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Order Blinds Online Ltd are BBSA Excellence Awards Finalists

BBSA Excellence Awards Finalist

We are thrilled to announce that we are finalists for the 'Best New Product or Service' award at the British Blind and Shutter Association's Excellence Awards 2022!

As a company built on innovation and creating solutions to window dressing problems, the opportunity to be recognised for our work helping both our customers and fellow members of the BBSA is a wonderful thought.

Order Blinds Online was built on a strong foundation of innovation, with a prevailing drive to provide our customers with window dressing solutions that are both practical and attractive. It was with this desire to provide a unique product in mind that our Managing Director identified an area where we could change the way the UK industry produces patterned blinds.

At the time and to an extent to this day, the amount of suppliers offering patterned roller blind fabrics in the UK was very limited and as a consequence all blind retailers offered the same designs. Not only did this make the choice for the consumer less exciting but also meant that the sales were more price driven, with the printed base cloths already coming at a premium.

 

The answer to this problem was clear – we needed to find a way to produce our own range of patterned fabrics in a way that fits with ‘just in time’ production concepts to stand out in the market, allow us to be more competitive on price and make production more efficient while reducing waste. We set about researching large format printers and printable base fabrics so we could address all our customer needs such as blackout, waterproof, extra wide fire-retardant fabrics, and even a thinner base cloth that would allow us to fit long drops of fabric into small cassettes such as skylights and perfect fit roller blinds.

 

Order Blinds Exclusive Designs

Following delivery of our new printer, training was completed by the MD and initial print operative. The first collection of prints was curated and launched by the Managing Director and Marketing Manager alongside bespoke photo and logo blind offerings, followed by exclusive collaborations with independent British designers such as Lorna Syson, producing their prints as made to measure roller blinds. Our initial range saw success but in order to offer truly unique prints we introduced a Surface Pattern Designer in late 2019 who has been with the company ever since, creating bespoke hand painted and digitally produced prints, to offer our customers products that reflect the latest design trends.

Our first truly unique patterns launched in early 2020 to great success, leading us to seek out a method to replicate this success on soft fabrics. After much deliberation we purchased a dye sublimation setup for roman blinds as part of our continuous improvement program. Again, a round of testing ensued to find the perfect fabrics with different practical properties and finishes and the upgrade to our roman blind lines was introduced, culminating in a change to their manufacturing process in order to offer a superior look and finish that matched the higher quality of our new base cloths.

 

Since the beginning of 2020 when our in house designed lines launched we have received over 680k in sales on our digital printed lines alone; which supported our move to new custom built office and factory premises and the creation of a whole new production line for printed blinds. It has also given staff members the opportunity to upskill by training to use new graphic design software alongside the addition of a full time Print Operative position to manage demand, a role that continues to this day.

 

However, it wasn’t just our business that benefitted from our ability to create bespoke prints, as we began working with other blind companies to supply them with custom base cloths in order to offer their own unique products. This technology also meant we could do our part in helping the NHS to cope with the overwhelming demands on their service, when we printed and donated 100 sewing patterns to the “For the love of scrubs” campaign that were used to manufacture protective clothing for essential workers. We also helped to spread cheer to the staff and patients at Dorset County Hospital by donating blinds in our exclusive Over the Rainbow design for their Pre-Assessment Unit.

We believe the launch of our digitally printed ranges is worthy of this award as the benefits have been manyfold; not only improving our bottom-line but allowing us to react quickly to changing circumstances, reduce cut off wastage by printing to size and by helping us to support charitable organisations and worthy causes like the NHS.

We are especially proud that we have been able to support our industry and fellow BBSA members by giving them the chance to expand their ranges with their own unique fabrics and help cope with the procurement challenges brought on by the pandemic.

Children's Unit Blinds and Scrub Patterns

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