Product and service innovation the key to developing the market

If 2008 follows the pattern of past post storm periods it will be a flat year and so we will all have to drive sales ourselves. To achieve this Grange and Britannia have initiated a number of programmes to support their stockists, but the key to developing the market is product and service innovation.

This year has been a little bit biblical for the fencing industry, with feast and famine for many. Both supplier and stockist alike had run their stocks down after two slow seasons and were unprepared for the surge in demand caused by the storms of the 18th January. Then came the war of attrition as everyone fought for the limited supply of fencing material to feed the insatiable demands of the market and then, just as the raw materials caught up and production was wound up to maximum, the bottom dropped out of the market leaving many with timber purchased at the top of the price cycle with no one to sell it to. This is bound to cause some uncertainty over the next few months as manufacturers have to off load stock at a loss to generate cash flow, but should not alter the fact that world demand will keep prices up in the longer term.

Fortunately Grange and Britannia had persisted in their policy of winter stock build and had in excess of 180 miles of fencing in stock at the time of the storm and were able to implement a programme of stock replenishment to their customers, which gave them consistence of supply throughout those trying times. Now they are working with their stockists to implement a winter stock build to ensure they will not be caught out again. What you say, will happen if it is a flat season? Quite simply, they will exit the season as normal through the bank holiday fest, the only difference this year is the peace of mind an earlier stock build will give.

At GLEE in September Grange and Britannia launched a range of new products incorporating colour, shape and choice.

The Flower Walk, a circular pergola was the star of the show generating lots of orders and the Madison fence panels with their choice of metal or timber coloured inserts raised a lot of interest. These were complemented by the Marrakech Trellis, also made of metal inset in timber frames in three colours. Additionally there is a range of galvanised metal/timber trellis extending the contemporary look, the Brooklyn and Bronx and two styles of privacy trellis, the Elite and Alderley.

The Louvre Panel planed and pressure treated green is another contemporary design that can be used as a panel or incorporated in a pergola to screen you from the sun. And, to hide that ever increasing menace, the wheelie bin from view when you are sitting in your Tea House there is the ever practical Wheelie Bin Screen, which simply unfolds and glides on casters for ease of use.

Grange were the first to offer a timber H Post to the market, which they have now redesigned and are now launching another first, the Octagonal Post. This allows you to take your fencing line off at different angles or created secret gardens by using seven panels and eight posts.

When Grange introduced their D-Day delivery service, giving their stockists a three day lead time on weekly deliveries all year round it was an innovation that has never been equalled and now they are offering the majority of their range on home delivery, allowing stockists to sell non stocked items from the page, which Grange and Britannia will then deliver for them.

Grange and Britannia’s message for 2008 offers us all the chance to sell up and broaden our appeal with a good product range well kept and presented and more importantly available when you want them.

For further information telephone 01952 588088 or e-mail