Clearway Doors & Windows

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Clearway Doors & Windows's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Clearway Doors & Windows is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Jeremy Phillips, managing
Clearway Doors & Windows Ltd head office
and manufacturing facility in Cheltenham
Clearway Doors & Windows Ltd is celebrating 35 years of
manufacturing and installing made-to-measure window
and door systems in Gloucestershire. For 30 of these
years it focused on the commercial sector. Five years ago, the
company expanded into the high-end domestic market. It now
offers a complete range of products to a wide customer base in
the Midlands and southwest. Managing director Jeremy Phillips
shares his thoughts on how Clearway has achieved this success.
Evolution is the key to survival and Clearway has certainly had to embrace this
mantra over the past 35 years. The window and door industry has changed
dramatically from the early eighties, when aluminium windows were very basic in
design with rudimentary double glazed units, to the present day when demand for
quality, choice and performance has helped to develop cutting-edge products with
world-class credentials.
Strong partnerships with aluminium systems companies, component manufacturers
and suppliers have helped Clearway to navigate this path of continuous
improvement, a task made easier with many of these businesses based around
Cheltenham. Keeping things as local as possible goes hand in hand with the green
credentials of aluminium which is Clearway’s core product – in fact, 75 per cent of
aluminium produced since 1880 is still in use today.
Having identified the potential of aluminium in both the commercial and domestic
markets some time ago, the company is now reaping the benefits of consumer
demand. The ability of aluminium frames to deliver slim, strong, energy-efficient
windows and doors in pretty much any colour or combination of colours means
»Managing director:
»Established in 1983
»Based in Cheltenham,
»Services: Management-owned
manufacturer and installer of
aluminium and PVCu windows,
doors and glazed roofing
»No. of employees: 30
»Operates in 8 counties in the
Midlands and southwest
»Turnover: Over £2.5million
Clearway Doors &
Windows Ltd
Highlighting best practice
that demand is continuously growing.
Testament to this is the fact that, in
2013, domestic sales accounted for
less than five per cent of Clearway’s
turnover; five years later this has
increased to over 40 per cent. We aim
to reach 50 per cent while expanding
both markets.
Investing in staff
Manufacturing and installing
aluminium products is still a skilled
practice and any company can
only be as good as the staff that it
employs. To this end Clearway has
embraced continuous staff training
and development. Using a combination
of in-house teaching and local training
providers has proved vital in improving
abilities and developing the younger
Our factory environment has proved to
be the ideal springboard for staff who
want to develop extra skills and in the
past few years we have seen three staff
move from the shop floor to take up
key roles elsewhere in the company.
Of course, that means that we have
constantly to nurture and train new
employees to fill the gap left behind.
Again we have had considerable
success in this area.
The skills shortage within the
construction industry as a whole is still
a very real problem faced by almost
every sector and is a concern going
forward. However, by adapting your
strategy you can build for the future.
Experienced labour “on tap” can no
longer be relied upon for recruitment,
as career window and door fabricators
and installers reach retirement. As
they disappear from the labour market
they leave a void created by neglect of
apprenticeships and a perceived lack of
glamour within the building industry.
We have to get creative if we are to
keep up the high skill levels of the
previous decades. As employers we
have to build an appealing work place
and offer career prospects. We need to
put as much effort into setting out our
stall for new employees as we do for
new customers.
Customer service
You have to make your company
stand out from the crowd especially
in an industry as competitive as ours.
At Clearway we have concentrated
on the basics of quality and service.
The company has grown considerably
over the past five years from a staff
of 19 to over 30. This growth has
Clearway manufacturing
Inside the showroom
building in Cheltenham
The skills
shortage within
the construction
industry as a
whole is still a
very real
problem faced
by almost every
sector and is a
concern going
However, by
adapting your
strategy you can
build for the
been necessary to cope with increased
demand. However, we have not
allowed this to detract from our
It is important to take a critical
look at ourselves – and to do this
continuously. It’s a fact of life that
things do not always go to plan and it
is vital to have the ability to deal with
any eventuality so that we can still
deliver the right product at the right
time for our customers. Whether the
job is a single door or part of a multi-
million pound commercial project we
have to perform. One area that we
have developed recently is our ability
to react quickly and efficiently to any
service issues that occur with our
products. The old adage that it’s not
the problem itself but how you deal
with it is as important today as it ever
was. Today’s consumer is demanding –
and rightly so.
Sampling customer opinion is a really
useful tool. We now regularly send out
concise feedback forms to evaluate
and improve our procedures. Indeed,
we have introduced new quality
control procedures and improved lines
of communication based on comments
from our customers. We have fixed
one problem area by splitting duties
carried out by one manager into
three separate areas of responsibility
with dramatic results. Again, we have
relied on customer feedback to let us
know that we are now on the road to
getting things right.
The next 35 years?
Perhaps this is too much of a crystal
ball challenge. However, we do have
a plan – a very simple one – to keep
investing in staff, customers and
products. The future is full of promise
for the window and door industry
especially the aluminium sector. Here
at Clearway we will continue to play a
leading role in shaping and improving
ourselves and the industry as a whole.
Keep investing
in staff,
customers and
The factory in
Aluminium curtain wall
façade by Clearway

This article was sponsored by Clearway Doors & Windows. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister