For Leeds-based installer Elmhurst Windows, 2021 started with a bang! The Liniar installer won a Business Achievement Award in the Yorkshire Post’s Business Excellence Awards then followed that with an Outstanding Achievement Award at the GGP Installer Awards! We sit down with Managing Director Richard Abrahams to discuss why 2020 was a turning point for the company – and what led to the recent awards.
About Elmhurst Windows
A household name in the Leeds and West Yorkshire area, Elmhurst Windows is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. Richard joined the family-owned and operated business more than three decades ago with no plans to run the family business – but here we are! With a huge personality and a firm commitment to customer service, Richard leads a team ensuring that customers are well taken care of and all projects are finished to the highest of standards.
“Being in business for this many years, you can imagine we’ve dealt with our fair share of window fabricators. We’ve been installing Liniar products for almost a decade – but we’ve worked with our trusted fabricator Alternative Windows for well over 10 years,” comments Richard.
“The team at Alternative Windows shares our desire to provide customers with only the highest quality products and exceptional service. Throughout COVID-19 – despite the pressures faced by everyone in the industry – Alternative was exceptional. We’ve always had a good relationship with them, and they’ve proven time and again that they put their customers first, deliver when they say they will and are reliable – so that Elmhurst can be all of these things as well.”
Turning a negative into a positive
March 2020 caught us all off guard – none of us wanted to close our doors – but the first UK lockdown meant uncertain times and a time to reflect for Richard.
“Lockdown forced me to think about the future of the business and how we would move forward,” Richard explains.
“In the past, we were very hands-on, visiting customers as we always had – but with the social distancing guidelines, we had to re-think how we did everything. In a very short space of time, I began creating videos to put the personality of our business out there, which allowed us to directly connect with homeowners who were looking for home improvement help on social media.
“This new (to us) communication channel brought in a lot of enquiries and we began doing quotes via social media and email – customers would send us pictures and measurements and we’d talk over Zoom. The challenge of the pandemic pushed us to begin communicating with customers in ways we never had before – and we’re actually better for it.”
Richard continues, “Lockdown gave me the extra time and opportunity to make videos and case studies, putting the message out to customers that while our showroom may be closed for visits, Elmhurst Windows is very much open for business.
“We’ve been in business for five decades and have a customer book of over 25,000 clients. This new way of operating has essentially opened new lines of revenue for us and subsequently, sales are up 75% year on year.”
Award season wins
Elmhurst Windows had never entered awards before, but after all the changes made to the way it had operated throughout the pandemic, Richard believed he had something special to share with the world – so he entered the business in the Yorkshire Post’s Business Excellence Awards.
“We’re proud of how much we’ve adapted in just a short period of time – and how we’ve helped homeowners throughout the pandemic to achieve what they want for their homes. These things, in conjunction with our 50th year anniversary, made it the perfect time to put our business out there,” Richard comments.
“While awards are a lot of work to put together, the recognition we’ve received has made it worthwhile.”
After the Yorkshire Post win, Richard entered GGP’s annual Installer Awards – and once again the company struck gold! This time, Richard won the Outstanding Achievement Award for mentoring and guiding his staff through the turbulent COVID-19 pandemic. His open-door policy and approachable nature made it easy for his staff to talk to and his determination ensured the business was even more successful as we emerge from the ongoing lockdowns.
A reliable supply chain
Richard concludes: “These wins are about more than just Elmhurst Windows. They’re also down to the ongoing support we’ve received from Alternative Windows and in turn the continued profile supply from Liniar. Without the reliability of our supply chain through these challenging times, things may have been quite different.”
Congratulations to Richard and the Elmhurst Windows team for their huge award wins and milestone 50th anniversary – 2021 looks set to be an even better year!
Discover the Liniar product range at www.liniar.co.uk.