but don’t generally have the spotlight shone on them outside of their own workplace. We are delighted to advise that Lee Pollard, our Goods In Team Leader, has made the final.
These nominations reflect the great effort that the entire VBH team puts in to ensure that our customers receive the best customer service in the industry.
The winners will be announced at London's Park Lane Hilton on 29th November.
We are delighted to announce that we have received no less than 3 nominations at this year's National Fenestration Awards, voted for by you, the people of the industry.
As a company, VBH is a finalist in the Hardware Company of the Year category.
Additionally, our Area Sales Manager for the north of England, Tyler Shutts, has reached the final in both the Young Person and Social Networker of the Year categories. We're so proud of her.
You can vote for VBH and Tyler here:
The greenteQ Aspire hardware range, designed for contemporary sliding doors, has been expanded to include a new Bi-fold Intermediate Handle, Sprung Door Handle and Escutcheon Plates. Both handles are available in nine finishes, including the new Enduro Steel and Brushed Graphite.
Designed to operate locks on the intermediate points of a bi-fold, the Aspire Intermediate Handle uses 43mm fixing centres, matching most intermediate locks in the market. It is suitable for use on aluminium, PVC-U and timber bi-folds and, standing at only 16mm from the face of the profile, allows the sashes to fold back neatly in the fully open position.
Aspire Sprung Door Handles and Escutcheon Plates have been designed for use on aluminium residential and bi-fold doors, with a strong spring ensuring the lever always returns to the 90˚position.
Rob Norman, Lifestyle Product Manager at VBH says: “We introduced the Aspire furniture range to complement our hardware offering for on-trend ‘Grand Designs’ styled, oversized and heavy sashes. With the trend showing no signs of slowing, the addition of the Intermediate Handle and Sprung Door Handles/Escutcheons means homeowners can benefit from stylish, contemporary hardware on their front door and rear bi-fold. Our 10-year corrosion and mechanical guarantee comes as standard, and fabricators and installers can order online via VBH24, or call their local Area Sales Manager for a demonstration of the range.”
For more information on the Aspire suite, visit www.vbhgb.com, call 01684 263300 and follow @vbhgreenteQ for the latest updates.
Simon Monks, Managing Director of hardware distributor VBH (GB), says when it comes to security homeowners want peace of mind. So how can installers provide this on top of a great product range and service?
Although police do still investigate domestic burglaries, it’s becoming increasingly common to find there is little effort put into solving cases where there is sparse evidence to follow up. Even with CCTV images some police forces don’t have the resources to make enquiries. Although a break-in is devastating for the victim, it seems police no longer treat it as a high-profile crime and often hold out no hope of an arrest or recovery of property. Some police forces have disbanded their dedicated burglary squads – Avon and Somerset, Bexley and Bromley among them – while in rural areas the first response to crime might be handled from a call centre 30 or 40 miles away. Meanwhile, crime is up. Or is it down? Different methods of recording crime lead to conflicting reports, which adds to unease about the threat of break-ins. According to the ONS, the average person in England has a 2.4% chance of being burgled so the risk could be said to be relatively small – but that doesn’t stop homeowners feeling vulnerable. If you, or someone nearby has been burgled – you can check this online on Police.uk – your chances of being targeted increase.
So how can you reassure your homeowner customers without scaremongering? The answer is to be positive. Focus on how to keep would-be burglars out. Point out the advantages of installing good quality locks and hardware, backed by a sound guarantee. Checking out the detail of a guarantee is the crucial element. Many appear to be comprehensive but on closer examination are anything but. Small print, legal jargon, get-out clauses and exclusions confuse the homeowner and can make it almost impossible to make a claim.
We have confidence in the performance of our range. Our own brand greenteQ and distributed brands from Hoppe, Maco, Roto, Securistyle, Siegenia and Yale have all been included in our PAS24 test programme at BSI, so we know they work the way they are supposed to. That’s why we came up with Q-secure – a unique no-quibble guarantee – to back our products. Q-secure is the most comprehensive on the market, designed specifically to cut through all the smoke and mirrors and offer a straightforward deal. It’s the only MULTI-BRAND guarantee, covering windows or doors from certified Q-secure fabricators, whether they are using hardware from VBH’s greenteQ range or from the 3rd party brands mentioned earlier, just as long as they are manufactured in accordance with our Document Q specification.
Q-secure simply promises that if a property is broken into and the intrusion is down to the failure of a product covered by the guarantee, we will pay your customers up to £3,250 direct. This includes an immediate payment of up to £250 to help towards the cost of a locksmith to make the home secure, up to £1000 towards the cost of repairing or replacing the door or window, up to £1000 towards the customer’s insurance excess and a goodwill payment of £1000 to help alleviate the distress caused by a break in. The guarantee goes a long way to giving the homeowner peace of mind.
Helping you sell
The homeowner benefits from Q-secure, but so does the installer. It’s a great selling tool which helps you stand out from the competition. If the customer is choosing between installers, the one who can offer not just great products but also a reliable guarantee will have the edge. We believe that offering your customers Q-secure will help you achieve more business. And the benefit to the installer goes beyond the initial sale. A condition of the Q-secure guarantee is that the hardware is checked and lubricated at least once every six months in accordance with the care instructions supplied by the installer; a log book is provided to keep a record. While it’s perfectly possible for the homeowner to do this, the installer can also agree to perform the check, keeping him in touch with his customer and front of mind for any future project or recommendation.
Approved Q-secure fabricators are located throughout England, Scotland and Wales, and new manufacturers are signing up, so there will be a provider within reach of most businesses. Mark Hutchinson, MD of trade fabricator Tradesmith, says: “We’re delighted to be part of Q-secure. We supply high-end, quality products, which we are confident will perform well for many years. This additional guarantee is an extra benefit for our installer customers. We don’t expect their homeowner customers will ever have to claim, but it adds to their confidence and peace of mind.”
For more information or to find your nearest Q-secure Approved Manufacturer (fabricator) visit www.qsecure.co.uk.
This article first appeared in the September issue of Total Installer magazine.
VBH has enjoyed a successful partnership with aluminium fabricator Fentrade since it started in 2018. Founding Director Chris Reeks set up Fentrade to supply customers with superb products, excellent service and reliable deliveries. An industry expert with over 30 years’ experience, Chris chose VBH as main hardware supplier from day one. Fentrade now uses the VBH’s Clearspan system, Alpha standard and slim handles, Q-Star 1* profile cylinders, all from the greenteQ range.
Chris explains: “I’ve worked with VBH for many years and I went straight to them when I sent up Fentrade. Our two companies share the same ethos and focus on quality and service. VBH offers us excellent support, service and products and their experience and knowledge are invaluable – they know what partnership means!
“We use greenteQ’s Clearspan system on our bifolds – it’s good, robust and easy to work with. All greenteQ products are consistently high quality, well made and the colour range complements nicely with all our aluminium products, from commercial shop front systems to domestic windows and doors.”
Simon Monks, Managing Director at VBH says: “Fentrade has grown fast in a short space of time and it’s great to be working with a like-minded company.
“VBH is committed to supplying products for the growing aluminium market; in fact, aluminium has always been an important part of our business since we started supplying the UK in 1975! The market has developed from mostly supplying hardware for commercial aluminium tilt-and-turn windows to offering products for all types of residential and commercial aluminium installations. Aluminium is definitely a growth area, accounting for 25% of total VBH sales, and we’ve recently joined the Council for Aluminium in Building (CAB) to confirm our commitment to this sector.”
VBH’s ‘aluminium champion’, Systems Sales Manager Rob Norman, works closely with fabricators like Fentrade and aluminium systems houses to develop new products and finishes. Rob is closely involved with the research and development and technical teams and oversees the exhaustive testing program at BSI, so customers can be confident that products meet current PAS24 requirements and will perform well for years. All greenteQ products come with a 10-year performance and corrosion guarantee, and the upgraded Coastline range has an industry leading 25-year guarantee.
For more information on Fentrade visit www.fentradealuminium.co.uk. For more on VBH see www.vbhgb.com or call 01634 263263.
This article first appeared in the industry trade press from June - August 2019.
Simon Monks talks about the latest trends in aluminium door and window hardware
"Aluminium is trending, and the aluminium doors and windows market is forecast to grow. Aluminium patio doors in particular have become very popular, with aluminium bi-folds and large slimline multi-pane sliders regularly featuring in the ‘Grand Designs’ look sought by aspirational homeowners and architects. But it’s not just for high-end contemporary properties. Specifiers often think first of aluminium windows for student accommodation and apartment blocks before other materials get a look in.
Aluminium has always been an important part of our business at VBH. When we first started supplying the UK in 1975, our offering for aluminium was mainly hardware for commercial aluminium tilt-and-turn windows, supplying Roto and Siegenia systems. We still supply them, but these days we offer many more products suitable for all types of residential and commercial aluminium installations. Aluminium is a growth area for VBH, and now accounts for 25% of our business. To underline our commitment to the sector we have recently joined the Council for Aluminium in Building (CAB). CAB is dedicated to promoting the use of aluminium in building and working with standards, regulation and practice within the sector.
VBH developed the greenteQ range to fill any gaps we’d noticed in the market, and aluminium was recognised as an important material to cater for. Two of the first greenteQ products were aimed squarely at the aluminium market, with the Epsilon 13mm faceplate espagnolette, and Viper Bi-Part shootbolt being developed for slim aluminium casement profiles. That ‘toe dipped in the water’ was followed by total immersion when, in 2013, we launched Clearspan hardware for slimline aluminium bi-fold doors. In response to customer demand we have gone on to develop the range to include magnets, restrictors and locking systems in standard and PAS24 security versions, and added the Clearline and Aspire handle ranges to complement it.”
But simply offering new products is not enough. Fabricators want hardware that is suitable for aluminium, PVC-U and timber, so they don’t have to use space and money stocking different sets for each material. They also want a choice of colour and finish. Colour has always been part of the appeal of aluminium, with many companies offering an ‘any RAL’ option. We now supply 12 colours across the greenteQ aluminium range, launching two new finishes – Enduro Steel and Antique Black – at the FIT Show, which were very well received.
While Wayne Hewlett in Technical Sales Support is available to advise on and demonstrate all VBH products, our own ‘aluminium champion’, VBH Systems Sales Manager Rob Norman, works closely with aluminium systems houses to develop new products and finishes, both for their own use and for fabricators. He’s closely involved with our research & development and technical teams and oversees our exhaustive testing program at BSI, so customers can be confident that products meet current PAS24 requirements and will perform well for years. All greenteQ products come with a 10-year performance and corrosion guarantee, and the upgraded Coastline range has an industry leading 25-year guarantee.
Tested products such as Clearspan are included in our flagship Q-secure guarantee – it can be used as a sales tool; installers can choose from Approved Manufacturers who fabricate aluminium via www.qsecure.co.uk.
Aluminium fabricator Fentrade uses VBH for hardware on their commercial and residential products. Chris Reeks, a 30 -year veteran of the trade, started the company in 2018. He came straight to VBH as he’d had great experience of working with us at a previous company."
Chris comments: “We use the Clearspan system – it’s good, robust and easy to work with. The greenteQ products are well made and the colour range works well with all our aluminium products, from commercial shop front systems to domestic windows and doors. Fentrade and VBH share the same ethos. They offer us excellent support, service and products and their experience and knowledge are invaluable – they get how business works.”
This article first appeared in the June issue of Glass & Glazig Products magazine.
VBH has created an attractive new rollfold brochure to showcase the wide choice of finishes available across its greenteQ range. The breadth of products and finishes, coupled with a market-leading guarantee, shows VBH at the forefront of hardware innovation.
Fabricators and installers will find the brochure a great selling tool and useful reference guide. VBH’s greenteQ suite spans outward opening windows, residential doors, Tilt & Turn windows, inline sliding patio, lift/slide & bi-fold doors, and the Invisifold Slide & Fold hardware system for doors and windows. All greenteQ products are covered by a 10-year corrosion and security guarantee, with the Coastline range boasting an industry leading 25-year guarantee, and 1,000 hours salt spray testing.
VBH’s new brochure is designed to be a handy guide to show the breakdown of colours and finishes available. These include the ‘new for 2019’ Enduro Steel and Antique Black, as well as White, Black, Anthracite Grey, Silver, Polished Gold, PVD Gold, Polished Chrome, Satin Chrome, Smokey Chrome, both Polished and Brushed stainless steel, and Brushed Nickel.
The brochure also gives information on VBH’s Q-secure guarantee, which covers homeowners for up to £3,250 in the event of a break-in as a result of hardware failure.
Simon Monks, Managing Director at VBH, says: “Our latest brochure really shows the strength of the greenteQ range, in terms of both products and choice of finishes. Our team is continually researching and developing new products in line with the latest market trends or customer demand. We also work closely with fabricators to create bespoke hardware solutions and ensure PAS24 and Document Q standards are met.”
For your copy of the new brochure, speak to your VBH Area Sales Manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a posted copy.
This story first appeared in the industry press during May and June 2019.
To show its continued commitment to aluminium fabricators and installers, VBH has joined the Council for Aluminium in Building (CAB). CAB is dedicated to promoting the use of aluminium in building and working with standards, regulation and practice within this sector.
Aluminium is a growth area for VBH, and now accounts for 25% of the business. The company offers a plethora of hardware solutions for aluminium windows, including outward opening casement windows, Tilt & Turn windows, reversible windows and VBH’s greenteQ Suite and Coastline furniture ranges, with 10 and 25-year guarantees respectively. The upgraded Coastline range is made from 304 grade stainless-steel, offering excellent corrosion resistance in four finishes.
For aluminium doors, VBH’s greenteQ Aspire handle range is suitable for large and heavy aluminium sashes and comes in 9 finishes to suit any colour sash. In addition, the Clearspan bi-fold door hardware has been designed for use specifically on slimline aluminium systems. Its own slimline design is unobtrusive and maximises the clean lines of aluminium installations. Nordic Aluminium, based in Leeds is one of many VBH customers who use greenteQ’s Clearspan hardware. Graham Howatson, Nordic’s Operations Director, comments: “VBH has worked alongside us to meet PAS24 test standards, mandatory on new build houses. It passed first time!”
Rob Norman, Systems Sales Manager, works closely with aluminium systems companies on new product development, testing for BSI and PAS24 and creating tailored product packages. Product training and technical support is also just a quick call or email away.
Simon Monks, Managing Director at VBH comments: “VBH’s commitment to the aluminium sector continues to grow and we’re looking forward to working in partnership with CAB to promote the use of aluminium in buildings. The CAB gives fabricators and installers some fantastic training and networking opportunities, and we’re pleased to be a part of it!”
Are you an aluminium fabricator or installer, looking to improve your hardware options? Call Rob Norman on 01634 263263, follow @VBHgreenteQ and visit www.vbhgb.com.
This story first appeared in the industry press during May and June 2019
Simon Monks, VBH (GB) Managing Director says, toxicity and corrosion can come from places you don’t expect
In the UK and globally, pollution is a huge problem. People may think this largely applies to huge industrial powerhouses in South Asia or developing countries that don’t have the resources Britain does, but over 2,000 locations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have levels of air pollution that exceed legal safety limits - millions of us are breathing toxic air.
We like to think we’re ‘safe’ indoors with our windows and doors closed, but air pollution is inside buildings too. We can see traffic fumes and we’re acclimatised to the idea that airports, major roads in cities, busy motorways and industrial areas spew out toxic fumes that breach legal safety limits. But it comes as a shock that in many of our homes, schools and hospitals we’re also breathing air that is well over the safety limit, and we can’t just shut it out.
Polluted, urbanised areas are experiencing higher-than-ever rates of asthma sufferers. The new Clean Air Strategy 2019 aims to create new legislation that will tackle air pollution and improve the nation’s health.
Pollution doesn’t just affect our health, it also affects the fabric of our homes. In improving energy efficiency, modern homes are becoming increasingly airtight, and without proper ventilation, condensation may lead to damage to walls, clothing and even corrosion of metals.
Most of us think air pollution is caused mostly by noxious diesel engines, other road emissions and burning fossil fuels, but there are many other sources causing serious levels of pollution in rural and coastal areas too. More than four-fifths of the UK’s eye-watering ammonia emissions come from muck-spreading in agriculture.
Despite sea air feeling ‘cleaner’ and bracing, buildings in coastal areas have to deal with lots of moisture and salt – a corrosive combination – that continually attack the property. And we’re a small island, so most – perhaps 70% - of Britain’s housing stock is within easy reach of sea air if the wind is blowing in the right direction. It’s not unknown to see hardware pitting and corroding within just a few months of being installed, if it’s not designed and made to withstand at least moderate levels of air pollution.
We’ve all seen examples of poorly designed and unprotected hardware that’s pitting, peeling, discolouring and flaking. Sometimes, if the coating is uneven or contaminated, or it’s left unprotected on site, moisture gets under the coating and it starts to fail even before it’s installed.
That’s why VBH developed a solution - stainless-steel versions of our standard furniture to avoid these problems. It’s a suite of hardware and fittings which withstand the harshest conditions. The greenteQ Coastline range is a set of stainless-steel door furniture designed for the air many of us live and work in.
The new Coastline furniture is made from hard-wearing, corrosion-resistant austenitic grade 304 stainless steel. In tests, it’s subjected to more than 1,000 hours salt spray testing to BS EN ISO 9227, so it’s well able to stand up to the harshest conditions. The products suit doors of all styles and materials, including composite, PVC-U, timber and aluminium. Coastline comes in a choice of brushed or polished stainless steel, along with PVD gold and chrome finishes, with satin and polished stainless-steel hinges. The suite comprises our long back-plate lever/lever door handle, a brand-new letterbox and Victorian urn door knockers with or without viewing holes. Coastline’s wide range of brushed pull handles and cylinder rosettes are perfect for contemporary composite, aluminium and auto-locking doors.
Coastline products are interchangeable with VBH’s standard Alpha, Omega and Kappa products so customers find it’s simple to upgrade existing doors. It also makes it easy to run two hardware lines, so installers can make a straightforward choice when buying.
Today’s atmosphere is more corrosive than it used to be, therefore most homes need to be protected with hardware that stays looking good for decades. Guarantees also needed to evolve to underpin the need help installers sell. So, Coastline comes with a 25-year guarantee.
Tradesmith, a trade fabricator based in Hailsham, supplies VBH greenteQ products to installers across the South East. So, most of Tradesmith’s customers sell to homeowners within 50 miles of the sea. Mark Hutchinson, MD, comments: “Our customers require hardware which performs well in harsh conditions, so we turned to VBH for help. In response to feedback from us and other customers, VBH came up with the greenteQ Coastline range which is perfect. It’s passed every test thrown at it. Installers love the 25-year guarantee, and the designs and overall quality are very popular with homeowners.”
The full Coastline range will be on display at FIT 2019, Stand Q20. Come and see it for yourself! We’ll be launching 11 new products at the show, so there will be lots to see.
For more information about how you can offer your customers the ‘Coastline hardware upgrade’ or to learn about how VBH can create bespoke solutions for your business, call 01634 263263, email email@example.com or visit www.vbhgb.com.
This article originally appeared in the April issue of Windows Active magazine
Sheffield Window Centre (SWC) manufactures high quality PVC-U windows, doors and conservatory products. It’s a family company, based in Sheffield, trading since 1975, and it has a long-standing relationship with VBH (GB), suppliers of hardware and ancillaries to the trade. SWC has built its reputation on delivering a reliable and trustworthy service, backed up with honest advice and first class customer service. As the MD, Ian Hunter says: “We have the latest machinery, hardware and software to produce the best products, but we still only sell in the old-fashioned way - no hassle, no pressure, just great value for money.”
Reliability is a by-word at SWC. Many of its employees have been there for 15+ years, providing a consistent level of service. Over the years, VBH has provided products and support to help SWC maintain its reliable reputation. As well as a great variety of first-class products with dependable deliveries from stock, VBH has helped with technical support for specification and testing. SWC uses a variety of greenteQ door and window hardware, as well as third-party products supplied by VBH.
Adrian Gale, VBH’s Regional Sales Manager, comments: “Our VBH24 webshop and product configurator make it easy for SWC to order the correct hardware for even the most complex installation. But in addition we are always happy to help with technical advice – particularly when products, or the regulations governing them, change. We have recently helped them with preparation for PAS24 testing for their windows and doors, by sharing our knowledge of tried and tested components and profiles – many of which SWC was already using – to ensure their testing went smoothly.”
Adrian’s contribution is recognised by Ian Hunter: “Adrian’s knowledge and experience mean that he has valuable insights into the industry – which he’s happy to pass on to us. This has helped with our growth over the years. We know we can rely on VBH for dependable products and support, which all goes to help us provide the high level of service we offer our customers.”
For more information on the tailored service on offer from VBH, visit www.vbhgb.com or call 01634 263263.
This article first appeared in the industry press in March 2019
Simon Monks, VBH (GB) Managing Director says even in today’s turbulent times installers can do very well. They just need the right products and support behind them.
Today’s political uncertainty is making for nervous times in the UK and the media is certainly painting a pretty bleak picture of the future post-Brexit. On the other hand, however, the construction sector continues to fare much better than expected and the home improvement market is positively buoyant. It’s actually a good time to be installing windows and doors – and installers who choose quality products have the best chance of winning sales.
The attraction of quality
The general slowdown in house sales alongside a healthy Repair and Maintenance Index (RMI), suggests that homeowners are choosing to make improvements to their current property instead of moving. They are looking for products that look good and add ‘wow’ factor, but one of the key considerations in any purchasing decision is quality. To the customer’s untrained eye, it can be hard to tell one company’s offering from another - until they look at the hardware. A clunky, mismatched handle spoils a sleek bi-fold, whereas a contemporary, high-quality handle adds the perfect finishing touch and sets installers apart from the competition.
With this in mind, VBH developed greenteQ, our own range of high quality, reliable hardware. We launched in 2009 in the face of stiff competition from established brands, and some fabricators and installers were wary of this ‘new kid on the block’. However, the brand is going from strength to strength as more fabricators and installers acknowledge the durability of greenteQ products in the field and make the switch. Many installers now insist their suppliers fit greenteQ hardware, and many more choose to buy their windows without handles and fit ours before installation.
Make selling easy with a powerful guarantee of security and performance
Security is a major concern for homeowners. Burglaries are distressing. Reports of under-funded police forces only solving 10% of break-ins, and in some cases not even investigating them, add to homeowners’ fears. Although the actual risk is low - in England there’s only a 2.4% chance of being burgled – reports on increasing crime colour people’s perceptions. And it’s perceptions, not risks, that set the context for selling.
The simple way to address security concerns is to install good quality locks and hardware, backed by a powerful guarantee.
We know the products we sell perform as they should so we developed a total security guarantee to give homeowners complete peace of mind, covering both greenteQ and other top brands supplied by VBH. If there’s a break-in due to hardware failure, VBH pays the homeowner up to £3,250. The Q-secure guarantee is simple, with no get-out clauses or quibbling. It provides practical help when the worst has happened, without the all too common small print exclusions which frustrate genuine claims.
Free to join, it’s a powerful benefit for installers selling to homeowners and a memorable advantage when homeowners are comparing quotes. The only requirement from the householder is that the locks and other hardware are maintained twice a year, which has the advantage of keeping them in touch with the installer should they decide to order more windows and doors. As Jayne Lovett of Climatec says: “Our customers can reassure their customers – the end-users - that the locks and handles on their new windows will be secure. It’s reassuring for the homeowner and a great selling point for the installer.”
Q-secure also provides cover against hardware corrosion and pitting for 10 years as standard and 25 years on the Coastline stainless-steel range, so homeowners can be sure their handles will stay looking beautiful for longer. Installers who sell quality products with quality guarantees are offering peace of mind to homeowners – an important advantage in turbulent times.
This year marks significant work anniversaries for several members of the VBH (GB) team, across the three UK depots. Between them, this amounts to over 250 years’ service! Simon Monks, Managing Director at VBH says: “The commitment to VBH shown by our staff is truly outstanding, and I’d like to thank all of our staff, from oldest to newest, for their contribution to VBH. I take it as a testament to the company that we have such loyal employees.”
Several people have been at the company since long before it was known as VBH. Robb Crampton (Commercial Manager - 34 Years), Colin Russell (Technical Advisor - 25 Years), Gary Gleeson (Marketing Manager -25 years), Lee Pollard (Goods In Team Leader - 34 years) and Lesley Mills (Customer Service Co-ordinator - 33 years) are all based at the company’s Kent HQ.
Other stalwarts from further afield include Allan Price (General Manager - Scotland & NI -30 years), Phil Thomas (Sales & General Manager – Wales & South West England - 25 years), Colin Thomas (Area Sales Manager for Wales - 30 years) and Mark Reid (East Kilbride Warehouse Supervisor - 20 years). When these team members joined, the company was still known as Wagner and some of their colleagues hadn’t yet been born!
Robb Crampton and Colin Russell both describe how the customers’ needs have always been at the heart of the company’s philosophy. Robb says: “When I started with VBH (Heinz Wagner back in the day) we fought hard to get the business working in a very competitive market. We have gone from strength to strength and now we’re one of the largest players in a multi-million-pound global industry. That to me proves the dedication of every member of staff, through the years, to give our customers what they want, when they need it and at a price that enables them to be competitive.”
Colin Russell echoes his comments: “When I joined the ethos of the company and indeed the technical department was always focused on customer service, offering the best products on the market and giving the best advice available. There have been many hardware and product changes over the years but our core values as a company remain the same.”
VBH Marketing Manager, Gary Gleeson says: “I’m 25 years into my second stint at VBH having originally joined the company in 1984. Genuinely, those years have flown by. This is due largely to the superb team here at VBH. Everyone is focused on getting it right for the customer and making VBH easy to deal with. Being part of that team and believing in the quality of the products that we sell, whether from our own greenteQ range or selected third party brands, makes coming to work a pleasure. Most of the time!”
Simon sums it up: “We often celebrate new appointments and recent promotions but I’d also like to salute the fantastic contribution our core staff make to the success of the company. We couldn’t do it without you!”
This article first appeared in the industry press during February 2019
VBH (GB) is pleased to announce several promotions and a new starter at the company, recognising the talents of the ‘next generation’ VBH team. This follows what the company describes as “a fantastic year of customer, team and product development capped by record months and the strongest Q4 since before the crash.”
A member of the Customer Service team for 12 years, Sarah Talbot moves into the newly created position of Internal Sales Manager, leading all three sales offices and working with the Regional Sales Managers to ensure excellence is delivered ‘as standard’. Sarah had previously been Customer Service Leader.
Louise Eagle, who joined VBH in 2012 as a Business Apprentice, has taken over leadership of the Customer Service Team in the Gillingham office. Louise will also be responsible for putting feedback systems in place to better understand and react to any customer issues and build on positive comments.
Within the Purchasing department, Karl Thompson, who also originally joined as a Business Apprentice has now been promoted from Purchasing Team Leader to Purchasing Manager, reporting directly to the Logistics Director. Karl manages the other members of the Purchasing team and oversees their activities, ensuring smooth delivery of stock on both greenteQ and third-party products.
Following a very successful induction period, Area Sales Representative Harriet Adams is now responsible for sales in the South East region. Her role involves visiting customers on a daily basis, keeping them abreast of new products, trends and regulations, and making sure that all aspects of the relationship between her customers and VBH run smoothly.
Vince Kay, Financial Director at VBH says: “We have always prided ourselves on the quality of products that we offer, but what really sets us apart from competitors is our service and our team. Our focus is on nurturing talent from within VBH, and in addition to our VBH stalwarts, we have great younger people coming through the ranks who have thrived on the extra responsibilities. By promoting them into their new roles, Louise, Sarah and Karl have the confidence to take on new responsibilities, express themselves and implement new processes that benefit everyone in the supply chain. Our recent win as Component Supplier of the Year at the G-Awards has shown that the industry already recognises us as a great supplier. However, we are always striving to become better!”
This article first appeared in the industry press during January and February 2019
Simon Monks, VBH (GB) Managing Director, talks about the past year for VBH (GB) and his predictions for 2019.
As a nation, we are all entering 2019, into the relative unknown of a long-drawn out EU divorce. So, while the economists are still predicting whether the ‘B’ word will inflate, deflate, pass the vote or fail miserably, Business News Daily’s three business trends for 2018 sparked my interest.
Businesses will further adapt to the modern customer
…offering more choice and a better user experience. VBH is no exception. This year, we’ve continued to look at ways to put the customer at the front of what we do, with more choice and a wider range aimed at those who are still spending. Consumer confidence in the housing market has slowed this year, and many are choosing to invest in their current property rather than move. This is good news for both suppliers and installers. After noticing this trend, we decided to diversify and increase our range of aspirational products – such as solutions for aluminium bi-folds in Clearspan or the Invisifold system for doors and windows. Lift-and-slide doors are also growing in popularity, across PVC-U, aluminium and timber, so the introduction of our new greenteQ Aspire handle, designed for even the heaviest door sashes, went down well.
Being able to replicate authentic original features is also something homeowners are looking for. ‘Heritage’ multipoint door locks – a modern secure lock with a shoulder-level key to mimic those found on older timber doors – are becoming more popular, for example. And more and more people are choosing flush sash windows and doors over standard versions.
But even installers who are still focusing on ‘standard’ doors can target the higher end of the market, by offering hardware upgrades, such as the Coastline range for anti-corrosion, or a TS007 greenteQ Alpha 2* handle combined with a Q-Star 1* cylinder.
Technology will not replace the human touch
…but it will go hand in hand with making your staff’s job easier. Our updated Product Configurator in the VBH24 Webshop, for example, helps users generate complicated hardware specifications for products such as tilt-and-turn windows, bi-folding doors, the Invisifold system, stable doors, lift/slide and tilt/slide patio doors. It covers greenteQ, Maco, Roto, Siegenia and Yale products across PVC-U, aluminium and timber fabrication. Specs are kept fully up to date when manufacturers make a change, and users only need to answer a few questions to generate the required hardware. The spec can then be exported straight into a shopping basket (a real time-saver) and sent to VBH as an order. The whole process only takes a minute or two - seconds if you’re using a previously saved spec - and can be done 24/7.
Genuine relationships trump technology
This, I wholeheartedly agree with. We still love to hear from customers via phone and email – with both the Customer Service and Technical Teams available for queries. And we’ve worked really hard this year with fabricators and installers to offer them a bespoke service, whether that’s testing their products to PAS24, setting up planned deliveries to ensure a regularly-used item is never out of stock, or even using our R&D department to create new products for customers. We want to make sure they are confident in our products, and their whole experience is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Winning Component Supplier of The Year at the G Awards was an absolute testament to our team’s hard work, as was being runner up in the NFA Hardware awards. Whether out on the road, in the office or the warehouse, ‘Team VBH’ always goes that extra mile to make fabricators’ and installers’ jobs easier.
So, what next for hardware?
The aspirational homeowner will bring lots of sales opportunities for those offering ‘above the norm’ in 2019. Here at VBH, we want to capitalise on our success in 2018, and keep introducing innovative solutions, expand our warehouse and R&D facilities and grow our team – keep your eyes peeled for announcements throughout the year!
This article first appeared in the January 2019 issue of Windows Active magazine
After two years of speculation, the only thing we can be certain of post-Brexit is uncertainty, says Simon Monks, VBH (GB) Managing Director
Since the 2016 referendum which saw UK voters decide to leave the European Union (EU), the nation has been left with more questions than answers. What will happen in March 2019 when our divorce from the EU is or should be finalised? Will this deadline be extended? Will a deal be reached? Should we prepare now for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit?
The uncertainty makes it difficult to prepare for the market post-Brexit, but the fenestration industry needs to address this now. In recent weeks, VBH (GB) has been asked by numerous customers and suppliers about the effects of Brexit and what we envisage going forward. Given that even the politicians involved in these discussions seem unable to offer a clear view of the future, I am not saying we can predict what the outcome will be.
However, I can offer VBH’s thoughts on the potential impact on the industry, taking into account product supply, consumer confidence, cost of raw materials, and the strength of our currency. I can also say that VBH is preparing for Brexit by taking steps to ensure we can continue to offer a premium service to our customers, whatever the outcome.
Currency fluctuations and raw material prices
The outcome of the referendum has had a negative impact on the strength of the GBP in relation to the Euro and US Dollar – and our industry has had to take steps such as currency surcharges and general price increases to compensate. Uncertainty makes markets nervous and it’s likely the value of the Pound will continue to fluctuate post-Brexit.
Similarly, whatever the outcome, it’s possible that the cost of raw materials will increase. VBH won’t ever compromise on product quality, so rising costs may have to be addressed through pricing. But this isn’t something we would do lightly, and we will continue to monitor the effect of currency fluctuations and carefully consider any adjustments that need to be made. VBH will always supply high quality products at competitive prices, continuing the ethos that we have had for over 35 years.
There has been a lot of speculation in the media about the impact of Brexit on consumer confidence and the current uncertainty does appear to be causing a tightening of homeowners’ purse strings. But what will this mean for the fenestration industry? It may not be as gloomy as the economic pundits are predicting. Aspirational products such as windows and doors have historically shown a tendency to flourish during seemingly tough times. This is because homeowners are less likely to move house at such times, but may well look to improve the standard of their home instead.
Since the referendum, VBH has seen a significant upswing in our aspirational product sales. Clearspan bi-folding door hardware, Invisifold Slide and Fold window and door hardware, and our Coastline suited-range of stainless-steel furniture, for example, have enjoyed a significant upturn in sales over the last 2 years.
Having a large range of products offers some shelter for window and door fabricators in a smaller market, but it adds complexity and cost to the business. VBH’s business strategy will be to continue to develop innovative new products. We will continue to supply a wide range to fabricators and installers who offer the windows and doors homeowners want to buy, regardless of the UK’s trading position with the EU.
We don’t know yet what trading conditions will be like between the UK and the EU, but it’s safe to assume there will be a short period of adjustment at least. Changes to customs processes and possible new tariff payments could result in logistical delays – and it’s essential for fenestration companies to prepare for this. VBH has developed sophisticated systems to maintain optimum inventory levels and ensure deliveries are met, no matter what. These systems ensured that even during our record sales month in July 2018, we maintained an OTIF standard of over 97%. We’re also working to ensure we have a full understanding of our suppliers’ strategies and preparations for Brexit.
In addition to getting our own supply and delivery processes right, we are arming our customers with tools to help them manage their own stocks. The VBH24 Webshop has won praise as a great way to see the status of all existing orders, check stock levels and prices, quickly re-order favourite items, select delivery options, and view past invoices.
During a time of uncertainty, customers need to be sure their strategic partners can deal with logistical difficulties. I can say with absolute confidence that VBH is fully equipped and prepared to deal with any challenges Brexit may throw our way.
If you’re looking for a hardware supplier you can rely on, even in turbulent times, call today on 01634 263263 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article first appeared in the November 2018 issue of Windows Active magazine
VBH (GB) are officially the Component Supplier of the Year after being crowned category winner at the G Awards ceremony at London's Park Lane Hilton on Friday 30th November.
We beat off strong competition from the four other finalists to take the award at just the second attempt.
As part of the entry, we highlighted a number of our key strengths including the ever expanding greenteQ range, our customer service tools, exceptional customer care delivered by our excellent team, and the Q-secure hardware security guarantee. We feel that we have a superb overall package, and were delighted that the judging panel, made up of industry professionals, agreed.
The result was met by a huge cheer (not just from the VBH table) that prompted the compere to comment taht the award seemed to be the "most popular of the evening".
Congratulations are due to every VBH team member, and the company would like to thank all of our customers, large and small. It's a pleasure to work with you.
Innovative SecuriFold and CentreFold folding handles from VBH’s greenteQ Clearline range are growing in popularity among aluminium and PVC-U fabricators due to their unique design. Both products fold down vertically when not in use– a neat feature that is proving appealing for aspirational-style home improvements.
SecuriFold has been developed with bi-fold and slide and fold doors in mind. When stacking these types of doors in the open position, sashes don’t fold back neatly due to the projection of the door handle. In contrast, SecuriFold folds snugly against the backplate.
Alu-tec, part of the Climatec Group, has recently increased its orders of SecuriFold handles due to the growing demand. Jenna Harrington at Alu-tec says: “SecuriFold is one of the many innovative products that we use from VBH when fabricating our aluminium bi-folds and we know we can rely on their technical and customer service support.”
The CentreFold handle stands off the face of the profile by only 15mm, and is designed to work with a Clearspan intermediate door lock on both AluK and Smarts aluminium bi-fold door systems. The handle is part of VBH’s PAS24 spec, and is used by Leeds based Nordic Aluminium on their Clearspan security bi-folds. Nordic regularly supply these bi-folds for new build contracts as they are fully Document Q compliant.
Both handles are covered by greenteQ’s standard 10-year guarantee, and come under VBH’s Q-secure approved scheme, the most comprehensive security guarantee on the market. To find out more, visit www.qsecure.co.uk and follow @vbhgreenteQ.
For more information on SecuriFold and CentreFold, email VBH PVCu and Aluminium Systems Manager Rob Norman at email@example.com or call 01634 263263.
This article first appeared in the industry trade press in January 2018
Fabricators, installers and homeowners expect to be able to match their window and door hardware in both finish and style, which is why Flair Windows chose greenteQ – a suited range from leading hardware supplier VBH (GB).
Flair is a family-run business based in Minworth. Established since 1997, the company manufactures, supplies, and installs windows and doors in its 40,000 sq.ft. factory, including aluminium bi-fold doors, geared with greenteQ Clearspan hardware. Clearspan is a complete hardware solution with an unobtrusive slimline finish, smooth operation and easy fit.
Flair also uses greenteQ’s Invisifold systems, Q-Star TS007 profile cylinders, Monkey Tail window handles for heritage installations, and the Coastline stainless-steel range with a 25-year guarantee as standard.
Ryan Lugg, Company Director of Flair Windows, says their customers always request window and door furniture that is “suited across the whole installation. Not only do they want furniture to be colour-matched, they also want the various elements to match in terms of style – which is no easy feat with a product range as wide as ours!”
greenteQ includes door and window handles, letterboxes, door knockers and composite door hinges, available in the same finish and style for a perfect match. “We’re noticing an increasing demand for anthracite grey across aluminium and PVC-U, so it’s great that the greenteQ range includes this finish,” adds Ryan.
With a busy trade counter, factory and delivery operation, Flair takes advantage of the VBH24 online webshop with next day or free standard delivery. VBH24 allows users to create favourites lists for fast re-ordering, to check prices and current stock levels, and track orders.
Ryan continues: “A key benefit of VBH24 is the Product Configurator, which allows us to generate specifications for complex installations such as tilt and turn windows, Clearspan and Invisifold systems. And it’s good to know that if we need anything, our Regional Sales Manager, Dan Powell, or Customer Service Rep, Louise Eagle, are just a phone call away.”
Security is also a top priority for Flair and its customers, and not only does the greenteQ range come with PAS24 testing at BSI and Document Q compliancy, but the Q-secure guarantee sets it apart from other hardware manufacturers. “With multi-brand coverage across greenteQ, Roto, Siegenia and Yale, the Q-secure guarantee puts our sales team and installer customers ahead of the competition. We’re pleased to have been one of the first to sign up as a Q-secure Approved Manufacturer,” concludes Ryan.
For more information on Flair Windows, visit www.flairwindows.com. To learn more about the greenteQ suited range, VBH24 or the Q-secure guarantee, visit www.vbhgb.com, follow @vbhgreenteq or call 01634 263263.
This article first appeared in the industry press in November 2018
VBH’s Q-secure security guarantee continues to grow strongly with five new fabricators signing up. Tradesmith, Windoworld Leicester, Climatec, Frameline and Nordic Aluminium are among the latest to sign up to VBH’s unique multi-brand guarantee.
Free to join, Q-secure is the most comprehensive security guarantee on the market. It covers windows, residential and folding patio doors manufactured in accordance with VBH’s Document Q specification, giving homeowners total peace of mind. Q-secure covers hardware in VBH’s own popular greenteQ range, such as the Invisifold Slide & Fold and Clearspan bi-folding systems. Hardware from leading VBH partners (tested to PAS24) are covered too, including Maco, Roto, Securistyle, Siegenia and Yale.
Q-secure is a powerful sales tool for fabricators and installers, and the only requirement for the homeowner is that locks and other hardware are maintained yearly. There are no ‘get out’ clauses or quibbling. If a homeowner is a victim of a break-in due to hardware failure, VBH will compensate with a maximum of £3,250. This includes up to £250 towards the cost of an emergency locksmith or boarding up, £1,000 towards the cost of repairing or replacing the door or window (via an Approved Installer), £1,000 towards the homeowner’s insurance excess payment and a further £1,000 goodwill payment to help alleviate the distress caused by a break-in.
Mark Hutchinson, MD of trade fabricator Tradesmith, says: “We’re delighted to be part of Q-secure. We supply high-end, quality products, which we are confident will perform well for many years. This additional guarantee is an extra benefit for our installer customers. We don’t expect their homeowner customers will ever have to claim, but it adds to their confidence and peace of mind.”
Jayne Lovett of Climatec adds: “Our customers can reassure their customers – the end-users - that the locks and handles on their new windows will be secure. Q-Secure gives peace of mind to the homeowner and is a great selling point for the installer.”
“It’s great to see more and more customers joining our guarantee and becoming ‘Q-secure approved’,” says Simon Monks, VBH Managing Director. “It’s simply the best security guarantee out there, covering a multitude of brands, and takes the stress away from your business. Best of all, it’s totally free to sign up!”
For more information on Q-secure call Gary Gleeson on 01634 263263, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.qsecure.co.uk.
This article first appeared in the trade press during October/November 2018
VBH (GB) is delighted to be shortlisted for ‘Best Mid-Range Budget Campaign’ at the Construction Marketing Awards (CMAs). The awards are the only ones that recognise excellence in marketing within construction.
Over the last 12 months, VBH has worked with MRA Marketing to create and drive a strategic PR campaign to position VBH as a thought-leader in a saturated market and build awareness and sales of greenteQ - VBH’s own branded suite of hardware.
The programme has not only given VBH a voice in a crowded market, with PR coverage up by 620%, sales are also up 7% year-on-year. Improved awareness of greenteQ is also generating sign-ups for Q-secure, VBH’s unique multi-brand guarantee that covers VBH’s greenteQ range and tested products from selected 3rd party brands.
Gary Gleeson, Marketing Manager at VBH, comments: “It’s the first time we’ve been shortlisted for this award and we’re extremely proud. We’ve come a long way in the last 12 months and our partnership with MRA Marketing has contributed significantly to the increased awareness of greenteQ.
“I understand competition is high for these awards, and indeed many high-profile brands in construction are shortlisted, so it’s a privilege to be among them and we look forward to the award ceremony in November,” adds Gary.
Winners will be announced on the 29th November at a Gala Dinner held at Hilton London Bankside. For more information about VBH, visit www.vbhgb.com.
This article first appeared in the trade press during October/November 2018
Aidan Lynch, a member of our greenteQ design team, is heading to South Africa next August to take part in some charity work, building houses and helping in other ways, along with Kent Scouts. Read on as Aidan explains what they will be doing and how you can help this very worthwhile cause:
"I have been invited to help lead a group of 16-25 year old Scouts from across Kent on a journey of a lifetime. We will be spending 17 days in Sodwana Bay, South Africa in August 2019. During our trip we will be partaking in numerous projects from integrating within the community, building homes for families in need, helping with after school clubs and simply playing games with the local children.
"Coco’s Foundation is a Registered UK Charity, which inspires UK Teens to support and help orphaned children within the poorest areas of South Africa.
"To do this everyone on the journey will need to pay or fundraise/Crowdfund at least £2,500 towards the trip. I hope to contribute as much as I can myself but any help others can provide to make this possible would be greatly received. Of this amount a deposit of £1,000 needs to be put down by December 2018 (6 months before) and the remaining amount paid by April 2019.
"We are aiming to arrange group fundraising events once we have selected the Scouts who will be taking part but we will also be doing our own fundraising alongside. So if you have any great ideas please do pass them on.
"I also have a Just Giving page (see below) for any donations. Any donations raised in excess of my and the Group target will go directly to Coco’s Foundation to help with any further projects they wish to build in the community."
Please also check out Coco’s Foundation website
Leading hardware supplier VBH (GB) has been shortlisted for ‘Component Supplier of the Year’ at the prestigious G18 Awards.
The awards attract a large number of entries of a very high standard and the competition is keen, so Managing Director Simon Monks is delighted to be nominated, saying: “It’s only the second time we have entered for this award, so it’s great to make the shortlist. VBH’s focus is to provide the best product range, backed by outstanding customer service. We constantly look to improve our offering to customers. The greenteQ range and our unique Q-secure guarantee are examples of innovations that benefit fabricators, installers and their customers, the homeowner.”
Launched in 2009, greenteQ is an attractive and innovative suite of window and door furniture, positioned as a premium choice for fabricators and installers. VBH’s Q-secure guarantee means installers selling to homeowners can reassure them that the locks and handles on their new doors and windows will be secure, and if there is a break-in due to hardware failure, the homeowner gets up to £3,250. Crucially, Q-secure doesn’t only guarantee greenteQ products; tested hardware from VBH’s selected brand partners are also covered. This multi-brand element sets Q-secure apart from other hardware guarantees, say VBH.
“Reaching the shortlist represents a great achievement for our team,” continues Simon, “but we’d love to follow that up with a win!”
The G18 Awards will be held at the London Hilton, Park Lane on 30th November.
For more information visit www.vbhgb.com or call 01634 263 263.
This article first appeared in the trade press during October 2018 following the announcement that we had made the short list of finalists
Established window, door and conservatory fabricator Modplan is a one-stop shop for its customers. Continuing investment in its product range, manufacturing, processes and people keeps the company ahead of the curve in trade fabrication. Leading hardware distributor and manufacturer VBH works closely with Modplan to help deliver the best products. Both companies are currently working towards a ‘single sourcing’ arrangement; around 65% of the hardware Modplan uses is from VBH’s own greenteQ range, with plans to increase this further.
greenteQ complements Modplan’s quality range. Sales and Marketing Director Justin Williams comments: “The standard 10-year guarantee on greenteQ products, suited colour options, good functionality and competitive prices are all factors our customers rely on. The quality of the products is excellent and ensures we continue to deliver high performance windows and doors. VBH’s Coastline range comes with a 25-year guarantee on the finish, so we supply it as standard on export orders – and it’s proving popular in the UK too.”
Regular, reliable deliveries from VBH mean Modplan can hold less warehouse space and have regular stock replenishment. Modplan uses greenteQ door cylinders, door, window and patio furniture, flag hinges, and locking espagnolettes. The most popular colours are white, closely followed by the increasingly popular polished chrome, then black, gold, satin chrome and smokey chrome.
Justin adds: “As a business, we pride ourselves on our partnership approach with our customers and suppliers. We have weekly reviews with VBH so any issues are quickly resolved. It is important that everyone works together and our relationship remains strong and reliable. VBH’s products, service and support are excellent in all respects.”
This article first appeared in the trade press during November 2018
VBH has launched Aspire, a new suite of handles and finger pulls suitable for aluminium, timber and PVC-U lift and slide doors. Part of VBH’s greenteQ range, Aspire is available in a wide choice of finishes, including polished or brushed stainless steel, PVD gold, satin chrome, window grey, black, anthracite grey and white.
The Aspire handle is ideal for operating heavy doors, ensuring they can be opened and locked with minimal effort as the door is lifted from its resting position into slide mode. Its 250mm lever provides plenty of leverage to drive the mechanism - lift/slide sashes can be up to 3335mm wide and weigh up to 400Kg depending on the gear used. A strong spring gives positive location in the ‘closed’ and ‘slide’ positions to further aid smooth operation.
Gary Gleeson, Marketing Manager at VBH says the decision to introduce Aspire is down to the resurgence of lift and slide doors: “The technology available now results in a smooth sliding action and the ability to produce very large and heavy sashes for this type of installation.
“Wall to wall, floor to ceiling lift and slide doors are super trendy – the stuff of Grand Designs. Clean lines and big glazed spans deliver a major wow factor to any room. Their popularity is growing, they are reliable, and are easy to operate with stylish greenteQ Aspire handles on even the heaviest door.”
To find out more, speak to your Area Sales Manager or call 01634 263 263.
This text first appeared in the industry trade press during September and October 2018
Simon Monks, VBH (GB) Managing Director, looks at how the window and door industry can embrace new technology to improve customer service.
The future of customer service is changing. Expectations have risen across the board: customers want fast delivery (and the definition of fast has dramatically changed over recent years), accuracy (what we ordered, when we want it) and extended hours so they can order at their leisure. A swift response to any queries, issues or complaints is also vital. New technology has changed the landscape for service and support. This looks set to continue with voice-recognition systems such as Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. But we can’t (yet) do everything via technology – the most successful systems are those that also offer a human touch.
For example, in the window industry, Siri is unlikely to know the differences between a surface-fix and a concealed hinge tilt and turn system. In these types of situations, you want to speak to a real person, and fast.
Fabricators and installers are looking for quality products, good choice and reliable supply and delivery. On the occasions where things don’t go quite right, they want the assurance that customer service and support will resolve any issues. At VBH, we take the best elements of new technology and also offer the personal support our customers need. We’ve introduced several new initiatives to help them order and sell efficiently, and with confidence.
Our VBH24 Webshop has recently been updated with a new Product Configurator, designed to help users generate complicated hardware specifications for products such as the afore-mentioned tilt-and-turn windows, bi-folding doors, the Invisifold system, stable doors, lift/slide and tilt/slide patio doors. It covers greenteQ, Maco, Roto, Siegenia, Yale and GU products across PVC-U, aluminium and timber fabrication. Specs are kept fully up to date by the Technical Team when manufacturers advise of a change, and for users, it’s as straightforward as answering a few questions to generate the required hardware. This can then be exported straight into a shopping basket, a real time-saver, and sent to VBH as an order. It only takes a few seconds to pull up a specification and order it, 24/7.
Customers say VBH24 is a great way to manage their stocks – it allows users to see the status of all existing orders, regardless of how they were placed. Stock levels and prices can be checked, ‘Favourites Lists’ can be set up, and customers can view their dedicated Sales and Customer Service contacts at VBH, download catalogues and literature, select delivery options and view past invoices. Since we launched the new configurator, we’ve seen the highest ever sales via the VBH24 Webshop, increasing month-on-month over June, July and August – with a 58% increase from August 2017.
Our customers can order what they want, when they want it, quickly and easily. However, if they need help on more complex specifications, or just want to speak to a person, our in-house Technical and Customer Services Teams are available by phone or email, Monday to Friday.
Of course, service and support aren’t just about ordering – it’s about using a supplier you can rely on, in terms of the product and the delivery. Our OTIF rate for August, for example, was 97.3% - and we’re so confident in the quality of the hardware we supply we created the best multi-brand guarantee there is. Our Q-secure guarantee means installers can convey that confidence to homeowners.
No ‘small print’
The Q-secure guarantee is unique, and we think it’s the strongest, most comprehensive guarantee available. It covers all the hardware on windows, residential doors and folding patio doors, giving homeowners complete peace of mind for security. It’s a great selling tool for installers – it offers simplicity, with one guarantee for the full range of suited products instead of individual manufacturer guarantees.
In addition to the greenteQ range, Q-secure covers Hoppe, Maco, Roto, Securistyle, Siegenia and Yale products that have all been included in our PAS24 test programme at BSI, which was carried out on a variety of profiles. Q-secure also helps installers maintain regular contact with homeowners, as a condition of the guarantee is regular maintenance of products – building relationships and increasing the chance to upsell. If there’s a break-in due to hardware failure, we’ll pay out up to £3,250 to the homeowner. There’s no small print, or ridiculous caveats to exclude real life use of products, and it’s free for fabricators and installers to sign up.
Thinking of updating the way you order hardware? Call today on 01634 263263 or email email@example.com and our Customer Services team will be in touch.
This article first appered in the October issue of Clearview magazine
Composite and timber door manufacturers using locks with a high-level Euro profile cylinder position can now use a fully suited solution from greenteQ. The new cylinder pulls and circular escutcheons are available in six stunning finishes.
The cylinder pull shrouds the profile cylinder, providing a 20mm underhang so the user can pull the door open or closed. The underhang is ideal on doors where there is no other ‘pull point’, such as a handle or pad, and discourages misuse of the profile cylinder key or the letterbox flap to open the door. The 51mm diameter circular escutcheon has no underhang and is chamfered to combat unlawful removal.
Internal and external components for both the cylinder pull and circular escutcheons are sold separately, allowing door fabricators to mix and match colours on the inside and outside slab. Colour matched fixings are sold with the internal hardware. For external pulls and escutcheons, a flange is in place to prevent cylinder removal. The two products can also be mixed and matched, as both have a fixing centre of 38mm.
Gary Gleeson, Marketing Manager at VBH comments: “Both the cylinder pull and circular escutcheon have been designed with security in mind, as well as appearance. The greenteQ 10-year guarantee also comes as standard across the range.”
The greenteQ range is a growing suite of window and door furniture, colour-matched for a seamless and integrated look.
To find out more, call 01634 263 263, visit www.vbhgb.com and follow @vbhgreenteQ.
This text first appeared in the industry press throughout August and September 2018
This article from Simon Monks appeared in the July issue of Glass & Glazing Products magazine
WH Smith was recently voted the worst high street retailer in the UK (Which? 2018), with customers complaining of out-of-date stores, expensive products and poor customer service. WH Smith has failed to adapt its business model to cater for customers who want more than new colouring pencils and a newspaper. It got me thinking. What is great customer service? What exactly do customers need from a hardware supplier? How can we make that person’s job – in closing a sale, ordering hardware for 500 units or putting a problem right – easier?
Differentiate your company from the competition
Customers need products they can rely on. Put another way, they need products where the risk of purchase is minimal. And fabricators and installers want confidence that the buck doesn’t stop with them, if something goes wrong.
That’s one of the key reasons we launched the Q-secure guarantee last year. Q-secure is unique, and in our view the strongest, most comprehensive guarantee in the market. It covers all the hardware on windows, residential doors and folding patio doors, giving homeowners complete peace of mind for security. It’s a great selling tool for installers – homeowners love the peace of mind it brings, and it offers simplicity, with one guarantee for the full range of suited products instead of individual manufacturer guarantees.
We’re very confident in the quality of the hardware we supply, but installers need to convey that confidence to homeowners. So, we created the best multi-brand guarantee there is. There’s no small print, or ridiculous caveats to exclude real life use of products. Approved installers give the guarantee to their customers. It’s free for fabricators and installers to sign up. In addition to the greenteQ range, Q-secure covers Hoppe, Maco, Roto, Securistyle, Siegenia and Yale products that have all been included in our PAS24 test programme at BSI, which was carried out on a variety of profiles. Q-secure also helps installers maintain regular contact with homeowners, as a condition of the guarantee is regular maintenance of products – building relationships and increasing the chance to upsell. If there’s a break-in due to hardware failure, we’ll pay out up to £3,250 to the homeowner.
Customers told us they want to differentiate themselves and win business for positive reasons, rather than win it by cutting prices. And they don’t want the hassle (and potential for mistakes) of dealing with several hardware companies. One customer I spoke to bought from eight different suppliers! We solved his problem by streamlining his ordering and centralising his supply of 3rd party branded products alongside his greenteQ hardware through VBH, which made ordering much more manageable. The added benefit of online ordering simplified the process even further.
Our ‘two-way’ close relationship with customers makes VBH stand out. Our in-house technical team provides know-how to customers, carries out R&D on greenteQ products developed for the UK and has over 110 years’ experience across hardware supply, glass processing, fabrication, installation and sales. Some customers have been with us since the start! Tradesmith, a trade fabricator in Sussex, has been with VBH since it started 25 years ago. I like to catch up with MD, Mark Hutchinson, and hear his feedback on what’s working and what isn’t. Tradesmith uses greenteQ’s suited range as its standard furniture option and our Coastline range for coastal properties.
10/10 from Garrard Windows
Buckinghamshire-based fabricator Garrard Windows has been a VBH customer for over 10 years. It fabricates around 2,500 products a week using VBH’s greenteQ door hinges and handles, window handles and profile cylinders. Our VBH24 webshop makes it easier for Garrard to check stock levels, prices and the progress of their orders from VBH. Using the product configurator, they calculate the exact hardware required for complex installation jobs such as Invisifold slide & fold doors.
Adam Webb, Garrard Director, says: “The greenteQ range has grown considerably, so there is a product to fit every requirement. Using the webshop, we don’t have to spend time working out what we need for each job. After our initial nervousness – it seemed a bit daunting at first, compared to the usual hand-written faxes – we haven’t looked back. It even helps us produce tenders. All we do is add the product number and quantity and it works it out for us. The favourites list which keeps track of our most regularly ordered items is really useful. It’s a no-hassle process that saves us time – and time’s money. If there’s a query we talk to VBH and know we’ll get a swift response.”
Whether customers order online through VBH24 or phone to order, they’re assigned a designated Customer Services Co-ordinator (CSC). Along with the Area Sales Managers, CSCs ensure a personal service for each customer. We have three Hubs across the UK – Kent, East Kilbride and Swansea - to ensure maximum coverage.
VBH has the latest innovation in hardware and guarantees, unbeatable ranges with security options and reliable service and support. Thinking of streamlining your hardware buying? Call today on 01634 263263 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and our Customer Services team will be in touch.
This article by Rob Norman appeared in the August issue of Clearview magazine
Homeowners feel vulnerable when they hear some police forces have stopped investigating burglaries. They say it’s because they don’t have the time or budget to investigate them, and the chances of bringing someone to book are very low.
Homeowners also puzzle over conflicting reports about crime. Depending on the source of statistics, the type of crime, how it’s recorded, and who is recording it, crime may be going down or going up! It’s confusing, and your risk of being a crime statistic also depends on where you are and who you are.
According to the ONS, the average person in England has a 2.4% chance of being burgled. We hear a lot about crime, which drives our perceptions and fears, and that’s crucial because it’s perceptions not risks that set the context for selling. The reality is, crime is a postcode lottery and unless you live in a high crime spot, you’re unlikely to be burgled, whatever your perceptions. If you or someone who lives near you has been burgled, you also stand a much higher chance of being burgled again.
Fabricators and installers shouldn’t rely on fear and scaremongering tactics to win new business, however it’s important to focus on preventative measures that would stop any would-be burglar before they have a chance to get in.
If asked, homeowners think they are buying security with their doors and windows, and they expect the locks and hardware on their doors and windows to withstand break-ins. They look for the peace of mind and reassurance that comes from secure products that are backed by a solid and effective manufacturer’s guarantee.
But once you start looking at guarantees from the homeowner’s point of view, few stand up to scrutiny. Many are vague or buried under pages of small print and slippery legalese, so it’s hard to see what is really guaranteed. Some are worded with what looks suspiciously like get-out conditions and clauses – so they’re hard to claim against. Very few inspire confidence in homeowners. Very few give installers the backing they need to sell with confidence.
VBH took the view that if the products perform as promised, as we know they do, the cost of homeowners claiming against you will be small so why not give homeowners the real thing? And why not give installers a strong and effective guarantee in plain English that ‘does what it says on the tin’; one that gives homeowners the reassurance they want and gives installers a powerful selling tool?
The best multi-brand guarantee
Our Q-secure guarantee is unique and the most comprehensive on the market. It covers all window and door hardware on a window or door, utilising products from across VBH’s greenteQ range. It also covers windows and doors manufactured in accordance with VBH’s Document Q specification. Casement window products include the greenteQ Delta friction stay, greenteQ Alpha Espagnolette and Monkey Tail handles, and locking systems from Maco, Roto and Yale. Tilt and turn windows are covered with the Alpha TBT tilt & turn handle used with Maco, Roto and Siegenia security perimeter hardware.
The choices for residential door hardware includes door locks from greenteQ, Maco and Yale, the greenteQ Alpha 2* and standard lever handle, Coastline stainless-steel lever handle, Sigma hybrid door hinges, the Q-Star 1* cylinder (when combined with the Alpha 2* handle), Kappa and Coastline Victorian Urn door knockers, and Yale 3* cylinders. Our Invisifold Slide & Fold and Clearspan bi-folding systems are also covered when the door is made to our PAS24 specification.
In addition to the greenteQ range, Q-secure covers Hoppe, Maco, Roto, Securistyle, Siegenia and Yale products that have all been included in our PAS24 test programme at BSI, which was carried out on a variety of profiles. Q-secure also helps installers maintain regular contact with homeowners, as a condition of the guarantee is regular maintenance of products – building relationships and increasing the chance to upsell. If there’s a break-in due to hardware failure, we’ll pay out up to £3,250 to the homeowner – it’s that simple. Best of all, it’s free for fabricators and installers to sign up.
Working together to create bespoke solutions
VBH also works closely with fabricators to develop bespoke security solutions that meet PAS24 and Doc-Q compliancy. Leading timber fabricator, Glyngary has worked with VBH and Accoya to develop a door specification and security hardware package for doors and windows. The package includes Yale stainless-steel locks and the greenteQ Coastline door furniture range, with the Yale Rapide aluminium locking system on windows – all are corrosion resistant. The furniture has a 25-year guarantee against pitting, on top of the Q-secure guarantee.
Not only was July an amazingly successful month for sales overall, it was also another cracking month for our webshop.
In terms of web-sales it was our second best month ever, but what really pleased us is that that more VBH customers than ever before used VBH24 to place their orders with us.
More and more customers are finding that placing and tracking orders, and checking prices and availability whenever they want is easy with VBH24.
Register for access by clicking here
This story appeared in the trade press during July/August 2018
Europe’s largest window and door hardware distributor, VBH (GB) has achieved an outstanding 97.1% on time, in full (OTIF) delivery to its customers during May. With thousands of product configurations and tens of thousands of components from its own greenteQ and other leading brands, this is impressive customer service.
With branches in Kent, Swansea and East Kilbride, VBH has a distribution centre in three of the home countries (with Northern Ireland being largely supplied via East Kilbride) ensuring true national coverage. Mark Skudder, VBH Logistics Director comments: “The OTIF figure takes into account sales of our own greenteQ branded products, as well as those from our main partners including Glazpart, Hoppe, Maco, Roto, Securistyle, Siegenia and Yale.
“Any delivery delays, of even the smallest item, can have an impact on the timely fabrication or installation of a product. Homeowners expecting an installation don’t want to hear about a missing handle. They want what they ordered when it was promised without excuses.
“We’re particularly proud of the 97.1% figure as May was a very busy month with sales over 8% up on the previous year. greenteQ sales increased by more than 35% over the same period. This clearly shows that our strategy of developing greenteQ products such as the Clearspan Bi-fold and Invisifold slide & fold ranges to sit alongside our 3rd party offering is working well.”
Stock in each VBH depot is tailored to the requirements of the region, with the popularity of different product lines sometimes varying around the country. VBH’s Q-secure guarantee is available on a large proportion of these products, covering against hardware failure in case of burglaries and break-ins.
Another example of VBH’s commitment to customer service, the VBH24 web shop has a newly updated product configurator that makes ordering easy. It shows customers the exact hardware required on complex installations such as tilt and turns, bi-folds or greenteQ Invisifold slide & folds. Alternatively, expert staff are on hand to process orders received over the phone or via email. Mark points out “We’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of customers using our web shop since the updates. Not only do they benefit from the easier navigation and the configurator function, but they also receive free standard delivery on orders over £100.”
For more information about VBH and the service and support available, call Gary Gleeson on 01634 263263, tweet @VBHGB or email email@example.com.
Buckinghamshire fabricator Garrard Windows has been a customer of hardware distributor VBH for more than 10 years. Manufacturing around 2,500 products a week, including PVC-U and aluminium windows, bifold and patio doors, Garrard uses VBH door hinges and handles, window handles and door cylinders across its whole range. Adam Webb, Director of Garrard, has seen many changes over the years as both companies have grown.
“Since we started working with VBH we’ve seen steady growth in our business,” says Adam. “The support we’ve had from them has been great – their systems make it easy to do business. The greenteQ range has grown considerably, so there is a product to fit every requirement, and using the webshop means we don’t have to spend time working out what we need for each job. After our initial nervousness – it did seem a bit daunting at first, compared to hand written faxes which we’d been using before – we haven’t looked back. In one operation we can see what we need for the job, stock levels, prices and the progress of our orders. It can even help us produce tenders – all we have to do is add the product number and quantity and it’s worked out for us. The favourites list which keeps track of our most regularly ordered items is also really useful. It’s a no hassle process that saves us time – and time’s money. And of course, if there is any query we can always talk to VBH and know we’ll get a swift response.”
“Even though VBH is the largest hardware supplier in Europe,” continues Adam, “the team never loses sight of the customers’ need for efficient ordering and reliable deliveries. We’re seeing a big demand for colour now. VBH has responded with a great selection, whether for PVC-U or aluminium. I rate them 10 out of 10 for customer service and the same for product quality and performance.”
Visit www.vbhgb24.com to register and start an order or call Gary Gleeson, VBH Marketing Manager on 01634 263263 to get online now.
Congratulations to our Marketing Manager, Gary Gleeson, who celebrates 25 years service with VBH on 2nd August 2018.
Having originally joined the Wagner warehouse team in 1984, Gary moved into the internal sales team in '85 and then into the technical department before leaving to gain valuable experience at Maco and Roto in 1989.
The opportunity arose to re-join VBH in 1993 as Technical Manager and Gary eventually moved into his current position in 2010.
Gary says, "The phrase 'man and boy' certainly applies to my two stints at Wagner/VBH. I enjoyed my time at Maco and Roto immensely, but when I got the chance to return to VBH it was an easy decision to make, as I relished the thought of being able to help customers with such a wide selection of products from different manufacturers. I also knew most of the team and knew that they were a great bunch"
"Some things don't change. We've still got a massive portfolio of products to work with, but with the added benefit of our own greenteQ range, and the people here are all still top notch, even though some of them weren't born when I came back!"
The following story appeared in the trade press thoughout July 2018
Leading hardware supplier VBH (GB) has reported a 15% year-on-year increase in sales for its hardware for aluminium bi-folding doors. This is due to the expanding greenteQ Clearspan range and the newly launched Alpha Slim Lever Handle. Further growth is expected in the summer months.
VBH Aluminium Product Manager Rob Norman comments: “This trend is down to strong consumer demand for aluminium products, in particular bi-fold doors. The Clearspan range was designed with each part of the supply chain in mind: manufacturers, installers and end-users, with no routing of the aluminium profile resulting in quicker fabrication and fitting, before the end user benefits from the smooth action. The rollers and hinges are custom made and configured to fit each profile system specifically, to ensure perfect operation on the popular Smart and AluK profile systems. As well as comfort in use and long-life, Clearspan has been tested at BSI to PAS24, meaning a Document Q compliant option is available. This option also benefits from the added assurance of being covered by the Q-secure multi-brand security guarantee.”
The newest addition to the Clearspan range, the Alpha Slim Handle Set, is ideal for doors made from slim sash profiles, including aluminium bi-fold doors and slim section residential doors. With a backplate that measures just 26mm, and a specially raked lever, it eliminates backplate overhang and reduces the risk of clashing against the outer frame when opening. It uses the same door prep as the greenteQ Alpha and Coastline handles, is covered by a 10-year guarantee and is fully suited, available in five greenteQ finishes.
Sales of products suitable for aluminium Tilt & Turn windows are also growing. The range includes Roto, Siegenia and Maco options suitable for Alu-groove and Eurogroove profiles alike.
Rob adds: “We’re capitalising on the trend by identifying new stainless-steel hardware products suitable for the UK aluminium market and will be expanding the greenteQ Serenity range of handles for aluminium doors and sliding patio doors.”
All of VBH’s aluminium range can be purchased through VBH24, the updated webshop which makes it easy for customers to check stock levels, prices and track the progress of orders.
This article by Simon Monks appeared in Windows Active magazine in March 2018
For years Toys R Us ruled the high street, but no-one was surprised when it went into administration late February. The chain couldn’t compete on price and convenience with online retailers like Amazon. But why did Toys R Us fail when other high street stores thrived? Commentators criticised management for failing to evolve to meet changing consumer expectations. Toys R Us didn’t recognise customers’ needs for a better, more interactive instore experience, for example. The store’s format hadn’t changed since the 1980s and it looks dated. It fell behind other successful ‘bricks and mortar’ shops. In the new Lego store, visitors can try out and build the latest models with the help of staff assigned to play-stations in-store.
On the surface, Lego and windows have little in common but the foundations of a successful business model are the same – the need to adapt to changing customer demands. Whether you’re a large high street retailer or a local retail installer, you need to evolve with the changing times to give your customers the products, service and experience they want.
Performance and choice
Windows and doors are big ticket items and while some homeowners are driven primarily by cost, price is only one of the deciding factors for a growing number of customers. Energy efficiency, security and long-lasting performance are expected, but it’s the ‘extras’, the good looks and sleek design that make a product stand out and turn it into a ‘must have’. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution: one homeowner’s dream buy may be a widespan patio door that adds a feeling of space and light, and that brings the outdoors in. Or it could be a vibrant front door with colour-matched hardware. Other homeowners lust after heritage windows to add character to their properties. Customers expect choice, and installers that don’t offer choice will struggle to please them.
Hardware is often overlooked
Hardware is sometimes overlooked but the right range of window and door furniture gives installers another sales advantage. Nothing spoils a sleek patio door like a clunky mismatched handle. With this in mind, we developed greenteQ – VBH’s own range of high quality, reliable hardware. greenteQ is a growing suite of window and door furniture, colour matched for a seamless, integrated look. The range includes a choice of styles and finishes to complement all types of windows and doors. Our new matt-brushed stainless-steel pull handles, for example, are ideal for composite, timber, PVC-U and glass doors. The handles come in a choice of stylish designs and form part of the greenteQ Coastline range.
Properties near the sea and in high pollution areas need special consideration so the Coastline range is designed to withstand the elements and polluted air in coastal and other aggressive environments. It’s been tested to BS EN ISO 9227:2012 for exceptional corrosion resistance and comes with a 25-year guarantee.
greenteQ Invisifold, another recent innovation, is a unique slide and fold system for doors and windows that allows each sash to be moved individually for a full opening, or positioned as you please for controlled ventilation. Importantly it folds outside, so it takes up no valuable living space inside the home.
Peace of mind for end-users
Homeowners expect their new windows and doors to keep intruders out but a money-backed guarantee is an effective ‘risk-reversal’ sales aid that can help installers clinch the deal. We launched our Q-secure guarantee to give homeowners peace of mind and it’s a powerful installers’ selling tool. In the unlikely event of a break-in resulting from hardware failure, homeowners will receive up to £3,250 compensation. We designed the guarantee around our greenteQ range but it also covers other top-quality brands distributed through VBH.
The following story appeared in the trade press during July/August 2018
Fabricators, installers, specifiers and homeowners can all benefit from peace of mind in high-corrosion coastal areas with the industry leading 25-year guarantee for the Coastline suite. Part of the greenteQ range, the popular Coastline suite is produced from Grade 304 stainless-steel, so it’s exceptionally resistant to corrosion from aggressive coastal weather. Sales have increased by 30% over the last 12 months, with the Coastline letterboxes in particular doubling in sales.
The suite includes a long backplate lever/lever door handle, a letterbox and Victorian urn door knockers (with or without viewing hole). Finishes include PVD gold, chrome and brushed and polished stainless-steel.
Adrian Gale, VBH Product Manager for timber and composite doors explains how Coastline came about: “VBH customers asked for stainless-steel versions of our standard furniture that were designed for aggressive coastal environments. We listened and came up with a proper solution – a suite of fittings which withstand the harshest conditions. Coastline has been subjected to more than 1,000 hours salt spray testing to BS EN ISO 9227, and suits all styles and materials of door, including composite, PVC-U, timber and aluminium.
“From a sales point of view, the most valuable part is the 25-year Coastline guarantee – it sets us miles apart from our nearest competitors and is a measure of our confidence in the suite. All of the Coastline suite is interchangeable with our standard Alpha, Omega and Kappa products so it’s easy to upgrade existing hardware or fabricate two lines at the same time and benefit from the higher profit margins associated with supplying a premium product!”
The entire Coastline suite is also covered by the comprehensive Q-secure guarantee, the multi-brand security performance guarantee from VBH. It covers all the hardware on windows, residential doors and folding patio doors, giving homeowners complete peace of mind for security. It’s a great selling tool for installers – homeowners will love the peace of mind it brings and it offers simplicity, with one guarantee for the full range of suited products they sell instead of individual manufacturer guarantees. In the event of a break in due to hardware failure, VBH will pay up to £3,250 to the homeowner for associated costs and insurance claims. Visit www.qsecure.co.uk for more information.
This article by Adrian Gale appeared in the May issue of Glass Times magazine
The housing market got off to a subdued start in 2018. The number of sales, new buyers and properties joining the market has fallen in the first few months, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Uncertainty over Brexit is also expected to affect both house prices and the growth, or downturn, of the market.
Property expert Sarah Beeny recently reminded homeowners that with the selling season approaching, upgrading their front door with new hardware gives their home the “wow factor”. Retrofitting new handles, a letterplate and knocker on a tired door can be a cost-effective solution. Equally, replacing an old door for new is an easy way to entice potential buyers who want a lot of ‘bang for their buck’ when it comes to quality, security and hardware suited to their home environment.
A new composite door and matching hardware gives properties an instant facelift and refreshes a home’s character. It’s an easy win for the installer, and a worthwhile investment for the homeowner. As Yogesh Gopal, Managing Director at Everglade Windows based in London explains: “We’re a large fabricator of PVCu, composite and aluminium doors, and the composite door market is a growing area for us. Anthracite Grey composite doors with white on the inside is a particular trend we’re noticing.”
The right hardware speaks volumes
With premium composite doors, it’s important to have the right hardware. We’re seeing increased demand from homeowners looking for a matching suite that can be applied across a complete door and window installation. With five different core finishes to choose from, VBH’s greenteQ suite provides a premium hardware solution with products suitable for composite, timber, aluminium and PVCu doors and windows. So, whether a homeowner wants a traditional Chartwell Green door with suited polished chrome hardware, or a contemporary Anthracite Grey slab with subtle satin chrome or black furniture, they can have it with greenteQ.
“Our customers are spoilt for choice with colour options, door styles and the greenteQ hardware we offer – and every door is as unique as the customer who orders it!”, adds Yogesh.
Hardware that beats the elements – and the burglars!
In addition, we’ve developed a stainless-steel Coastline range specifically for those in coastal and other aggressive environments. With lever handles, pull handles, letterboxes, hinges and knockers passing the 1,000 hour neutral salt spray test, the range meets the requirements of BS EN ISO 9227:2012 for exceptional corrosion resistance. Even better, it comes with a 25-year guarantee against failure and defects - that sells doors.
Security is the highest priority for homeowners on their new doors and windows. Most break-ins are through the door. With that in mind, we created the Q-secure guarantee, which is available on greenteQ products and selected partner brands. The guarantee is designed to cover any expenses resulting from a home intrusion. We’re so confident of our security, strength and performance that VBH will pay homeowners up to £3,250 compensation if they are burgled as a result of hardware failure on windows, doors or patios. Installers can easily sign up for the guarantee – and if the home is sold, the guarantee can be transferred to the new owner.
Peace of mind for installers
We developed greenteQ to suit a range of tastes and styles of properties, with the ability to colour-match all hardware. It’s also been developed with the installer in mind. Our newest solution for composite doors does just that. The Sigma Face-Fix Composite Door Hinge is designed to help an installer fit a composite door quickly and safely, in both standard and 1D-adjustable versions. It’s designed to be compatible with all composite doors and will fit directly into the frame prep of one of the leading door manufacturers.
This was a major factor in encouraging Everglade to switch and enhance their composite doors: “The new greenteQ Sigma Face-Fix hinge gives us everything we need in terms of appearance, features and performance, so we have now switched our composites fabrication to include the new hinge”, adds Yogesh.
VBH’s greenteQ range is a growing suite of window and door furniture, colour-matched for a seamless, integrated look. To find out more about the latest additions to the VBH greenteQ range, call 01634 263300 today or visit www.vbhgb.com.
This story appeared in the trade press in May 2018
VBH (GB) has added a new composite door hinge to its greenteQ range. The new Sigma Face-Fix Composite Door Hinge comes in standard or 1D-adjustable versions and is available in five colours to match the greenteQ suite.
Adrian Gale, Timber & Composite Door Product Manager at VBH (GB) comments: “The new hinge is designed to help the installer fit a composite door quickly and safely. We’ve designed it so that it suits all composite doors and will actually fit directly into the frame prep of one of the leading manufacturers. The adjustable version allows for a +/- 2mm lateral adjustment on site, which makes it easy for installers to get the perfect fit.”
The new hinge features a steel frame plate with five countersunk fixing points, providing a strong connection to the outer frame, and the sash component is fixed to the door with four screw fixings. Elongated fixing holes on the standard version provide flexibility in the factory or on site. Strong fixing points and a five-knuckle construction prevent the hinge from dropping once it’s installed and the pre-lubricated hinge point ensures an exceptionally smooth action.
The sash component is finished with an attractive metal curved cover, which in the 1D-adjustable version allows access to the lateral adjustment screw, so the door can be quickly adjusted in-situ.
VBH’s greenteQ range is a growing suite of window and door furniture, colour-matched for a seamless and integrated look. To find out more about the latest addition to the VBH greenteQ range, call 01634 263300 or visit www.vbhgb.com
This story appeared in the trade press from April - June 2018
Following growing demand for VBH products, particularly the expanding greenteQ range, VBH has appointed two new Regional Sales Managers (RSM) for its UK operation. Adrian Gale will be responsible for the region comprising the Midlands, Northern England and Wales, while Dan Powell will be responsible for Southern England and Wales.
Adrian Gale has been in the industry for 28 years, having worked for a number of hardware manufacturers and distributors. He joined VBH in 2016 as Timber & Composite Door Product Manager – a role he will continue alongside his RSM duties.
He comments: “I have been in the industry for a good few years now and have seen huge changes over the years – mostly for the better, though I do miss some of the characters from back in the day! We have a very skilled team here at VBH, covering all aspects of the business and most importantly we are all striving towards the same goal – success!”
Dan Powell, currently Maintenance & Locksmiths Product Manager, will take on the additional role of RSM for the southern part of the country. Dan has worked for VBH since 2013, when he moved from a hardware distributor. He’s looking forward to the new challenge, saying: “Since I joined VBH the greenteQ range has grown from an unknown industry name to one of the most trusted and reliable brands supplying the PVC-u, aluminium and timber markets. VBH has one of the most experienced sales teams in the UK and in addition to greenteQ we distribute a range of well-known brand suppliers such as Maco, Roto, Siegenia and Yale. With this back-up, taking up the post of Regional Sales Manager is an exciting opportunity. I’m looking forward to meeting new customers and being part of the greenteQ revolution!”