By Richard Gyde, Managing Director, Mila
Despite the fact that Mila supplies hardware from some of the biggest names in the industry including Yale, Siegenia, Axor and Spilka, we would certainly describe ourselves as a ‘branded house’ and not as a ‘house of brands’. It’s an important distinction for customers and stems from the fact that, on average, we only add a new brand to our product portfolio once every couple of years. Even then, we only choose brands which align closely with our own business in terms of innovation and quality and which fill what we see as being gaps in our product line up.
We choose our partners very carefully because we know that our reputation rests so heavily on theirs.
It’s big news then that this month Mila is joining forces with Ingenious Locks for the first time to begin supplying the Ingenious range of multipoint door locks for aluminium, UPVC and composite doors. Ingenious products will sit alongside the Yale locks we already supply and add a significant new dimension to our offering.
There’s lots of talk about synergy in the hardware market but in this case it’s a pretty fair description of the relationship which exists between Mila and Ingenious, given that Stuart Carpenter, Ingenious’ Technical Director, was once the Technical Director here at Mila.
Both our businesses are focused on developing products with real USPs, where the emphasis is on quality, durability and ease of installation. The Ingenious range which will be stocked by Mila includes single hook Professional door locks, Autofire latches, and clever Duplex locks, which are the only ones in the UK to feature this type of hook locking mechanism. All are already well proven in the UK market and all are Secured by Design accredited.
Together, I think these enhanced security products bring a new dimension to our lock range and sit comfortably alongside the Yale locks we already offer to fabricators – broadening the choice and ensuring that we can justifiably claim to have the right product for every application.
Our Yale range, for example, already includes Lockmaster products for UPVC doors with matching strikers, Lockmaster secondary locks for French doors and Auto Engage products for composite doors with either two or three security latches. There are also dedicated Lockmaster locks for aluminium and bi-fold doors.
More than 70% of Mila sales are now of our own branded products, designed and developed in house, but that still leaves a substantial part of our business which comes from distributing products from other manufacturers – in fact, we are amongst the largest distributors of Yale products in the UK.
There are lots of reasons why customers choose to buy third-party products from Mila of course, but the main one is obviously service. That’s everything from having product in stock ready for next day delivery to being able to provide in-house testing services and onsite technical support.
It’s also about the kind of helpful, specialist advice available from our knowledgeable sales teams – both on the phone and out in the field, and the extensive package of sales and marketing support we provide.
Even before the pandemic, Mila had adopted a digital first strategy in our marketing but that’s obviously proved particularly valuable to customers over the past year. Our team has already created a dedicated page on the Mila website for door locks with all of the Yale and Ingenious products available to view and compare and lots of useful, downloadable resources. They’ve also produced digital animations of some of the new products so that customers can see the USPs up close in sales presentations conducted either remotely or face to face.
We never forget though that the biggest test of hardware is how the products actually look and feel to our customers so we’re also promoting the new Ingenious range via new ‘Lock Block’ display boards which show them in operation.
All the details of the new products including how to get hold of a Lock Block are at: www.mila.co.uk/new-door-locks