Pot Calling the Kettle Black
I couldn’t help but give a wry smile at Vic De Costa’s letter to you last week. The letter was for a nice change not having a pop at Edgetech, but one of our shared competitors Thermobar, for not verifying their simulation figures with the British Fenestration Ratings Council and questioning whether their claims are true. This is a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black. Swisspacer claim lots of things that are questionable at best, and often aren’t followed with any kind of verification. If my memory serves me correctly they also took some time submitting their own figures to the BFRC, but perhaps we won’t go into that! Their advertising campaign continues to claim market leadership and top performing products – they even depict their product winning the race against their competitors – but these claims have never been backed up with substance. In fact according to the figures which all warm edge companies must submit to the BFRC which have been tested by a third party test house, Super Spacer is 28% better than the next best spacer when it comes to the thermal performance of the spacer. So it’s a little misleading for Vic to claim anything else.
They claim market leadership based on our own UK manufacturing volumes and not our sales figures. Anyone that knows the basics of business understands that manufacturing volume is not the same thing as sales figures? The Quanex group manufactures over a quarter of a billion meters of spacer globally every year so of course we import and export between group manufacturing sites. Even if they do want to compare apples with pears, the figures they refer to are completely out of date now because we have more than doubled our manufacturing capacity in the UK to stay ahead of our growing sales. The only figures Swisspacer ever quote are percentage growth figures which aren’t as impressive if it refers to 200% of a tiny starting figure.
And whatever growth they may have seen to date may be taking a bit of a dent soon as we’ve converted a host of sealed unit manufacturers that were using products like Swisspacer to our Super Spacer product in the last couple of months. Hourglass Seal and The Smashing Glass Company to name but two chose to make the switch between Warm Edge suppliers for best product performance and productivity. Swisspacer’s biggest customer still sits within their own group of companies so isn’t the best endorsement for a ‘market leader’.
The other thing I would question about Swisspacer’s market leadership is their commitment to the UK market. Surely if you’re leading the market you should at least be employing significant numbers in the UK, if not manufacturing. Swisspacer do neither.
Of course I would say this but we know that market leadership remains with Edgetech as it has done for some time now. The acquisition of Edgetech by Quanex has only strengthened our lead. We don’t mind if Vic continues to make false claims about it because we’ll keep ourselves busy by continuing to convert his customers to Super Spacer, but it might be an idea in future for those in glass houses not to throw stones!
Managing Director of Edgetech, a Quanex company
Letter from Vic De Costa of Swisspace
Response from Mark Hickox, Thermoseal Group