Leinfelden-Echterdingen - (rp) Roto Frank Professional Service GmbH (RPS) is expecting to achieve double-digit turnover growth again in its second year of being an independent division. In the words of Managing Director Dr Christian Faden, this good performance is particularly encouraging because demand structures changed significantly in 2020 due to the pandemic. Thanks to the wide range of services for follow-up care for windows and doors, the company managed to respond flexibly to this changing situation. “Our diversification strategy is taking effect,” reported Dr Christian Faden at the start of November 2020 during the Roto Group’s 15th International Trade Press Day. Other topics included the enhanced network of partner companies, new product alternatives and a practical B2B example.
The effects of the coronavirus are as intense are they are varied. While the repair jobs resulting from domestic burglaries temporarily collapsed in the industry, the commercial burglary protection business grew dramatically, according to Faden. This “special effect” was not, however, enough to compensate for the loss in the private sector. On the “negative side” was the fact that police awareness campaigns on site did not take place or were very limited for several months, which resulted in poor business with property management and the cancellation of many consumer trade fairs as a result of frequently cancelled owners’ meetings. The situation did, however, become more manageable as the year progressed. The RPS Managing Director reported a generally increasing volume of service requests.
Two anti-coronavirus solutions
The concept of diversifying the range of services and therefore overcoming reliance on individual segments – a strategy which has been pursued from the very start – has “paid off” especially in the coronavirus crisis. The range of services now covers redevelopment / renovation, energy efficiency, burglary protection, construction site acceptance, repairs, maintenance, sun protection and roof window service.
Faden also highlighted a special solution which can be used to effectively break the coronavirus chain of infection. To be specific, this is the “PM Shield” surface coating approved by the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. It “permanently and verifiably” kills 99% of viruses with shells, such as influenza and the coronavirus, and bacteria and can even be applied at a later stage, for example to handles of frequently used doors and windows.
With regard to the pandemic, the Managing Director also addressed ventilation in schools, which is being widely discussed and increasingly called for at the present moment. The often pitiful condition of windows in schools is currently often preventing the required impact ventilation from being ensured, making it impossible to adhere to coronavirus provisions. Since complete window replacement is usually excluded due to cost reasons and the limited time available, faster and more effective solutions are urgently needed. The range covers repairs to damaged hardware and changing faulty components through to replacement of removed handles. The RPS companies are still able to perform this work “before Christmas”. Separate ventilation systems, by contrast, would have many drawbacks at the present time (no rapid availability, high investment, follow-up and energy costs, etc.).
“A major step”
Faden is in principle optimistic about the business performance over the rest of the year. The increasing importance that people are attaching to their own homes due to the pandemic is playing a significant part in this. However, at present it is impossible to predict the specific effects of the coronavirus regulations, which have been made more stringent again, with any certainty. He doesn’t want to present himself as a “soothsayer” for 2021. The longer it takes for a vaccine to become available to efficiently fight the virus, the longer the “market will behave like a car being driven with the handbrake applied.”
In 2020, the company made “another major step” towards achieving its aim of being represented by qualified and established partner companies in all German metropolitan regions. The network now includes eight companies in Germany and Switzerland. Schirrmacher Sicherheits- und Fenstertechnik GmbH with around 20 members of staff joined on 1st April 2020 as a new member. It covers the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.
A unique situation developed in the greater Stuttgart / Central Neckar area, according to Faden. To close the previous gap in this “area where we are successfully established”, the good infrastructure at Roto’s site in Leinfelden-Echterdingen was used and a new company founded. Frank Sicherheits- und Fenstertechnik GmbH has been active since October 2020, currently employs five members of staff and is for the moment solely managed by Faden. This is not intended to be “a long-term solution”, however.
Greater security through innovation
As you know, all integrated companies present themselves jointly as “Service Friends for Windows and Doors”. This umbrella brand is geared towards end customers and (police) security consultants who advise builders and homeowners. Headquarters are pressing ahead with digital marketing for the companies presented to the public at www.service-friends.de. This is a direct consequence of the changes to the information and sales channels due to the pandemic.
With the “PM 12/16-VdS” retrofit hardware from Roto, the product range also boasts an innovation: this is the first time that hardware has been certified in accordance with VdS guidelines 3168 under more stringent test conditions. It is compatible with windows from any manufacturer, ensures a crucial increase in security thanks to additional locking points and impresses with mushroom cams and strikers made from hardened steel, among other features. It is installed concealed in the window, so that the appearance and function of the elements are maintained without compromise.
Satisfied customer with satisfied customers
To conclude, Faden explained how B2B cooperation works in practice. The collaboration between Roto Professional Service and Kneer-Südfenster is an example of many other similar types of cooperation. It is proof that using RPS partner companies is worth it for window producers and enables them to focus on their core business. He used two properties in Berlin and Munich equipped with Kneer windows to illustrate his example. While one case related to correcting profile damage which occurred after installation, the other project concerned completing various outstanding tasks before final acceptance.
Florian Kneer rates the previous experience with “Service Friends” as wholly positive. The Managing Director of the window manufacturer active throughout Germany highlighted several points. He specifically mentioned the direct communication channels nationally, fast response times, reliable and technically perfect work, and quick and simple solutions. Feedback from customers has been equally positive. For Kneer, it is “of elementary importance that the service is of the same high quality as the production and installation of our products.” And: “The fact that customers can be certain that they will receive the best support, including after making their purchase, definitely secures additional orders for us.”