Carl F Groupco Hardware Report: Premier Products

In this report for Glass and Glazing products, Clare Crockett, Marketing Manager for Carl F Groupco highlights the fact that high end hardware has an increasingly important role to play in enhancing and differentiating the company’s range of window and door fittings.

Clare Crockett: Marketing Manager

Clare Crockett: Marketing Manager

“Premier products have strong design appeal and are extremely versatile: they also give leverage to fabricators to offer highly sophisticated products that add value to their range.

With a long-standing track record supplying hardware solutions, at Carl F Groupco we are adept at tailoring our portfolio to meet all needs. Regarding premier products, we offer a range of hardware solutions including SmartSecure, our 881 fully motorised multipoint door lock and smart access control brand. Other high end solutions featured in our catalogue are patio entrance hardware and products catering for the increasingly popular aluminium market.


Recognising the Smart Home technology revolution, Carl F Groupco’s high profile SmartSecure solutions replace the traditional key with a range of access control options. While SmartSecure is highly sophisticated, simplicity is at its heart with emphasis on ease of installation, straight forward adoption for fabricators and accessible support.

‘SmartTouch’, which is a pioneering access system, enables entry with the simple touch of sensor: access is facilitated if an active, moving transponder is within range. Radio-based access control systems are also available including a radio keypad, transponder and fingerprint scanner for keyless biometric access control.

Three SmartSecure variants are available tailored for high end residential, commercial and communal doors – all utilise the same base hardware which enables fabricators to target multiple sectors with ease.

With property owners becoming more savvy with their home improvement investments, we believe that the ability to offer products like SmartSecure is instrumental in allowing fabricators to differentiate their offer from the competition.

FUHR Flexibility:

The FUHR multitronic 881 door lock at the heart of SmartSecure technology can be used with combinations of wiring and access control options to suit the differing requirements of the end user, from high end ‘grand design’ style domestic dwellings to a EN 1125 CE marked panic exit door on a commercial building.  As the standard preparation for the lock is the same for any style of door, with just minor adjustments for the associated hardware, fabricators have a valuable opportunity to supply doors to a wider market base.

As it is possible to achieve EN 179 and EN 1125 with both mechanical and electronic door locks within the FUHR range, the FUHR 881 electronic lock is a simple way to add a new revenue stream to a business. With little change to door preparation compared to the mechanical variant, these locks can be fitted along with panic bar and CES free movement cylinders offering complete packages where panic/emergency exit doors are required for commercial work and communal door entrances.

The multitronic 881 is also sold as a stand-alone product which provides a simple upgrade option for end users. With relatively little additional preparation work for the fabricator, the 881 gives the opportunity to sell high end doors with enhanced margin capabilities.

Speciality Sectors:

Other premier products offered include large patio entrance hardware such as lift and slide products. The HS Portal by Siegenia, for example, supports the growing market for stylish, wide span doors that extend the living area of homes to encompass the property’s outside space.

Aluminium is another expanding sector with durability, security and design aesthetics cited as key reasons for its appeal and we are supporting demand with complementary hardware. Ranges included in Carl F Groupco’s Aluminium Collection are the Roto/PN Uni for reversible window gearing, Siegenia ALU tilt & turn gearing and Cotswold Architectural Products’ friction & parallel stays. Products also cater for remote window control, emergency and panic exit / multipoint door locks plus folding sliding door, lift & slide, and tilt & slide hardware.

Having highlighted the significance and importance of premier products, it is important to emphasise that compiling a catalogue is all about balance – high end hardware has an essential part to play, but this should not be at the expense of mid-range or value fittings. All budgets need to be catered for and Carl F Groupco provides a full spectrum of options to meet the needs of all requirements.”


For more details on the FUHR multitronic 881 lock from SmartSecure, please click here.

For more information about our different access control options, please click here.

For more about Panic and Emergency Exit options, please click here.

For more about the HS Portal bu Siegenia, please click here.


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.


Conexis L1 strengthens SmartSecure’s retrofit remit

Carl F Groupco has added the Conexis L1 – a Smart Keyless Locking Handle, to its SmartSecure range of electronic door locking and Smart access control solutions. Ideally suited for retrofit installations, the addition to the company’s portfolio enhances its range of Smart options and increases its Smart Tech offer. New markets for SmartSecure are opened up as any 92mm PZ door lock can easily be upgraded to incorporate the system, whether this is a retrofit or new door.

The Conexis L1 Keyless Locking System is added to Carl F Groupco’s SmartSecure solutions.

The Conexis L1 Keyless Locking System is added to Carl F Groupco’s SmartSecure solutions.

The Conexis L1 joins the SmartSecure brand’s established FUHR multitronic 881 lock technology and access control options, which include the sensor based ‘SmartTouch comfort’ and radio based access control solutions.

All SmartSecure variants are designed to be easy-to-fit and the Conexis L1, which can be fitted in just 20 minutes using a screwdriver and Smartphone, is engineered for ease of installation. Carl F Groupco is confident that the system will support Smart Tech take up. The Conexis L1 allows operation of the door lock through a number of access control methods including key cards, key tags, phone tags and an app.

Technical support is seen as Carl F Groupco’s key strength in supporting the Conexis L1 – easy-to-access experts who provide straightforward advice are seen as essential in supporting the introduction of the product to the company’s portfolio.

Carl F Groupco is an established supplier of window and door hardware. The SmartSecure brand is one of the most recent additions to its catalogue of over 7,000 product lines.


For more information about the Conexis L1 Keyless Locking Handle, click here.

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.

Cairngorm Group success supported by Carl F Groupco

Recent contract gains for the Inverness based Cairngorm Group, manufacturers of high energy rated windows, are being supported with hardware supplied by Carl F Groupco. With a Scottish distribution centre located in Cumbernauld, Carl F Groupco has a strong track record in Scotland and a partnership with Cairngorm Group that dates back to 2004.

Recent contracts which incorporate Carl F Groupco’s hardware are announced by Cairngorm Group

Recent contracts which incorporate Carl F Groupco’s hardware are announced by Cairngorm Group

Cairngorm Group began working with award winning new home builder, Springfield, in 2013. Latest news is a contract that has resulted in the company supplying its ninth Springfield development. With each site ranging from 50-100 mixed dwellings, the contract is significant. Commenting on the company’s success supplying Springfield, and the input of Carl F Groupco, David Dowling, Managing Director of Cairngorm Group said:

“An ability to provide a PVCu alternative for timber windows, while maintaining aesthetics and functionality with PN reversible window gearing supplied by Carl F Groupco, was pivotal in Springfield’s decision to work with Cairngorm Group. The PN reversible hinge is particularly important as Scottish Building Regulations stipulate that it must be possible to clean upstairs windows from the inside.

“Carl F Groupco has also supported this contract with the Trojan Patriot hinge, which has been colour matched to complement the design requirements of this development. Colour continues to be a hot trend – for this particular scheme, an anthracite grey RAL 7016 outer was selected with white inner window and door frames.”

An additional contract success announced by Cairngorm Group has been achieved in partnership with Compass Building and Construction Services. Working on behalf of Albyn Housing Association, the prestigious project – which is in year two of a potential four-year contract – will result in renovation of 66 houses during this phase. Originally built in the 1970s to accommodate oil rig workers, timber windows have previously been replaced however, PVCu windows have now been selected to offer enhanced durability and longevity. Having successfully fulfilled the security and insulation standards required, the social landlord & local authority sector is a market set for further development by Cairngorm Group.

Established in 1988, Cairngorm Group is active in trade, commercial and domestic markets. A significant increase in both new build and local council contracts has seen growth in fabrication to around 500 frames per week. Services provided by
Carl F Groupco include product supply, hardware selection support and regulations advice.


For more information about the Cairngorm Group, click here.

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.

A Private Matter

An article written for Glass News, April 2017.

John Crittenden, Managing Director, Carl F Groupco.

John Crittenden, Managing Director, Carl F Groupco.

As one of the last remaining privately owned hardware distributors, Carl F Groupco has the ability to adapt, pre-empt demands and respond quickly to changing requirements. In this article for Glass News, John Crittenden explains how autonomy gives the organisation the ability to be open with its staff and flex its offer to react quickly to market demand.


“A major advantage of private ownership is that the company doesn’t have layers of group management to negotiate before implementing new procedures or processes, this ensures high levels of responsiveness throughout the business.
“We can be totally open with our staff which offers significant value… our workforce understands fully the direction of the organisation and importance of service excellence, including next day delivery targets.

“As part of this transparency we introduced Business Conferences where we talk honestly, including reporting our On Time In Full service statistics and sales figures. We look at where we are, what we are doing and what we are going to do. Questions are encouraged, which are collated and responded to. Nothing is hidden which builds trust and understanding. All staff attend, and at each conference one department presents its contribution to customer service: this helps everyone understand that they have a key part to play in meeting our business objectives. Members of our accounts team – traditionally a department that works behind closed doors – presented at the last meeting.

“Staff members at every level are encouraged to be proactive in making proposals for new systems. We don’t just pay lip service with suggestion boxes, when our workers identify areas that could be improved they simply talk to us and initiatives are given due consideration… some of our most effective advancements have come from our workforce.

“Taking the example of customer quotations, an improvement to how these are generated originated from our employees that work with the system. Linking quotes to our central CRM operating system resulted in instant access across the team to view quotes and data regarding profit margins. This empowerment is all important in releasing discretionary effort; it means our workforce doesn’t stick to the letter of job descriptions. 

“Our buddy back up concept was also inspired by front line workers. Members of the internal sales team recognised the benefits of working in tandem with Regional Sales Managers. As everyone has access to the same information, the customer is assured there is always someone available to help.


Warehouse team member Richard Booth with bespoke packaging that he helped design.

Warehouse team member Richard Booth with bespoke packaging that he helped design.

Joint Responsibility

“We all roll our sleeves up, coming together to take joint responsibility. A good example is stock take weekend where everyone, including the management team and company Directors, pulls together to complete the essential audit.

“Refreshingly, warehouse staff are also highly engaged in our customer focus. I believe this is because they are recognised as an essential part of the team and included in all communications. There are many examples of our warehouse staff’s contribution to the bigger business picture. As part of our bespoke packaging for a number of major profile companies there have been a number of occasions where we have presented new challenges. Rather than balk at additional work, they have come up with a brief of how to pack and label to speed up the process and improve the packaging quality. If they have a quiet day, stock is pre-packed in readiness for shipping – this lack of ‘jobs worth’ mentality is invaluable to the successful running of the organisation.

“The benefits of organisational autonomy mean we can move quickly to pre-empt market trends. Carl F direct was our first venture more than one step aside from hardware distribution, this evolved from selling a few tools to a dedicated service. Being constrained by a parent group probably wouldn’t have allowed this initiative.


Full Commitment

“SmartSecure is an excellent example of rapidly establishing a position at the forefront of new technology. There is undeniable growth in smart home technology and we recognised the importance of grabbing this window of opportunity – after extensive research we moved quickly to invest fully in the concept and our solutions.  With our freedom of operation, we have been able to fully commit to the new brand investing in the appointment of a highly qualified Business Development Manager, a showroom and significant marketing collateral including a dedicated website and video.
“As we aren’t overly reliant on own brand hardware we are able to assist customers in developing their own product lines. We can also create bespoke hardware ‘kits’, mixing and matching brands which means  customers buy from one supplier source. To us it just means a willingness to tailor our service, a little extra time and additional wrapping, but the value to our customers is huge.”


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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.