To create the bigger picture, we focus on the little things.
November 3, 2020
We believe that to create something incredible, you must have the patience to focus on a series of small details. When it comes to innovation, we like to really get to grips with what gives the biggest value to our customers.
We have a simple approach to innovation; does it improve our customers’ business and their experience of us. Before pen hits paper we begin by having some honest (and sometimes difficult) conversations, to understand how best we can support fabricators and installers not just for instant quick wins but for long term benefit.
There’s substance behind the style
We don’t believe in reinventing the wheel, but we are all for revisiting products to see how they can be improved. What new technologies can be embraced? What can be added or taken away to make it easier or more sustainable to manufacture and install? It was this way of thinking that drove over 30 clever new elements designed to enhance the performance of our Imagine Vertical Slider. From an intelligent new approach to coupling, to two choices of cill, to the co-extrusion of the outerframe so there’s no need to mask and paint the chamber during fabrication. This clever product still carries all the beauty of a design classic but is now combined with the latest industry thinking. It’s these small innovations that work together to create the perfect Vertical Slider for fabricators and installers alike.
It’s quite difficult to make things simple
Einstein said, ‘”Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” It may stem from our German heritage, but at VEKA UK it’s in our DNA to reduce complexity and try and simplify everything, from our straight-talking communications to our colour range to our stock holding. We like to take a common-sense approach, to improve efficiency, minimise waste and make lives easier for our customers. Innovation can be as much about stripping back as it is about adding to. One of our biggest projects was to create a universal range of ancillaries that can be used across our VEKA, Halo and Imagine brands. A less is more approach means that we, and our customers, can reduce stock holding and improve efficiency, which allows us both to provide better customer service. And we’ve taken a phased approach to introducing new parts, listening, learning and adapting to slowly create something that makes a big difference.
Colour made black and white
While many systems providers are trying to ‘out colour’ each other, we have taken the time to create a comprehensive offering that reduces complexity in our business and our customers businesses too. We could have a warehouse full of laminated profile that means we stock the most shades that invariably takes years to sell. Instead we’ve chosen to sensibly invest in the things that will really matter to our customers now and in the future.
We have analysed VEKA, industry and consumer data to create a stocked colour range that reflects the colours that sell. Those colours cover 96% of our laminated sales and are available across our profile and a comprehensive range of ancillaries so that our customers can fabricate and supply an extensive product range on the same lead times.
What’s more, we give our customers a preview of the new year’s range in November, encouraging feedback and allowing plans to be made well in advance.
Design is a behaviour, not a department
The most successful businesses know where they want to get to and have a clear plan of how they’re going to get there, a plan that all its people drive forward. At VEKA it’s our mission to invest in our people, products and services to deliver the best customer experience in the industry. That means that every department is committed to finding ways we can do things better. True innovation comes from the minds of our people and we encourage everyone to share their thoughts, no matter how obvious or radical they may be.
In a Pandemic world we introduced new digital solutions to support our customers, from a new print and pdf hub, to ‘WinDoPlan’, our exclusive online specification, planning and virtual presentation tool. We completely changed how we do business, protecting our employees, customers and suppliers so that service and operations could continue with as little disruption as possible.
Michael Hagan Director at Aztec Windows said ‘WinDoPlan is a real game changer for the industry, it’s a fantastic tool that has and will save me so much time specifying jobs – I especially like the 3d element!’
Inspiration is the first key to success, the second step is action
In business you have a choice of which way to go, backwards or forwards, breakdown or breakthrough. Even though right now it can be tempting to stand still and observe, to do that you would be in reverse gear, as the world continues to march ahead. Moving forward doesn’t always feel comfortable, particularly as the world’s leading economists can’t predict what the future holds., but it’s important that we do. We have some exciting new things in the pipeline, including a new solution to improve the existing mechanical corner joint for our FlushSash windows. Another VEKA exclusive, ProJoin is patent pending and we are offering this jointing method free of any patent charges to our fabricators as a cost-effective alternative to other methods.
There’s always a better way of doing things, a product that hasn’t been invented, a new technology to be discovered, a new way of working. There’s always an improved and more efficient way. It’s this culture that has steered us for over 50 years. We have a history of innovation driven by our knowledge and experience. Our product range and service offering continue to evolve, setting the standard by which others are measured.
What inspires our innovation? Well you do. Nothing motivates us more than to create a new product or service that makes a difference to you and your business. Together, we’ll shape future living spaces one window, door or home at a time.