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The specialists
Friday, 26 June 2015 13:16

Farnborough Blind Company is a specialist in motorised blinds and is continuing to invest in its future

Specialists in motorised blind systems and controls Farnborough Blinds is a broadly skilled company, drawing on 30 years experience in blind manufacture. Often custom designing systems to suit customer needs and are highly regarded for their knowledge in the field of motorised blinds.

The Farnborough Blind Company was established in1985 making all types of blinds for the trade from modest premises in Farnborough Kent. Rapid growth in the early years meant the company needed to relocate three times, to bigger and better premises in order to meet the demand for its expanding product range. This expansion saw that by 1995 the Farnborough Blind Company was occupying a 14,000 square foot factory in Orpington, Kent, and employing over 20 full time staff, with manufacturing dominated by commercial demand for Venetian, vertical and blackout blinds, it was during this time that the Casstyle brand was established to help market their newly introduced range of cassetted blackout roller blinds, and through evolution of this product the brand is now identified as representing quality and reliability throughout the trade.

With their initial success founded on the manufacture of labour intensive products, the competition through cheap imports from Asia started to put pressure on pricing, with the necessity to offer greater and greater discounts in order to win orders. It soon became obvious that to secure its future Farnborough Blinds would need to make the decision to either increase volume sales, selling more for less to take on the competition from cheaper imports, or to switch focus to high end premium products, effectively selling less for more.

This choice was made easier by the decision they had made early on to invest in the emerging market of motorised blinds, despite the products available at the time being bulky, prohibitively expensive, as well as difficult and time consuming to manufacture, the potential was obvious and a lot of time and resources were spent ensuring staff had the relevant skills in place through training and that they had the necessary tools available, and as such by the mid 1990's Farnborough Blind Company probably had one of the most experienced employees in the field of motorised blinds within the whole industry, supported by the fact they were even contracted to manufacture Somfy’s motorised sample blinds during this time.

The significance of the decision to switch production emphasis towards motorised blinds was highlighted in recent years with the global financial crisis. Had the choice been made to increase production and reduce profit margins, the company like many others in this situation, would possibly have been forced to close, but with 60% annual turnover from electronic products and the required staff levels now half that of their peak the company was able to weather the worst of the downturn.

By the start of 2010 the Farnborough Blind Company found itself in the situation of having a large costly factory that it had occupied for the last 15 years, and that now, due to the change in direction was greatly unused and no longer reflected the company's image or suited its requirements. The time was right for the company to move, and in October new premises were found a short distance away in Sevenoaks, which although smaller would offer the chance to greatly reduce overheads and the opportunity to custom fit the space to maximise efficiency.  The new unit is only five years old, with two floors of newly built offices, a meeting room and mezzanine level, giving a total of 7500 square feet, despite this being almost half the size of the Orpington factory they have been able to maximise the use of space and production areas have been laid out to provide staff with the most efficient working environment. Located just off exit 4 on the M25, near Sevenoaks, it provides good access in a very quiet location with high security and gated entrance. With the new move also came new ownership, the retirement of the original director Gerry Paffett in October 2012 made way for Bill Wyatt previously employed as technical sales manager to take over as new owner and director.

Being founded as a broadly skilled company with a diverse product range it has always been the Farnborough Blind Company’s philosophy to focus on the future and to continually develop and invest in their products, the current plan for the future involves launching a motorised roman track system designed in-house, as well as further developing their CM1 and CM3 intelligent relays to make building management and lighting control interfacing even simpler, along with an updated website being launched soon and other exciting developments yet to be revealed the future for Farnborough Blinds is looking very bright indeed.



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