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
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 sales@ for a posted copy. vbhgb.com
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 sales@ or visit vbhgb.comwww.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 sales@. vbhgb.com
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 sales@ or call 01634 263263. vbhgb.com
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 sales@ and our Customer Services team will be in touch. vbhgb.com
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 sales@ and our Customer Services team will be in touch. vbhgb.com
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 sales@. vbhgb.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!”