1. Structure and scale
- Our customers receive the benefits of our global experience and capabilities. For example, our Hardware Division annually sells:
- We also know how important it is for us to make sure that our customers get exactly what they want in each order they receive. Last year across our Group we picked 1,402,901 lines, approximately 6,680 lines every working day.
- We buy in bulk to reduce product costs for customers. Also in 2020, we received 101,937 order lines into our Group warehouses, so each inbound receipt is broken into approximately 14 customer orders.
- Each of our principal businesses conducts regular market research and feedback surveys so we can always understand how we are doing and what our customers’ needs are, at any point in time.
2. Absolute focus on quality
We’ve been serving customers in the door and window fittings market since 1972 and have learnt a lot about what they need now and also into the future. We understand that our products offer disproportionately higher value to our customers and end consumers than just the cost of the handle or hinge. Lost production time in the factory, cost of replacing products in the field, and damage to our customers reputation are just three reasons why we always strive to achieve the highest quality achievable. Our aim is to supply a better quality product for the same price as our competitors.
To achieve this, we build our product development processes around highly detailed product specifications, pre-production process approval and structured reviews of potential failure modes in development and manufacturing. We manage quality assurance and control at our suppliers via surveillance testing and supplier audits, robust disciplines on change control, non-conformance and problem solving.
During 2020, our Sourcing Centre dedicated 8,118 hours to quality assurance and control, and at our own lock and hinge manufacturing site, we invested 31,483 hours in quality management, assurance and control.
3. Outstanding Service
- In 2020, our Group achieved an average on time in full score (OTIF) of 88.0% at order line level, and 77.8% at order level. This is measured against agreed delivery target dates for every item in our ranges, and in most instances this is next day delivery. These results were unsatisfactory to us, compared to 96.9% and 90.1% OTIF at order and order line level respectively in 2019. We had to shut down our entire supply chain in Q2 2020, and then restart it less than 3 months later to meet 15-20% higher demand. This threw us off balance for a while. We worked as hard as we could to recover service levels, spending £0.6m on additional airfreight, to keep our customers supplied.
- On average we had £26.9m of stock on the shelves of our warehouses during 2020, with a further £3.7m In transit from our suppliers.
- Each of our principal businesses conducts regular market research and feedback surveys so we can always understand how we are doing and what our customers needs are, at any point in time.
4. Constant Innovation
Expanding the Mila Garant Range: In 2019 we launched a comprehensive range of hardware for outwards opening windows in profiles with 7 x 12mm frame groove. We have also started to launch a range for 5mm x 12mm frame groove profile customers.
More Mila Unique Customer Programs: At the beginning of 2020 we successfully delivered a high volume, bespoke hinge for one of Scandinavia’s largest door & window producer and are currently working on 3 other projects. Each of these involves working closely with the customer to exactly specify their needs, design and source products to exacting standards and at competitive prices. This has been achieved by strengthening local development resources in Denmark as well as at the main Mila development centre in Daventry. We’ve also worked hard to build greater depth in product design and manufacturing at our Ningbo sourcing centre.
UK & Ireland
Stainless steel products: we have recently launched new door handles with standard and high security options in a range of finishes. These suit perfectly with accompanying letter plates, escutcheons and pull bars.
Heritage window furniture: in mid 2020 we launched new door handles with standard and high security options in a range of finishes. These suit perfectly with accompanying letter plates, escutcheons and pull bars.
TS008 Letterplate: in Q1 2021 we launched a new range of security approved letterplates that incorporates a proprietary ‘anti fishing’ mechanism, that conforms to the latest UK security standards.
New finishes collection: 2019 saw the launch of a completely new range of levers in the latest styles and finishes.
A new cabinet hardware range: Over the past 18 months, Carlisle Brass has completely overhauled its range of cabinet hardware. This new range cover traditional and contemporary pulls and knobs, as well as a European collection, ideal for the latest kitchen designs.
New door hardware for aluminium profiles: at the beginning of 2020 we launched a comprehensive range of door closers, flush bolts, locks and emergency exit products for the growing aluminium fabrication market.
Advanced self-levelling soft close sliding door rollers: 2020 also saw the launch of Glide rollers and associated hardware, the most advanced patio door roller system on the market today.
5. Local design linked to global sourcing
- We have the structure and scale to offer customers in all our markets access to the benefits of our integrated global sourcing and manufacturing capabilities.
- Our operating approach is to design new products in close cooperation with our customers and using design teams who know and are based locally in each major market. Throughout the design process, we work with our engineering, sourcing and quality teams based in the Far East to identify the most appropriate manufacturing partner for the product.
- Our dedicated team in the Far East manages all aspects of the supplier relationship from initial product industrialisation through to routine production, quality assurance and shipping.
- The Group also has its own lock, hinge and emergency door hardware manufacturing facility based in the Zhejiang province of China. The factory has international quality accreditations and operates to worldwide standards of health and safety.
6. Best teams in the markets we serve
- It is only possible to consistently deliver the service and product innovations we are achieving for customers, if we have the most knowledgeable and experienced teams in the marketplace.
- All our businesses are led by customer orientated leaders who typically have at least 10 years’ experience in their local market.
- We have a rolling 18 month internal development program for up to 12 up and coming leaders in the business. The third cohort of first line supervisors are now reaching the end of their program.