So…the Architectural Ironmongers Survey results are in! We have reviewed all the results from our December survey, and are pleased to share them with you.
Bespoke ironmongery – 18%
|The first finding showed that, for most architectural ironmongery businesses, bespoke ironmongery counted for around 18% of purchases. Obviously we were very pleased to hear this, as our bespoke ironmongery abilities continue to grow and expand. We’re always available to help, even with the strangest ironmongery requests!|
|Lead times was, as expected, something Architectural Ironmongers would like to see an improvement on. This wasn’t just confined to UK businesses like ourselves, but also included our overseas competitors. It has indeed been a tough couple of years for AIs, but we are already in the process of implementing both systems and equipment to keep us at the forefront of UK Manufacturing, which should once again bring down our timescales on more standard products. Bespoke products will ultimately always have some timescale attached as they are made to order..but we will always strive to advise at the point of enquiry, design and throughout our partnership.|
|Improvements in customer service were also mentioned (although we are very pleased to say that our own customers rated us very highly). Obviously, there can always be genuine human mistakes, but we train our staff to always be polite and courteous, and to go the extra mile. We are continuing in this manner by looking at what improvements we can make to be more accessible and to provide comprehensive updates.|
Well, we have over 7000 options just in our standard catalogue. As you can imagine, this means that many items are made using just in time manufacturing so we are not overstocked. We are also looking to add more ranges to our repertoire this year, which are not just beautiful, but innovative too. Watch this space!
Ahh, quality. Always mentioned, but never really discussed! We asked how you determine quality, and the results were very interesting. A large % use the finish to identify quality, some are more interested in innovative design and others understand that UK manufacturing means a mark of quality. It was great to see that there is a preference for the ironmongery to be made in Britain. Instinct are proud members of Made in Britain. British manufacturing means that you can be sure that all UK standards are adhered to, and that the quality is of the highest calibre. We also work hard on our finish. As the UK’s most experienced 316 steel manufacturer, we have mountains of knowledge when it comes to caring for and finishing this beautiful material. We also hold both ISO9001 and ISO14001 certification.
But the decisions don’t just come down to quality. Whilst it is still by far the most important element in the final decision, supplier relationship and confidence in your chosen supplier were extremely important. We can appreciate this kind of trust can only be built over time – and we work very hard to ensure that our ironmongers get the same great service as they did on day one, which is why we were so happy to receive high scores of satisfaction.
Whilst we didn’t provide a crystal ball, we asked our AIs what their concerns were for this year ahead (2023). Unsurprisingly, most were worried about the squeeze currently being felt as a result of cost increases and margin squeezes. The wider economic landscape is also looking uncertain at the moment, which we appreciate can be worrying. We can certainly empathise, as we have seen a turbulent couple of years with raw material price fluctuations and energy cost rises, but we will always try our very best to shield our customers. Where a rise is inevitable, we will always notify you in plenty of time via email (email sign up link at the bottom of the page) or by phone where relevant. We will always try to work with our customers to ensure all parties are still compensated for the hard work we all put in.
Delivery and supply was featured. Again, this included delivery issues in a wider sense – as well as just UK focussed. We are lucky enough to have our own delivery fleet, meaning we are not subject to some of the delays being felt through the UK system currently. We are looking at how we can reduce our own lead times for raw materials, although we usually carry a good amount of stock to fulfil orders as they are received. So we are confident we will continue to provide timely delivery throughout the coming months.
We’re always here to help, please contact us with any requirements, or feel free to request a login and see all our prices for yourself. Our team has a wealth of knowledge to support you with what you need.
Help for new architectural ironmongers.
For new architectural ironmongers, we understand the difficulties of staying ahead of the changes that face us on a regular basis. We find that the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers is a great place to find advice, support and knowledge.