New Multi-Point Player Makes its Mark

Nigel Hutchinson and John Crittenden Anyone working in the window industry might question the need for a new multi-point door lock. However, in this report provided by the established UK hardware supplier Carl F Groupco, the company confirms that Ingenious products live up to their name and succeed in combining innovative engineering with exceptional value for money to provide a compelling hardware option.

Carl F Groupco advises that there is a significant market for Ingenious’ new locking solutions, the Duplex and Professional.   With shared brand values regarding service and customer care, the distributor was proud to be selected as a launch partner for Ingenious products. The exciting addition to Carl F Groupco’s catalogue reinforces the company’s position as a leading UK hardware distributor.

Ingenious door locks are available to suit standard residential doors for PVCu, French master and slave applications, plus options for composite and timber doors which feature no rollers and rounded end faceplates.

In particular, the pioneering Duplex door lock with five hooks, two rollers, latch and serrations that allow for the addition of shootbolt is highlighted by Carl F Groupco as a product with strong differentiating  features.  As the only door lock on the market to offer five hook locking points, and with an outer locking point design that provides two bi-directional hooks, fabricators and retailers have a product with a strong unique selling point for the end user.

As proof of their security performance, both the Professional and Duplex door locks are tested to full PAS 24 and Secured by Design requirements: this ensures that the locks are suitable for projects where Document Q is required, although a specific test may be required of the full door set.

Longevity and durability of the door lock mechanism was important to Carl F Groupco and we can confirm that this was a major consideration by Ingenious when designing the range. Cycle testing has been achieved to the required 50,000 cycles… but the Ingenious door lock is still going, current performance is at 350,000 cycles, proving that the door locks are truly “Fit and Forget”.

Both the Duplex and Professional ranges feature an ergonomically designed hold back snib on the face place to prevent accidental lock outs. Additionally, all Ingenious multi-point locks have adaptive compression rollers, which engage before the locking points for smooth operation and unique slider technology ensures a long product life.

Ingenious Locks & Hardware is a new organisation that has drawn on over 25 years’ experience in the multi-point sector to launch a business that has set out to provide the most dynamic and flexible range of multi-point locks available to the UK market. In Carl F Groupco’s opinion, under direction of Managing Director Nigel Hutchinson, the Ingenious organisation has achieved its objectives. Having worked in the industry for the majority of his working life, Nigel identified an opportunity in the market for a dynamic and agile business. He founded Ingenious in 2014 to drive innovation in the hardware sector and address the domination of the industry by large corporations and European manufacturers.

Confirming the importance of the new addition to the UK’s hardware stable, Carl F Groupco’s Managing Director John Crittenden said:

“From the outset, Ingenious has made its mark and the locks have provided our customers with a full range of options for PVC, timber and composite doors. As new innovations, the Professional and Duplex lines offer differentiating features that are very strong USPs.

“The stand out product has to be the Duplex door lock, which has been extremely popular with timber fabricators: the double hook feature, which is fully tested, is a real selling point.

“When forging our partnership with Ingenious, the reliability of door locks was an important element of
our discussions. We have strong shared brand values which are fulfilled fully by Ingenious offering trusted, durable products that can be delivered next day, in full.

“Our organisations have strong synergies regarding technical support and our staff receive in-depth product training. The expert team at Ingenious is also on hand to provide a rapid response if required for customer enquiries.”

In summary, Carl F Groupco reports that the launch of Ingenious and the introduction of the new products is a healthy sign for the market that supports continued innovation in the hardware sector and results in products that challenge the status quo.

Carl F Groupco is supporting and stocking the full range of Ingenious’ high security multipoint locks and accessories, all of which are available ex stock for next day delivery.

To view more information on Ingenious door locks, click here.

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Paul Simpson: Sales Director

Paul Simpson - Carl F Groupco Sales DirectorPaul Simpson joined Carl F Groupco in May this year to head up the hardware supply organisation’s existing strong, and successful, sales operation. With a team of 14 people including field personnel, internal sales and Regional Managers, Paul combines a collaborative approach supporting the company’s sales team with his management responsibilities reporting to the board of Directors.

In his previous post as Sales Director for Birchwood Price Tools (BPT), part of the Travis Perkins group, Paul developed a number of major brands including Scruffs, Defender and Rhino: while leading a successful team, turnover during his 18 years’ employment with BPT increased from £3million to almost £50million.

Providing Solutions – Delivering Hardware

Balancing a hands-on, support led role for Regional Sales Managers with recognition of the need for regular communication with the sales force ensures that Paul’s team is clearly focussed on the company’s mission of providing solutions – delivering hardware.

As part of his proactive approach, Paul doesn’t believe in sitting behind a desk spending all day analysing figures….he aims to spend 80% of his time out with the area teams visiting customers and suppliers. He states that his role is very much collaborative – he works with the experienced sales force to support them whether it is a specific project, a contract or negotiating a trading package.  Paul believes in working in close relationship with the business as a whole to ensure two way information share between the company’s management and the sales workforce. Reflecting Paul’s commitment to time on the road, the interview for this report took place while he was in Ireland primarily visiting existing Clients but also pursuing some new business opportunities.

Paul shares a clear vision with Carl F Groupco’s managers regarding the company’s brand values that reinforce the organisation’s market leading status namely a strong customer service ethos, depth of technical knowledge and a quality of offering that encompasses the company’s people, products, packaging and customer experience.

Aside from the brand values already mentioned, Paul’s reasons for joining Carl F Groupco included the company’s professionalism and flexibility. Commenting on service levels, Paul said:

“The commitment at Carl F Groupco is nothing short of phenomenal: the whole company is engaged, each and every member of staff pulls out all the stops to supply full delivery orders placed before 4pm next day. I can honestly say that I have never witnessed this passion for performance from a supplier organisation.

“There is no complacency at Carl F Groupco – service values are at the heart of the organisation and these have been a significant contributor to the company becoming a major player in the UK hardware industry. A lot of companies ‘talk the talk’ about service but Carl F Groupco really does ‘walk the walk’…in fact, more often than not, it’s a run more than a walk because, unlike anywhere else I have ever seen, the warehouse staff are totally engaged in the company’s commitment to providing full deliveries, on time, first time – despatch personnel will literally run to make sure deliveries are fulfilled.”

Paul sees that the sales team is a significant asset to the organisation – with six members of sales staff in double digit years of service, product knowledge is extensive but enthusiasm hasn’t waned. He praises the team’s responsiveness observing that, like their warehouse colleagues and other members of the Carl F Groupco organisation, they go the extra mile providing expert guidance and support to customers.

Management Matters

With regards to his management remit, Paul represents the sales operation on the management team reflecting the figures and providing updates regarding initiatives, new product innovations, trends and manufacturer partnership developments.

Paul sees the benefits of a new sales meeting format that has recently been introduced. Now with a wider remit, the updates take the form of a quarterly business conference with each department reporting on key developments, wins, core activities and forward planning. In line with Carl F Groupco’s strong emphasis on communication, Paul wholeheartedly supports the conference initiative where the whole company is updated on current activities and objectives, plus the all-important future vision.

Carl F Groupco’s buddy back up is another company initiative recognised by Paul as reflecting the organisation’s market leading status. He observes the major advantages of having an internal sales team that works in tandem with the Regional Sales Managers. He observes that this not only is hugely beneficial to the field team, but it is extremely helpful for customers to talk to a dedicated in-house account manager.

Another activity area at Carl F Groupco that has impressed Paul is the company’s CRM system with strong company-wide commitment to log data to provide the all-important fully informed service to customers. In collaboration with the sales team Paul has further revised the system’s CRM content to enhance the information that is stored, develop the support provided to customers and to assist in the planning process that aids clarity of the operation.

Customer Focus

Paul has seen first-hand that the company is focussed on clearly understanding the needs of the customer and presenting the best options. He appreciates the fact that the organisation is not focussed on quick fixes and short term solutions, it nurtures long-term customer relationships, going the extra mile to present options in an uncluttered and unbiased way: this ensures that the brand and price point is tailored to meet each sales enquiry. Paul sees a huge advantage in the fact that Carl F Groupco sources best products in class rather than being sole supplier of an own brand range. As a result, the sales team is liberated in the options they can present. Paul reports that the fact that Carl F Groupco isn’t shackled by the constraints of own brand bias is a major USP for the organisation, and one that will be further developed as the company continues to grow.

Paul also embraces Carl F Groupco’s ability to provide a one stop service. Again facilitated by the fact that the company is able to offer various brands, complete order availability is a major benefit to customers who receive one delivery of all the required hardware products. The advantages to customers of this service extend beyond reducing the stress and complexity of product selection; cost is significantly taken out as multiple deliveries are a considerably larger overhead to an organisation than just one, with the added advantage of one set of paperwork.

Long-term Vision

Summing up his vision for Carl F Groupco’s sales organisation, Paul advises that he will continue to work with the team to develop relationships with the existing client base and key manufacturing partners. While new business has its part to play in the growth of the organisation, Paul sees the need for customer loyalty: in the desire to continue to grow the business, existing relationships should never be compromised.

Working Day

Paul is normally ‘on the road’ by 6.30am. If his day is spent with a Regional Manager, he meets them between 8am and 9am and accompanies them on two to four calls. At the end of the day, Paul agrees actions and responsibilities with the Regional Manager and makes a call to the office to get an update of the day’s sales activity. Paul normally leaves the Regional Manager by 6pm and will stay overnight to work with a different Regional Manager the following day, or travel back home using the drive time to talk to his team. Paul speaks to every member of the field sales team at least three times a week for an update on their region’s activities. At the end of every day, Paul spends at least an hour catching up on emails and mapping out the next day’s activities. Typically, his working day finishes around 9pm, but he has been known to still be working on emails and paperwork until 2am in the morning.

Facts and Figures

– First Job: Working for a construction company as a roofer
– Joined Carl F Groupco: May 2015
– Most useful/favourite gadget: iPad
– Favourite/most useful website: A big google fan regularly using many sites
– Business person you admire: Richard Branson
– Recommended hotel for business: No one hotel – uses an online booking site to get the best deal
– Favourite UK restaurant: Any Jamie Oliver restaurant
– Best business decision: To join Carl F Groupco
– Other interests: Cycling and alpine sports including snowboarding and skiing

Working Location

Generally Paul’s working location is his car on the A46! In the five months since joining Carl F Groupco he has driven over 25,000 miles. When in the office, he is based at Carl F Groupco’s administration and distribution centre in Peterborough.

Security Matters

Hardware distributor Carl F Groupco advises that the fittings industry is one of evolution rather than revolution. While design and ergonomic improvements are continually made, this is not a market for gimmicks. The company reports that a significant part of achieving recognition as a leader in the hardware sector is providing quality solutions that have been fully tested to meet the requirements of this demanding industry.

Ingenious Duplex Door Lock

In this report Windows Active, John Mitchell Technical Manager at Carl F Groupco provides an update on the impending Approved Document Q building regulation that is set to impact the UK’s hardware industry.

“On 1st October this year the government will introduce a mandatory Security Building Regulation requirement – Approved Document Q, which applies to new dwellings. With focus on protection, the requirement states that the building must be designed and built to adequately prevent unauthorised access from outside the property, while providing a means of escape for safety.

The new Approved Document Q directive is based on the stipulations of British Standard PAS 24 which sets standards for door and window assemblies.

Changes in building regulations outlined in Approved Document Q relate to security on windows and doors which are easily accessible in new build dwellings and where planning permission is approved after October 2015.

These projects must comply with the Approved Document Q requirements for security, which to many may seem daunting.Carl F Groupco has always placed high priority on the security features of the hardware lines that we distribute and we make the matter a top priority when it comes to our hardware recommendations to fabricators. We work hard to take the pain out of planning ensuring that we are fully au fait with standards that impact the hardware sector. We also have access to leading technical experts both via our manufacturer suppliers and industry bodies… this means we are well placed to advise our customers.

Large Selection

We are proud to offer one of the largest selections of PAS 24 and Secured by Design approved products to the UK market to fully furnish windows and doors. Principle lines include the FUHR door lock range which features secure locking points. Carl F Groupco’s bestselling door lock is the FUHR 856 Type 3 product which comprises two hooks, two rollers, reversible latch and deadbolt. FUHR MultiSafe multi-point door locks are renowned for their ease of use, reliability and durability. Fully tested to PAS 24, where security is a greater concern on main residential doors, the Secured by Design accredited FUHR 856 Type 3 is recommended: the hooks engage in pressed steel locking keeps which are profile related to securely fit the profile.

We place prime importance on the security performance of products when selecting new suppliers and PAS 24 was a primary requirement when sourcing the new Ingenious door locks. The Duplex range offers significant additional security with bi-directional double hook locking points, which not only resist attack but will provide peace of mind to the home owner.

The Hoppe PAS 24 door handle with Secured by Design and two star TS 007 rating is another premium security product designed to visually and physically resist attack achieving well in excess of the required three minutes carried out in the PAS 24 test. The handle protects the cylinder against snapping and core extracting.  By matching this handle with the CFG1* cylinder, 3* TS 007 accreditation and security is achieved. Thumb turn cylinders are required in the new standard to ensure escape in an emergency.

Another line worthy of highlighting in this report is Patriot Plus door hinges which provide PAS 24 security with a patented anti-lift feature and additional location pins to reduce twist. Hinges should be fitted with additional hinge side security with Dog Bolts to further protect against manipulation. This is a relatively low cost security add on which doesn’t impact the opening and closing performance of the door.

It should be emphasised that these are just some examples of our product lines and using one product as a standalone security solution isn’t going to provide complete protection or indeed a full PAS 24 solution. Hardware should be tested alongside the full door assembly to ensure that the door or window being supplied offers the level of security required by the builder and Approved Document Q.”

To view more information on the Ingenious Duplex door lock, click here.