An Exclusive Interview with A1 Blinds' MD: Leading the Commercial Blinds Market with Expertise & Innovation

Delve into the unique strengths and innovative solutions that A1 Blinds brings to the commercial blinds market. Our Managing Director, Kevin Taylor, provides insights into what sets us apart, the challenges businesses face when choosing blinds, and how we are at the forefront of industry trends. From ensuring employee comfort to enhancing energy efficiency, our bespoke blinds solutions cater to diverse commercial spaces like offices, hospitals, and schools. Discover how our extensive experience, commitment to quality, and dedication to sustainability drive us to deliver exceptional results for our clients. Read on to learn more about our latest projects, innovative products, and the comprehensive support we offer from installation to maintenance.

What sets A1 Blinds apart in the commercial blinds market?

"Flexibility, proactivity, product range, and our vastly experienced Blind Consultants and Installers. We have nine in total who have over 140 years of experience in the industry. Also, the fact we manufacture circa 90% of our blinds in our bespoke factory with our vastly experienced workforce and work in partnership with very established and industry-leading suppliers."

What are some of the challenges businesses face when choosing blinds, and how A1 Blinds addresses these challenges?

"Firstly, we would establish what the customers’ needs are to ensure we provide the correct product or solution. This could range from shading, thermal, privacy, and accessibility. These challenges can become major issues if not addressed at the embryonic stage, so it’s important to discuss at length what the customer's reasons are for wanting blinds."

What are the latest trends in commercial blinds, and how is A1 Blinds keeping pace with or leading these trends?

"Employee comfort and energy saving, too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. We have products that can shade the sun thus reducing the need for air conditioning, and the same product can keep the heat in the building, thus reducing the need for heating in the winter. All resulting in reduced energy builds and happier employees."

Could you share details about some of the most innovative projects A1 Blinds has worked on?

"One of our recent projects was for Starbucks Coffee House in Blaydon. They had a major shading issue due to the complete area being enclosed via a floor-to-ceiling façade of glass. The next issue was that they had no access to raise or lower blinds manually due to the arrangement of the tables and chairs, nor did they have any options of placing electric points for motorised blinds. Following our initial survey, we investigated other options and found a solar panel charging motor that was ideal. Starbucks now has nine 2m x 2.5m roller blinds that are fully motorised and operated via remote control so they can always ensure the customers' comfort. Each blind has its own solar panel that charges the individual motor."

How does A1 Blinds ensure the quality and durability of its commercial products?

"We work very closely with our suppliers who provide us with the materials and components for making the blinds. These suppliers have carried out rigorous tests to ensure robustness and longevity, and we have the technical data to back this up. In-house, we have stringent manufacturing processes and quality checks that finish with the final inspection by one of our very experienced and highly trained installers."

What are the energy efficiency benefits of your commercial blinds, and how do they contribute to sustainable building practices?

"As discussed earlier, this all depends on the material and type of blind chosen. We will work with the client on this, thus choosing the right product for the required need. We have products that, used correctly for solar shading, can control light and glare whilst reducing energy costs by up to 16%. Controlling HVAC is a huge agenda item for companies looking to reduce energy costs and increase wellbeing, which in return increases productivity. The correct blinds can play a major part in this with positive results. We also have a range of blinds and materials that are manufactured using recycled materials, so we can tick many boxes for the environment."

How does A1 Blinds customise solutions for diverse commercial spaces like offices, hospitals, and schools?

"Each school, office, hospital, and other commercial spaces are different. Window location, size, and orientation play a major part in choosing the correct blind and material, as a south-facing window will need a much higher solar deflection than a north-facing window. Due to our experience and flexible approach, we will always work with the client to ensure the best option is achieved."

Can you explain the installation process for commercial blinds and the support A1 Blinds provides post-installation?

"The installation process starts at the initial appointment for measuring and advising on blind type. We will carry out a risk assessment to ensure the correct process, practices, and access equipment is identified. We have established procedures and systems to ensure the correct blinds are allocated and installed into the correct locations, especially on larger contracts such as a recent 180 roller blind installation for an office complex in Middlesbrough. Installers will inspect each individual area where the blind is to be installed to ensure the correct fixings are used, as this is vital for ensuring the blind is installed securely and correctly. Post-installation, we will advise the client on the correct way of operating the blinds. We give an initial one-year warranty with the option of additional warranty under a maintenance plan."

In conclusion, A1 Blinds is committed to delivering high-quality, customised commercial blinds solutions that enhance comfort, energy efficiency, and sustainability. With our extensive experience, innovative approach, and dedication to customer satisfaction, we continue to lead the market and set new standards in the industry.