Uform has unveiled a £100,000 state-of-the-art design centre at its Toomebridge premises in County Antrim.
The 7,000sq ft space includes eight new displays featuring the latest door styles from its consumer brand, Kitchen Stori, a dedicated product research and development area and an area which focuses exclusively on colours and finishes.
Uform’s product and design centre manager, Sara Cotter, said the improvements were made off the back of feedback from Uform’s trade customers and the firm was “thrilled at how well it has been received”.
The kitchen doors and components distributor, which recently sold a multi-million pound stake in its business to the investment firm, the Business Growth Fund, also announced a reduction in lead times for its paint-to-order timber items to 10 days – the result of a £4 million investment programme completed at the end of last year.
Uform chief executive Eamon Donnelly said: “Following the success of our attendance at KBB last year where we launched a number of innovative ranges along with a new Kitchen Stori brochure concept, we experienced an unprecedented demand for paint-to-order products in the months that followed.
“We’re more confident than ever that we can continue to provide an unrivalled buying experience for our retailers both in terms of service levels and the diverse ranges and finishes that we offer.”
Uform’s recent investment also includes 50,000 sq ft of additional space for accommodating popular ex-stock ranges such as the Aldana skinny shaker, a 10,000sq ft dedicated despatch area for more efficient delivery of product to retailers as well as new painting and polishing capacity to help keep lead times to a minimum.
New IT platforms have also been deployed for smarter workflows, increased traceability and ultimately improved communication with the Toomebridge firm’s customer base.
Cotter said the design centre’s new research area would incorporate a number of prototypes and survey software to empower retailer partners to influence future product ranges.