The Data 7 range was industry-leading and had loads of built in USPs. We advertised for manufacturers and set up three: they became customers of D&TS, they fabricated the windows and doors, and then sold them on to D&TRWS.
We encounter the first problem: Eric wanted a premium price for the components from our manufacturers, which was then reflected in their selling price back to us. We (the group) might have now been making money upstream but the net result was that we were increasingly uncompetitive downstream i.e. with the ultimate retail customer.
We excused this (with our salesforce) by chanting the mantra ‘but that’s what it costs to have a premium product from D&T’. Rolls Royce, Bentley etc. were also frequently quoted. The fact was that we were uncompetitive, and trying to take three profits out of the process: for D&TRWS the original Co., for D&TI the Installations Co. (still 85% owned by Martin), and now for D&TS (the company supplying our manufacturers). Something was going to go pop at some point.
INSIGHT 59:- It all seemed so very clever at the time, but in truth it was unworkable in what was a very competitive, challenging and changing market. Margaret Thatcher once said “You can’t buck the market!”. She was right.