Differentiation in an increasingly competitive market is the key to survival, and more importantly growth, according to Chris Peeters, sales and technical consultant, at specialist paint supplier, AVKO. He talks here about how fabricators can increase profitability by offering coloured PVC windows to their customers.
Frustrated by the notion that the only differentiation possible was price, PVC and timber fabricator Chris began to look for an alternative and found Swiss company Feyco producing high quality paints for coating PVC. Selling the window company in 1997, Chris became the UK’s sole distributor of Feyco’s AVKOTE paint, and 10 years on is still sold on colour.
“The demand for coloured windows has grown steadily over the last 10 years, but in the last year or so there has been a marked increase. However, the actual numbers of coloured windows being installed is marginal compared to the total number installed, and so presents a massive opportunity for fabricators not only to differentiate themselves from their competitors and increase turnover, but to also increase profits significantly.
“Using the right paint on PVC can give even and complete coverage in just one coat, and with AVKOTE, the paint is touch-dry within 2 minutes, and cures within 24 hours to a highly durable finish that will not crack, flake or peel, yet retains the flexibility to bend with the material to which it is chemically bonded. The paint is UV stable and is tested weatherproof for 10 years.
“There are two possible ways that a fabricator can provide colour to its customers. Either by farming out frames to a specialist sprayer, or by setting up a spray booth of its own. AVKO provides paint to over 40 specialist sprayers that can be found throughout the country. Frames are taken on a piece basis, so one off orders can easily be handled. Frames are provided by the fabricator completed, sprayed and then returned ready for installation. Most sprayers also offer a bar length service as well.
“Fabricators wishing to handle the spraying in house can do so with relative ease and from around £12,000 in initial cost. We estimate that the minimum space needed is around 2000 square feet with fabricators needing to invest in a paint booth, racking (inside and outside), heating, spray guns, compressors and cleaners. AVKO provide an initial site survey to advise on the type and size of booth required for optimum output, as well as training of operators, along with the operating manual covering housekeeping and ordering.
“Stocks of paint do not need to be kept, as each colour is mixed to the exact quantity and colour required, and orders can be placed for next day delivery Monday to Friday. One litre of pain can cover 11.8 sqm, with the minimum order just one litre in any colour, making even one off jobs profitable.
“Rather than increasing turnover, offering colour increases profit. All of our customers report increased profits, with one customer seeing 40% of their total profits coming from colour coating, within 2 years of offering the service.