From the introduction of the Berry up-and-over garage door in the 1950’s, Hörmann has grown to become the market leaders in garage and industrial doors throughout Europe. The company continues to grow and now has over 50 wholly owned subsidiaries and numerous authorised dealers in over 30 countries. In the UK the company has gone from strength to strength with both the domestic and industrial divisions recognised as market leaders. By sticking true to the original philosophy of quality without compromise, Hörmann has maintained its commitment to research and development to ensure that the products and services provided meet the safety, operational and budgetary needs of all clients.
Warehouse & Logistics News – What does your job involve day to day? Has your role changed since last year?
Primarily to see what going on in our market, who is developing what and to keep abreast of those developments. My role has not changed dramatically over the last year, but client contact seems to have increased due to the competitive nature of our business and the need to ensure that we are aware of our clients changing needs.
W&LN – 2011: how was it for you and Hormann?
On the Industrial side of our business, we are approximately 18% up on 2010. As with all businesses we have had to cope with increased fuel prices and have made some marginal price increases to compensate. Overall we have maintained good control over costs and expenses but have had to absorb some raw material cost increases which has had a marked effect on our margins.
W&LN – What is your particular proposition for customers in the warehouse & logistics sector? Has that changed since last year?
W&LN – How has the doors & curtains sector been performing in 2011? What do you see as the most important recent developments in the sector?
The industrial door market has been steady throughout 2011 with the notable exception of sales of fast action doors, which have continued their rapid increase first seen last year.
We have also noted a lot more activity in the ‘Big Shed’ market, in comparison with the two previous years. We believe this is largely due to the restraints on investment being eased at the end of last year and beginning of this year. Also many developers were reporting that their bank of empty property was reducing rapidly to the point that they would have to start building again and I think we are seeing the results of this now. The largest growth within the ‘Big Shed’ market has definitely been with the Food and Home retailers, The Co-operative Group,Tesco, ASDA, M&S etc
W&LN – Has your company grown in the last 12 months?
As mentioned earlier our turnover on the Industrial side of the business has shown an 18% increase on last year, also our order bank has grown considerably.
W&LN – Have you been investing in improving your premises, taking on more staff, upgrading your website, enhancing your IT etc in 2011?
Throughout the recession Hörmann has invested over €10 million in our manufacturing plants. In the UK we have taken on more customer service staff to ensure that we not only maintain our high levels of service but also improve while we continue to increase sales.
Investment has also been ploughed into, providing better data and information for architects, specifiers and contractors. We are the first company to provide, independently audited, environmental product declarations for multi-function and sectional doors. This data is needed more and more for sustainable and energy efficient builds.
W&LN – How are your existing products and services doing?
At Hörmann we are constantly evaluating our products and looking to make improvements. Though our insulated sectional doors are recognised as the benchmark for the industry, we have made improvements. For example the double insulated DPU door, for cold storage loading bays, now has new locating and lintel profiles to improve thermal efficiency.
We are constantly looking to improve, whether it is our products or our service, an attitude that has helped us to gain market share throughout Europe.
W&LN – Have you launched any new products or services in 2011? What are they, and how are they performing?
This year we have launched our new version of our high speed spiral door, the insulated HS 7030.
This door is a complete redesign of this style of door. The new design features the same, 42mm thick insulation found in our SPU sectional door and uses the strength of this insulation to add even more stability to the door. This design is a proven energy saver that replaces the traditional two door solution of a high speed curtain for frequent daytime access and a sectional door for night-time security. Operating at 2.5m/s this door can minimise heat loss through level access bays. An added benefit of this new design is its ease of repair. Individual panels can be replaced if damaged and at relatively modest cost.
W&LN – Do you operate in any other countries besides the UK? How are you getting on there? Have you gone into any new countries in 2011?
We at Hörmann UK look after the whole of the UK and Northern Ireland. As a group, Hörmann operate a tight network of more than 50 company owned subsidiaries and numerous authorised dealers in over 30 countries. This 100% family owned business employs over 6000 staff.
W&LN – Have you won any awards in 2011, or been accredited to any new industry standards during this time?
Hörmann UK has once again been voted Loading Bay supplier of the year, by the Institute of Transport Management. I have also been given a lifetime achievement award by the Institute.
W&LN – Which industry sectors are your customers in? What applications do people use your products/services for?
Because the Hörmann portfolio of products is so broad, we cover quite a range of industries. The most important sector to us is the warehouse and logistics market, followed closely by the emergency services sector (fire and ambulance) and the automotive and commercial vehicle market. However we also produce doors for the retail market, folding doors that can be used in restaurants and street cafes and hinged doors for the home or office.
W&LN – Do you sell your products direct or through distributors? Has that strategy changed in the last year?
At Hörmann Industrial we support a growing number of professional industrial door specialist distributors throughout the UK. However, because of the complexities of working as a sub contractor to a main contractor and also the very competitive nature of some of the larger projects, then we would generally supply and install direct.
W&LN – Can you name any of your major projects in the last 12 months, and talk about what you have done for them?
We have had a very busy 12 months. Notable projects include Marks and Spencers new distribution centre near Bradford where we have fitted a total of 136 sectional loading bay doors as well as level entry and side hinged doors. Sustainability was a major factor in the planning and development of this prestigious site. Taking the longer term view, several manual loading bay doors were fitted on “future” bays instead of cladding sections of the building where additional or alternative loading bays could be fitted. This way any future redevelopment cost and raw material use is minimised without adding to the costs of the initial development.
We have also completed two projects for the Co-Operative Group, at Newhouse, Glasgow and on Andover Business Park. Insulated sectional doors are fitted at all the bays on both sites, while the vehicle maintenance workshop sectional doors at Andover benefit from wicket doors with our unique trip free threshold.
Another area where we have been particularly busy is in supplying fast action doors for fire stations across the country. As one example, 64 doors have been fitted at five sites for the North East Fire and Rescue Service.
W&LN – How does your forward order book compare with a year ago? What about the waiting list for your (products) compare with a year ago?
In addition to the growth in turnover our order bank is 25% higher than this time last year. We have been able to maintain our short delivery times, through continued investment in our manufacturing plants and through the hard work of all those involved. Manufacturing has risen to the challenge of maintaining the service levels our clients have come to expect, as production has increased to meet the demand across Europe.
W&LN – Which trade shows did you exhibit at in 2011? How were they?
Besides the Home Building and Renovation exhibition that our domestic division attended, which produced some fantastic leads from house builders and developers, the industrial division supported ISD, one of our clients who are market leaders in cold store design and erection at the Temperature Controlled Storage and Distribution show (TCS&D) in Peterborough , which also produced some interesting and important leads for both ISD and Hörmann.
W&LN – As the Christmas period is traditionally the busiest time of year for the UK warehousing and logistics industry, what challenges has your company been facing?
Generally the Christmas period creates pressures for our service department in responding to urgent calls from distribution warehouses and ensuring same day fixes. We, like most of our competitors, will provide additional resources as necessary for this busy period. Fortunately at Hörmann UK, we can utilise the services of some of our industrial door distributors and specialists to provide additional assistance if and when required.
W&LN – As a company, what are your new year’s resolutions for 2012?
W&LN – What are your plans for 2012?
Increase market share, improve efficiencies to provide an even better service to our customers be they, distributors or end users alike.
W&LN – Where do you see your company in three years’ time?
Stronger, leaner and most importantly the Market Leader. We will only achieve this by providing excellent quality products and after sales service to match, at truly competitive rates.
W&LN – And finally, what would you like Father Christmas to bring your company in 2012?!
Like most companies, growth and stability in the market.
Hörmann UK Ltd
Tel: 01530 516888