Windows of Opportunity
Duro Pressings has an ambitious goal: to be the one-stop shop in the building openings category. Their aim is be South Africa’s destination for doors and windows. John Lamb, the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Duro, tells us that the company is one of the largest manufacturers of steel and aluminum products, such as windows and doors, as well as steel garage doors in South Africa. In addition, Duro also manufactures doorframes. “We manufacture a range of shower doors and DIY products to complement our offering.”
The majority of Duro’s business focuses on the affordable housing sector, where they cater to disadvantaged consumers. “We pride ourselves on supplying this sector with quality affordable products”, says John Lamb. Duro keeps its priorities clear and in sight. Currently, it is involved in many low cost housing developments in South Africa. “We are working on projects in Soweto, Soshanguve, and Diepsloot in Johannesburg. We also have some ongoing in Hlabisa, Umzumbe, and Kwamkwanazi in Durban,” says John. With a successful business model that focuses on quality, the future is looking good.
As with most major industries, the manufacturing industry has been hit hard since the global recession of 2008. John tells us “there are definitely signs of recovery. I think the government’s role in the industry is critical. Essentially, how they perform in terms of budgeting/financing and housing is directly linked to the building industry’s performance.” How well did Duro manage to survive the recession? “The company’s performance, versus our own expectations, has been average over the last year; the market itself was in a decline, so when compared to the overall market, we did well. The lows we did experience were learning moments for the future, so we were able to turn these into positives.”
But the recession isn’t the only major change Duro has had to contend with in the last few years. There has been an increased focus on the environment across all industries, and Duro has evolved with the times. John tells us: “We have tried to be as eco-friendly as possible. Due to the fact that the majority of the materials we use are purchased or sourced elsewhere, we do the best we can to reduce our carbon footprint in terms of recycling. We are also committed to using the most energy efficient processes possible.” The process, of course, doesn’t stop there. “We have started to ensure that our products become more energy efficient in line with government standards. This process is on-going and should be completed for all the applicable product lines by September of this year.
After a recent ownership change in the company, its next focus is rebranding to let the world know about the work they do. It went on a surprise branding campaign, where employees left work from its 9 offices across South Africa one day, and returned the next to find completely rebranded buildings and offices.
The company’s slogan is “Building with Pride”, and it is easy to see it in action. “As a business, we have an offering that is unmatched in the industry, in that we can offer a home owner, developer, or builder a basket offering that no other single supplier can. The quality of the staff we have really drives our quality of work, and we are able to produce top-of-the-line products.”
John tells us the company owes its success to its ability to retain good people and attract quality staff. “It helps that the South African housing market has remained positive and buoyant” says John. But success can always be built upon. “Our biggest goal is to become a truly customer-centric company – this entails putting the customer first, in all that we do. It means we are going to add to our existing product ranges and offer new materials; for example, wooden doors and windows”. Only time will tell if they will become the leading supplier of products in the openings category for the building industry. For now, it looks like they are on the right track.