Window Industry Software

Selling windows – with or without software

Put bluntly, a salesperson needs just one thing when sitting down with a potential client: confidence.  Confidence in the product, and confidence in the pricing structure in use.  An effective, well thought-out and easy to understand pricing system makes life easier for the salesperson, and engenders trust and confidence in the consumer.  So why do so many retail companies operate from a pricelist ‘borrowed’ years ago from a competitor or former employer?

Printed pricelists are still in use in a surprising number of retail companies, large and small.  These pricelists tend to have several different, and conflicting requirements.  The owner/sales-director wants to know what the profit margin is, but this requires a level of complexity and maintenance difficult to justify, and which may work against the other main requirement – that the pricelist is easy to use.  Over the years window companies have come up with varied solutions.

Windowlink is often called in to set up pricing and presentation software, and we have come across all shapes and sizes of pricelist, from single-page much-simplified efforts, to large and bulging lever-arch files.  Some are based on a ‘cost plus’ basis and, at some point in their history, have probably given an idea of profitability to the management team. Many more are ‘guesstimates’, cobbled together as a few pages, or a single matrix uplifted for coloured foils, varied materials and glazing.  The best to be said is that it is easy to use, and the company seems to be doing okay.

What could possibly go wrong?  The obvious answer: a lot.  Paper pricelists are open to interpretation: it is possible for three sales-people to price a job from the same pricelist and to calculate three very different ‘correct’ prices.  They are inaccurate and have no relationship with actual costs and overheads of a business.

The good news is that pricing and presentation software like Windowlink’s can cope with any method our customers care to throw at it.  Systems can mirror software used by suppliers, ensuring that each frame-cost is correct.  Prices can then be marked-up, or could be a reproduction of the manual pricelist previously used.  What is important is that cost can now be checked against selling prices before the invoices come in.  Alternatively, the pricing could be based on any hybrid method used by the installer.

So, what is the best type of pricelist?  From a software point of view, the ‘right’ method is to take the cost of frames and glass, add fitting costs and an element of overhead recovery, then to add the margin required.  However, your target market will influence where you position your price.  If you present yourself as a top-end, ‘Grand Designs’ kind of company you will present yourself as best in sector, and you may be able to set your price-point independently of competition.  If your target is in the middle or lower part of the market you may need another strategy.

Common pricelist models tend to be either market or competitor-led.  You can base your pricing on what you estimate the market will stand, or you can attempt to match your competitors’ price.  Neither can be claimed to be accurate; neither will tell you your profit margin.  An advantage though is that they can be quicker (and cheaper) to build, and can be modified by simply changing the discount structure.

Many fabricators and trade suppliers now offer versions of their manufacturing software to give accurate costings. This can be helpful, but is of little use to a sales-person on an evening call who needs to give at least a ball-park figure on the night.  These programs are focussed on one element of a wider product range, but are of more use to the supplier than the installer, removing the need to provide quotations on demand, and allowing the installer to order directly through the software.

Presentation, visualisation and pricing software such as Windowlink’s can be set up to reflect an entire product range, costed accurately and regardless of supplier, from PVCu, aluminium, and timber windows through to high-end bi-folding and composite doors.  Set up properly, a software system can act as brochure, pricelist and sales training manual – if it is in the program it can be sold; if not, not.  It gives confidence to the salesperson and client and has been proven to increase sales.


Windowlink are getting FIT for the fourth year running

Windowlink are proud to announce they will be exhibiting at the FIT Show 2017 for the fourth year running, which this year has moved to a significantly larger venue.

Operating from stand G46 at the Birmingham NEC industry exhibition, the Gloucestershire-based developer will use a range of technologies to show installers and fabricators how its intuitive software can help them improve conversion rates, up-sell more effectively, and convey trustworthiness and professionalism to their customers.

Windowlink’s software solutions have been specifically designed for windows, doors, conservatories and orangeries, allowing installers to create impressive 3D visualisations of their products in the comfort of the customer’s home. An automatic pricing module provides instant tracking of how much the proposed project will cost – a feature that has greatly improved the relationship and trust between sales people and their prospective clients.

The Fit Show provides Windowlink with an excellent opportunity to connect with others in the industry and establish new business relationships. It also gives existing clients the chance to speak face to face with the ‘Tech Team”, who will be on hand to chat to users about how they can make the most out of their Windowlink Software.

Windowlink’s Managing Director Mark Dudley is looking forward to meeting installers and fabricators of all sizes this year but is keeping quiet about an exciting new development “I won’t say too much about it now, but what I will say is that if you install or fabricate windows, doors or conservatories, you definitely don’t want to miss our Fit Show stand this year”

The Windowlink team look forward to meeting you at their stand G46 in the Birmingham NEC on May 23rd 2017.

Seal the deal instantly with Windowlink’s “Digital Signature” facility

TwitterThe Window, Door and Conservatory sector now has a new ally in their quest to speed up their sales processes and increase their revenue, thanks to a game-changing feature introduced by software specialist Windowlink. Your sales team are now able to “Seal the Deal” instantly when pitching windows, doors and conservatories to homeowners.

The market leading design, sales and pricing software modules for installers which has been developed by Windowlink, Focus and Vector, can now be specified with a digital signature facility. This means your sales team could virtually price up, quote and get the order signed, in just one interaction with the homeowner.

To simplify things even further, the programs can email the job file, specification and signed contract directly to the customer, back to your office and to as many contacts as your desire.

Windowlink MD, Mark Dudley, explains: “The digital signature works on any touch screen device that supports the Windows operating system, such as tablets or tablet-computers. Where these devices are not available, external signing pads can be used instead.”

With Focus for Windows and Doors, and Vector for Conservatories and Orangeries, your sales team can design products in any style, colour and configuration, while the pricing is done in real time by the system. Once the product has been agreed on, the software modules can automatically generate a professional quote and/or contract based on the exact measurements and features selected.

“This is when the digital signature facility comes into play,” added Mark. “Rather than returning to the office to print and post the order form to the client, both Vector and Focus now allow for the signature to be collected digitally, using the touch screen device. This accelerates the sales process and helps installers capitalise on the homeowners’ excitement for the purchase.”

Tablet devices have had a major impact on many industries, helping to streamline processes and services, and resulting in significant time and money savings. The Window, Door and Conservatory sector can now further benefit from this technology, thanks to software solutions designed to make selling to their homeowners both painless and effective.

“The impact our software modules have on retail businesses is instantly rewarding. Focus and Vector are powerful tools that help installation companies save time and money and increase sales by creating a trusting relationship with the homeowner – the price is always visible. They also represent the natural step forward – in an era of instant gratification, having to wait for quotes and contracts when deciding to make a purchase can be frustrating and even off putting for the customer, but now installers can capitalise on these modern changes with software solutions created specifically for them,” concluded Mark.

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Focus on Lantern Roofs

Windowlink has enhanced its “Focus” sales, presentation and pricing software for windows and doors, with the addition of a Roof Lantern feature, now enabling installers to seize opportunities in the fast-growing “Glazed Extension” market.

Windowlink’s MD, Mark Dudley, says this development is in direct response to new market trends and customer demand.

According to the latest report from window industry market intelligence supplier, Insight Data, the conservatory market has “reinvented itself driven by a shortage of housing stock and rising house prices, as well as product innovation, which is creating renewed consumer desire.”

“One of these developments is the rise of the integrated, bespoke glazed extensions,” said Mark. “Many of our installer clients currently using “Focus”, the design-to-sell software for windows and doors, have told us they are experiencing strong demand from homeowners investing in extension projects, and have added the innovative Roof Lantern to their portfolio in order to take advantage of this cross-selling opportunity”

Atlas Roof

“The new feature enables companies that offer the increasingly popular glazed roofs to produce life-like designs of the completed project including Windows, Bi-Folds, Patio Doors, French Doors and even including Roof Lantern’s, as part of a fully priced quotation.”

This latest development is available as an addition to Windowlink’s popular sales tool, “Focus”.

The sales team at UK Windows Surrey  has been using “Focus” for the past three years, and have recently opted to add the new Roof Lantern feature, in order to help them promote the product to their homeowners. Sales Director John Small, said: “Focus is a great sales tool, and homeowners are blown away by it. They love engaging with it, selecting their options and seeing the price changing in real time, with every choice they’re making. Thanks to it, our customers don’t argue over the price, so we never have to offer discounts. It is very effective, and I wouldn’t do a quote without it.”

Mark concluded: “Larger renovation projects offer the potential to cross-sell other products, such as glazed roofs, but this is hard to do when installers are limited by a generic sales brochure. With “Focus” installers are able to show homeowners not an ‘aspirational image’, but the exact products they are getting, down to the last detail, as well as how these are going to enhance their property’s aspect and value, and now they can pitch Roof Lanterns in the same, effective way.”

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The Conservatory Market is Changing

More and More Vector customers are looking to the new developments by the leading roof manufacturers.

“Livin Room”

Livin Room Image



Loggia on house1

“Solid Roof System”

Real Roof 2

“Vector” can reproduce these features, including the sun lounge or “Livin Room”, Loggia from Ultraframe, Pilasters  and even the solid roof systems

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The future of I.T

The use of Information Technology (I.T) in the Glazing and Fenestration Industry is changing rapidly.  After decades of businesses perceiving software as a necessary evil or an expensive luxury, the organisations coming out most strongly in the industry these days, are those who have embraced software in all areas of their business.

While cross-platform software is still relatively rare in the window, door and conservatory markets, the desire by sales-people, surveyors and others who work away from the office, to use software on any number of different devices is one which is driving Windowlink’s planned future development.


For many manufacturers and installers the ‘Holy Grail’ in software is the ‘Fully Integrated System’.  As we move into the second half of 2015 this may seem as unlikely a proposition as a fully integrated transport system, but exciting developments are in the pipeline.  “Focus” (for windows and doors) and “Vector” (for conservatories, orangeries and solid roof extensions) software already spans the process from the lead through to manufacture, and we aim to bring surveying, ordering, stores, fitting and post installation care into the loop.

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Windowlink enters the Blog-o-sphere!


It is often the case that software companies in their pursuit of constantly improving their products can lose sight of a very important truth if you don’t tell the customer they won’t know about the improvements.

The famous quote from Field of Dreams that goes “if you build it they will come” is a myth. The reason being other people are also “building” it and shouting very loud that they have built it.

That is why we have built this blog. To try and more effectively communicate new innovations to our customers.

Keep an eye out for posts of new updates, product releases and general goings-on at Windowlink.

We will also share this on our social media sites, so please follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook

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