Carl F Groupco Building

Seven things you didn’t know about Carl F Groupco

An article written for Clearview, January 2017.

1. Private Ownership: Carl F Groupco is one of the last remaining privately owned distributors, this gives the company the ability to adapt, pre-empt demands and respond quickly to changing requirements. With national field sales representation and two distribution centres in Peterborough and Cumbernauld, Carl F Groupco is a leading player in the UK hardware industry. Free from the constraints of a larger group, the company is at the forefront of new developments. For example, with the company’s recent launch of its SmartSecure brand, Carl F Groupco confirms its leadership in the field of advanced electronic door locking and smart access control.SmartSecure

2. Electronic Locking Leaders / Biggest FUHR Range: Carl F Groupco has the UK’s largest stock of FUHR door locks and is FUHR’s biggest single customer. A partnership dating back over 55 years ensures the two companies work very closely together. Carl F Groupco has in-depth knowledge of the locking systems and often works with the manufacturer to develop new products specifically for the UK market. The comprehensive range available includes high security locks, electronic systems and multitronic FUHR 881 which is at the heart of the SmartSecure solution. Unrivalled technical support for FUHR products is provided based on comprehensive experience of the full range.

3. The Largest Distributor Worldwide of the PN Reversible Hinge: Carl F Groupco is the official UK distributor of PN reversible hardware now manufactured by Roto and the largest individual customer worldwide. For the past 15 years the range has been supported by the company’s dedicated Product Manager, Julie Warner. In recent years, new solutions have been designed specifically to suit profile systems including Combi 500 Reversible gearing for the Eurocell Modus profile and UNI Side Hung Projecting gearing for Rehau’s flush fit profile.

This is Ingenious4. Ingenious Launch Partners: Carl F Groupco was again at the forefront of door hardware initiatives when it was selected to be a launch partner by Ingenious. The hardware distributor supports the full Ingenious range of high security multipoint locks and accessories including the Duplex and Professional ranges, all of which are available ex stock for next day delivery. Commenting on the strength of the relationship and impressive service offered by the hardware supplier, Ingenious MD Nigel Hutchinson said, “We love the brand, the customer experience and the focus that Carl F Groupco brings to customer service: it’s a great fit for both organisations.”

5. Over 7,000 Product Lines: With one of the industry’s most comprehensive hardware ranges, Carl F Groupco’s product portfolio is extremely impressive. Sourcing only the best hardware from leading manufacturers, over £3 million of stock is held to ensure a rapid response to meet customer demands. Two distribution facilities, based in Peterborough and Cumbernauld, support the company’s commitment to next day delivery for orders placed before 3pm. Combined, the warehouses hold almost 1.9 million components, which facilitates the despatch of 3,000 orders per month.

6. A Charitable Organisation: Generous Carl F Groupco staff regularly raise money for worthy causes. Fund-raisers have included Jeans for Genes and the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Marketing Manager Clare Crockett supported cancer when she entered the 26.2 mile London MoonWalk and sporty warehouse supervisor Tim Groves tackled his longest cycle ride to date raising considerable sums for the Sue Ryder Hospice charity, boosted by sponsorship from his Carl F Groupco colleagues.

Sales Office Manager, Carlia Corras at the FIT Show 20167. FIT Show Forerunners: Carl F Groupco is a longstanding supporter of glazing industry exhibitions and events.  The company has attended the FIT Show since its launch and in 2017 will be one of the high-profile hardware exhibitors for its fourth show in succession. Preparations are underway for a purpose-built stand for the 2017 FIT Show designed to catch visitors’ attention with further hardware innovations. As testimony to Carl F Groupco’s standing as a hardware industry forerunner, the company were the winners of the Most Successful Visitor Campaign in 2016.


Carl F Groupco Limited: Tel: 01733 393330

For more information, contact

Follow Carl F Groupco on Twitter using the handles @Carl_F_Groupco and @_SmartSecure

Nigel Hutchinson and John Crittenden

Proactive Partnerships

An article written for Glass & Glazing Products Magazine, November 2016.


Ingenious locks provide Carl F Groupco with a full range of options for PVC, timber and composite doors.

Ingenious locks provide Carl F Groupco with a full range of options for PVC, timber and composite doors.

In this hardware sector report for Glass and Glazing Products, Carl F Groupco – the established supplier of window and door fittings – details why proactive partnerships are key to growth and development in the distribution market.

Eighteen months ago, a partnership between distributor Carl F Groupco and manufacturer, Ingenious Locks and Hardware was forged when the innovative Professional and Duplex door lock ranges were added to the hardware supplier’s range.

Product benefits, supply capabilities and how the locks complemented Carl F Groupco’s existing range were key to the business arrangement. However, as John Crittenden – Managing Director of Carl F Groupco advises – it is essential to look beyond the specification and the price tag when selecting new partners.  Expanding on the importance of shared brand values and service synergies, John explains:

“To survive and develop in the hardware supply business you have to build a reputation for quality service as well as products. While price definitely matters in this industry, that will quickly be forgotten if there are installation, performance or support issues.

“Strong partnerships with manufacturers are therefore essential in moving the supplier from a distribution business to providing a full-service offering. As a result, we go beyond product and price on our check list…before embarking on a long-term relationship with a manufacturer, we ensure that we have a shared philosophy which will form the basis of a proactive partnership.

“Of course, it isn’t a one way street. The manufacturer needs to be assured that we are going to give them the representation they deserve, which is based on our legacy of technical support and commitment to service.

“The Ingenious team’s technical capabilities and long history in the lock industry were significant factors in developing our relationship. With decades of experience accrued before forming the company, Nigel Hutchinson, Stuart Carpenter and their team knew everything that can go right, and wrong, with a locking system. This deep rooted knowledge is essential. Anyone can design a lock, the secret is understanding what can go wrong… because locks last many years, it takes decades to fully understand the workings, challenges and complexities.

“We are very much on the same page as Ingenious regarding our customer focus – they are always approachable and happy to produce lock variants to meet different customer requirements. Prototypes are supplied quickly, and without fuss, which results in tailored solutions and delighted end users.

“And there is no complacency. We like the way that Ingenious challenge convention. The Duplex version, for example, has evolved away from the two hook, two roller lock, which has been the standard solution for as long as I can remember. Ingenious has taken a step back to see how they can differentiate their offer: the result is a five hook option, which gives sales teams a real differentiator and all important USP. 

The Duplex door lock with double hook, a stand out product in Carl F Groupco’s hardware range.

The Duplex door lock with double hook, a stand out product in Carl F Groupco’s hardware range.

A harmonised relationship

“We are also harmonised regarding technical support for customers which is backed by extensive training. Ingenious staff have provided comprehensive product inductions – they have conducted training sessions and are very hands on. Our technical teams work together and combine their extensive knowledge of PAS 24 and Secured by Design to advise customers and help them through testing. They are also available whenever needed to ensure that we give timely responses to our customers – as we all know, time is of the essence and immediate answers are essential.

“The backing of a ten year fit and forget guarantee gives our customers full confidence in the product: this includes a dedicated on-the-road technician, in house training of fabricators and fitters if required, full guidance or management of testing requirements and complete support through changeover.”

Reinforcing the significance of the partnership, Ingenious’ MD Nigel Hutchinson said:

“We love the brand, the customer experience and the focus that Carl F Groupco brings to service. I have known John and his team for years and our teams share the same passion for development and customer support – these are the essential building blocks for any manufacturer and supplier relationship. The launch of Ingenious has been exciting and we need to be in complete alignment with distributors who share our can do attitude; this is very much the case with Carl F Groupco.”

Carl F Groupco confirms that, from the outset, the locks manufactured by Ingenious have provided its customers with a full range of options for PVC, timber and composite doors. For the hardware supplier, the stand out product is the Duplex door lock, which has been extremely popular: the double hook feature, which is fully security tested, is a real selling point.


For more information on the Ingenious range, click here.


Carl F Groupco Limited Tel: 01733 393330

Follow Carl F Groupco on Twitter using the handle @Carl_F_Groupco.

Carl F Groupco customers benefit from Ingenious enhancements

Advancements to Ingenious door locks set to benefit Carl F Groupco customers are highlighted by the hardware supplier. The established distributor of window and door fittings added Ingenious products to its catalogue in 2015 and enhancements have been made to both the Professional and Duplex multipoint door lock ranges.


Advancements to Ingenious door locks are highlighted by Carl F Groupco.

Advancements to Ingenious door locks are highlighted by Carl F Groupco.

Taking a proactive approach to respond to market feedback and fabricator needs, and with continuous investment in R&D, latest Ingenious developments which are spotlighted by Carl F Groupco include additional rollers added to the Professional and Duplex door locks for further compression. Depending on fabricator preference, the Ingenious door lock ranges are now available with either 2 or 4 rollers in addition to high security hook locking. In line with Ingenious’ focus on providing easy-to-install solutions, Carl F Groupco advises that there are no preparatory changes required for any pre-existing users of the door lock when upgrading to the 4 roller version.

A second development is the introduction of a 13mm axis one-piece keep, which is fully capable of achieving PAS 24 with no additional security plates resulting in improved security, enhanced aesthetics and reduced overall costs. Additional fixing holes on the keep also aid secure fixing to walls. Keeps are supplied with cover caps as standard.

Carl F Groupco reports that Ingenious products have been an important addition to its portfolio due to their combination of innovative engineering and value for money. The Ingenious Professional and Duplex have both been successfully tested to PAS 24 and Secured by Design requirements, carry the Secured By Design logo to help provide peace of mind to the home owner and are covered by a 10 year ‘Fit and Forget’ guarantee.


Follow Carl F Groupco on Twitter using the handles @Carl_F_Groupco and @_SmartSecure.

West Port selects Carl F Groupco for Ingenious order

The latest development in Carl F Groupco’s long-standing partnership with West Port is the supply of the innovative Ingenious locking solutions.

Carl F Groupco’s supplier partnership with West Port continues with an order for Ingenious locking products.

Carl F Groupco’s supplier partnership with West Port continues with an order for Ingenious locking products.

With a strong reputation for high performance, bespoke timber windows and doors West Port is extremely selective when it comes to supplier relationships. Carl F Groupco has met the company’s exacting requirements with staff continuing to impress with their knowledge, helpfulness and willingness to support.

Commenting, Sean Parnaby, West Port’s Managing Director said:

“Carl F Groupco goes the extra mile helping us to select the correct ironmongery for each of our timber products. They have been more than willing to come to our factory with product samples and have taken the time to sit with us to ensure that they fully understand our needs.

“As one of the leading timber companies in the UK, we supply sites with large volume orders. With Carl F Groupco’s assistance, we fulfil these contracts on time and in full. We have also catered for complex, specialist jobs with their support.”


Carl F Groupco is delighted to receive the endorsement from West Port which confirms the company is delivering on its brand values. The latest order for Ingenious products confirms the market appeal of the new locking solutions.

For more information on Ingenious door locks, please click here.

Follow Carl F Groupco on Twitter using the handles @Carl_F_Groupco and @_SmartSecure