‘The vision for the company is simple – we want to build a world class operation’

Caldwell Group CEO,  Eric Mertz

When Caldwell UK announced the acquisition of Cotswold Architectural Products in January 2014, the move was dubbed the bringing together of ‘two of most respected names in the UK window industry’- the leader in balances and hardware; and the leader in friction stays.

Fast-forward over three years to the middle of 2017 and it is interesting to look at how the acquisition has benefitted both companies; and the industry.

Q1: What was the reason for acquiring Cotswold at the time?

Cotswold remains a sub – brand in its own-right that operates under the Caldwell main brand. The reason for buying it was due to its very strong reputation in the UK market but also its international footprint that covers Asia pacific – an area we’ve long wanted to gain traction into.

With any acquisition culture is important too – and the knowledge and experience of the senior team also played a part.

Q2: Three years on has it gone as well as you would have hoped?

There will always be challenges – that is inevitable but having said that I feel it has gone better than expected. We have invested lots of capital into infrastructure at the Cotswold site, including on the factory floor and in IT and processes. Overall, it has made us much stronger as a business and both businesses are now fully integrated.

Q3: What is the focus for Caldwell in the UK, going forward?

It’s always about innovation and ensuring we are conceiving and launching the next generation of products. Whether that is around automation and motorised products – of which we spend 30 per cent of our annual research & design budget – or bringing new products to market or evolving our current offering to ensure it remains world class.

Q4: Can you tell readers about some recent product innovations?

Most recently we have launched a new robotic bi-fold testing facility, which we believe is the only one of its kind in the UK.

The robot tests numerous bi-fold schemes each week against the everyday stresses the mechanisms and hardware will undergo, including hardware tests beyond the required 5,000 slide cycles and 50,000 turning cycles. This ensures the door’s strength and durability and means our customers know they are always getting quality products when they buy from Caldwell.

We have also recently launched some newly evolved products (UL2) and Torso spring balances so that they are even higher performing. From August this year, UL2 will be replaced by the Ultra Lift 6 (UL6) and in June Torso was replaced by the new Torso II version.

All of this is part of our £1m investment programme and we will be also rolling out some industry game-changers in the coming months, so look out for those.

Q5: What is the vision for the company?

It’s simple – to remain a world class company. We already possess manufacturing capabilities that are second to none but it’s also about the people and we’re lucky to have an amazing team; and we recently added more experienced names.

We also remain a global company and we think in these terms. By this I mean that we have a responsibility to the regions we work in and we actively learn from what is happening in these diverse markets.

For more information about Caldwell, you can call us on +44(0)24 7643 7900 or send us an online message.

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