Distinction Doors was founded in 2004 to import a unique, thermal-efficient and durable door into the UK. Despite being made from a composite material, the doors look like they are made from timber but are far more secure and cost-effective.
The business flourished, and in 2011, co-founder Drew Wright decided to turn the simple warehouse business into a one-stop shop for high-quality doors.
In 2015 the firm invested in its manufacturing capabilities, as well sales and marketing, and Distinction is now the UK’s number one maker of entrance doors.
One in every four doors installed in the UK is a Distinction door. “In the early days, the goods would come in and go out with very little interference from us,” says financial director Vickie Brown.
“Now we add extra value. We can cut holes so doors need no further work from our customers. We can prep, paint and glaze. We also manufacture many different designs now, not just one.”
The £42m-turnover business supplies fabricators – companies that install double-glazing, for example. And while Distinction’s roots are in social housing, it has now diversified into other markets. “We now supply 60pc of our products to the residential sector,” says Brown.
Based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, the company works alongside its clients to develop products that their customers will love. This means creating French, bi-fold and stained glass effect doors.
This year, Distinction has invested heavily in new machinery, which has automated some of the processes required to fashion the doors. This investment should help deliver a £6m uplift in turnover this year.
“We’ve got a three year strategic plan,” says Brown. “This involves bringing more innovative products into the marketplace, and maybe looking at untapped markets, helping our customers to grow too.”