A company providing components for domestic kitchens, bedrooms and lounges as well as commercial offices has completed its move to new premises with a major investment in the future.
Decorative Panels Group has officially opened a state-of-the-art marketing suite at Lowfields Business Park in Elland – 18 months after a £10m move to transfer its components operations to a 175,000sq ft factory at Lowfields from outdated premises in Oakes and Longwood.
It already had a 96,000sq ft unit at Lowfields housing its head office and laminates subsidiary as well as a factory in Teeside.
The 8,500sq ft marketing suite has been designed to showcase products from all the group companies – but also uses interactive technology to engage customers and potential customers.
On arrival, guests are met in the “chill zone” surrounded by original design classics such as Floss lamps and Le Corbusier armchairs.
All the built environment of the marketing suite is constructed from the companies’ own products – including a kitchen made entirely from sheer material manufactured by Decorative Panels Lamination and processed by Decorative Panels Components.
A heritage zone displaying items of memorabilia traces the history of the family-run group from its origins in 1879 and early success as a coffin maker.
The “dp-library” zone features hard samples of all the group’s decor and specialist ranges – all ready to select and take away – while the “dp-virtual” zone enables visitors to interactively design and configure bedroom, kitchen and living room furniture drawing from all the designs available.
The system displays the chosen furniture full-size on a big screen in a fully-dressed room set environment. Touch-screen technology enables the user to select any design and click and drop into any panel on the chosen furniture set. The finished result can be viewed from four separate camera angles to ensure the customer is completely satisfied with the result.
A “mix and match” zone provides A1 and A3 panels of every design available in the decor and specialist ranges for the visitor to see and compare on a wall-mounted tracking system.
The first floor of the marketing suite is dedicated to displays of products from all three group companies – dp-furniture showcasing bedroom and living room displays manufactured by the lamination company; “exploded” displays of kitchen carcasses made by the components company; and a full kitchen display.
A “be creative” zone shows all the products which are available to use on a turntable system to compare and contrast suitable finishes. A separate meeting room also features on the first floor.
Finally, the visitor arrives in the “innovation” zone with raised plinths displaying the latest developments from all the group companies – some that will become available to the market in the near future and others in the earliest stages of development.
Steve Gaunt, Decorative Panels Group chairman, said: “With an ever-increasing portfolio of products that target a wider and more diverse market, it is increasingly important to be able to showcase all our group companies in a facility that is informative and inspiring. The marketing suite enables us to do exactly that. It is a great addition to our state of the art factories and I am sure it will prove beneficial to current and future customers.”
Group managing director Guy Metcalfe said: “For the first time, we are able to bring together product, design and innovation potential from all our group companies under one roof. The fact that the marketing suite is within metres of both our components and lamination factories allows us to present to our customers in a meaningful fashion.”
The privately-owned group has unveiled the new investment at a time of growth – with 600,000 panels a week leaving its premises and 15,000 boxes of flat-pck furniture produced every day.
Mr Metcalfe said the business was close to achieving £100m turnover, adding: “We are profitable, but we put money back into the business. “