Rapid PVCu Systems set for growth despite market challenges

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In a post-pandemic era, the industry is facing a market like never before. Thanks to a strategic acquisition, Rapid PVCu Systems has weathered the storm…

No one could have predicted the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact it had, nor the ensuing rollercoaster ride that UK businesses, including those in the fenestration industry, faced as a result. 

With the impacts of both the pandemic and Brexit to contend with, the industry faced severe supply chain disruptions, while continued lockdowns made any kind of business planning incredibly difficult. 

At the same time, however, the industry faced a surge in demand from consumers who chose to spend their extra money on upgrading their home, after saving a reported £150 billion nationwide during lockdown. 

One such company that benefited from the surge was Doncaster-based window and door fabricator Rapid PVCu Systems, who continued to thrive despite the many challenges faced. 

But now that the UK is almost back to normal, the surge in demand is starting to settle, and the industry is now competing with the likes of travel and hospitality – now that we can enjoy restriction-free holidays again, homeowners are choosing to spend less on home improvements. 

So where does that leave the likes of Rapid PVCu Systems, and the industry as a whole? 

Strategic partnership

In May, Insight Data, the industry’s trusted provider of market intelligence, revealed the findings of its latest State of the Industry Report, providing a comprehensive review of the glazing industry. 

Among many trends, the report revealed a decline in the number of PVC fabricators, dropping below 1,200 companies for the first time, representing a 50% drop since 2008. 

Those remaining fabricators have benefitted from absorbing the additional volume, and most have increased their capacity in order to take advantage of the demand. 

Rapid was no different – in April last year, the company was acquired by private equity firm Modular Group Investments (MGI), joining the likes of fellow PVCu fabricator Euramax Solutions, and aluminium fabricator Barton Windows Limited

As a group, MGI aims to make positive changes within UK off-site manufacturing, with specific focus on companies whose products support this market. 

Rapid PVCu Systems Managing Director Simon Bingham comments:

“Working alongside MGI, we’re able to understand and bring solutions to the specific challenges faced by the off-site sector, whether this be logistical challenges of just-in-time delivery, or developing products to speed up the assembly process and integrate with factory installations.  

“Thanks to this partnership, we’ve managed to overcome the challenges faced by the industry, and today continue to be a strong and developing business. 

“Working from a 15,000 square foot factory, our 60-strong team last year manufactured over 36,000 PVC windows, and nearly 5,000 doors, after buying over 1.1 million metres of extruded profile – and those numbers certainly speak for themselves.”

Looking ahead 

Insight Data’s State of the Industry Report suggests that we’ll see further consolidation across the industry, as more companies either retire or shut down, or merge with others. 

Simon concludes: “Even with the risk of recession and economic uncertainty, many in the industry believe that the market will return to pre-2020 levels this year, and will remain stable. 

“At Rapid, thanks to a strategic partnership with MGI, we’re well equipped for the dip in demand that we’re bound to face. 

“Because we provide a premium product offering to the rapidly growing off-site construction sector, we’re very well placed to prosper. 

“We’re achieving record numbers of output and sales, and with plans to expand our product ranges, we’re looking forward to growing even further. 

“The coming months will no doubt be challenging, but I’m confident that despite a changing market, Rapid will go on to see a very successful 2022 and beyond.”

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