INDEPENDENT NETWORK CELEBRATES 25 YEARS
September 13, 2021
In 1996 when the world adopted a new technology for watching videos – the DVD – and before even the emergence of Google (in 1998), an independent network was born bringing together a group of hard-working installers, all using industry-leading VEKA products.
With the double glazing industry still in its infancy, the new network launched to bring peace of mind to consumers putting quality at the heart of the experience of installing new windows and doors.
This year Independent Network celebrates it’s 25th birthday and is still driven by the core values that demanded its inception.
With 88 members across the UK, the organisation represents only the best local PVCu window and door companies in the industry. Born out of the need and demand for quality and craftsmanship in a traditionally mistrusted sector, quality runs through every single strand of Independent Network’s process.
Today Independent Network has the ultimate shopping basket for companies joining the organisation providing a choice of support and services depending on the size and needs of the company.
Karen Lund, Head of Partner Programmes at Independent Network spoke of the milestone;
“When we launched 25 years ago with the ten-year insurance backed guarantee it was a game changer for the industry, we were the first to market and today we are still leading, we are still innovating and evolving the network all the time.
Today we still stand for the same core values that launched the organisation delivering a consumer message recognising quality installers and fabricators that want to be at the forefront of driving standards in the industry. We’ve still got members today who joined at the very beginning of Network’s journey evolving their business as we have evolved the network.
The feedback from our members has been critical to our success. People join Independent Network for a whole host of reasons – some join simply because of our fantastic networking opportunities including the members weekend where we welcome up to 250/300 guests to collaborate and share best practice.
Not one size fits all – we have a shopping basket of 30 elements so our members can choose the solution that is important to them. We’re ultimately a total business solution that also happens to generate homeowner enquiries.”
I’m delighted to see that 2021 has seen an increase in membership. Some have looked at Independent Network but for many different reasons didn’t join. I’m pleased to hear from our new members that they wished they had joined years ago! What a great compliment and all down to the hard work of the team.
Karen went on to talk about her own career within Independent Network:
“I’ve been with Network since 2006 coming in and working through administration, membership sales, looking after the installers in the south, moving into business services and solutions and then possibly my proudest moment is being handed the reins of Independent Network when John Ogilvie retired five years ago. You could cut me in half and I’m all about Network. It runs through my veins.”
Today the industry and Independent Network works a lot faster than in its inception 25 years ago with the digital and administration areas seeing huge transformation. Operationally Independent Network is now an online solution transforming how business has been done, the way the organisation communicates with consumers and customers has changed and digital transformation has been at the forefront of Independent Network’s recent innovations. Consumer expectations are higher than ever, through our technical services team we can offer mediation services and resolve their concerns before they escalate, which can become costly for all.
Twenty five years on, Independent Network provides peace of mind, as important today as it was when the network started. Customer Satisfaction surveys currently run at over 98% highlighting proven results.
Moving forward the next five years will see Independent Network grow, evolving to meet the needs of the members whilst still retaining the core values that launched the business in 1996.