Trade deal boost for CR Smith

CR Smith, Scotland’s leading home improvement company, is stepping up a gear with a new supply strategy which could lift the Dunfermline-based company’s sales by as much as £10m this year.

The privately-held business, which has grown from a modest operation in 1975 to one with sales of more than 40m annually, is lining up a number of deals which will see it supplying its Lorimer brand windows to small-to-medium sized house builders across the country.

Gerard Eadie, company chairman, said: "By the end of this year we will probably be doing another 8m to 10m turnover on this new trade business."

Guaranteed for up to 10 years, the Lorimer windows are made to customer specifications at CR Smith’s Cowdenbeath plant and until now were previously only sold on a retail basis.

The company, which specialises in conservatories, windows and doors, has just signed its first deal as part of its new strategy with house builder, Mitchell’s of Thornton.

Mitchell’s will offer its clients CR Smith windows as part of a complete house building package. The 12-month agreement is worth 1m to CR Smith and Eadie, who is currently talking with a number of medium-sized building companies, is confident similar contracts will spring-board the company into a new phase of growth.

He said: "We realised that people building their own bespoke luxury homes do not want a commodity product and want to match the quality of their home with quality windows. We then sounded out the market and established there was enormous potential. I am talking with a number of companies."

The new business strategy, too, will present the company with a constant revenue stream as it builds up the number of long-term contracts with builders across the country.

CR Smith was ahead of many in the industry when it started branding a number of its products many of which are manufactured on a bespoke basis and have allowed the company to capitalise on niche market business.

Eadie said: "We guard our Lorimer brand. The windows are made-to-measure and we can offer the services of our experts to advise on the fit detail if the builder requires."

Eadie said he has no plans for a push into the English market but suggested, that in time, the company may explore the possibility of supplying to building companies operating in England.

He said: "From a manufacturing point of view I could see us supplying our products down south."

CR Smith is also investing 0.5m in its Cowdenbeath factory, introducing new plant which allow for more efficient manufacture.