National Windscreens opens new £1 million distribution centre

A £1 million regional distribution centre has been opened by National Windscreens in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, following continued significant growth and increasing numbers of windscreen variations.

The 43,000 sq ft bespoke facility will supply the company’s network of fitting and Advanced Driver Assisted Systems (ADAS) calibration centres throughout East Anglia and the North of England. The distribution centre includes 23,000 sq ft of ground floor storage and a further 20,000 sq ft of a mezzanine, with specialist racking and storage for thousands of glass options covering the majority of vehicles currently on the road.

Over 30 jobs have been created as a result of the investment in the region, joining additional mobile technicians and other key support staff who have been employed over the past three months. This forms part of a nationwide recruitment campaign being conducted by the company to support its ongoing, ambitious growth plans

The investment comes as parts of the company’s commitment to maintaining the UK’s largest fitting and ADAS calibration network of 108 centres and over 800 mobile technicians.

The increase in the number of windscreen variations for vehicles is a factor driving this investment, according to Pete Marsden, managing director of National Windscreens, with between five and ten windscreens often available for a single vehicle model.

“A combination of significant market growth and the development of windscreen and ADAS technology means we need more storage for glass replacement parts,” he said.

“Modern vehicles incorporate a series of options on most models. Each of these options requires a specific windscreen variant. For example: acoustic glass; ADAS camera; demisting sensor; heads up display; heated; tinted; and multi sensor are just some of the choices available for each model and each requires a specific type of windscreen.

“You then have advancements in technology being introduced into new vehicle makes and models, and that could mean a new camera type or sensor becoming available that requires a new variant of windscreen glass.

“This means another type of windscreen is developed and so for one model up to ten variations is common place, and in some cases this can be over 30. If you multiply that by the number of manufacturers and models you are looking at very significant glass stock numbers.”

In the face of this massive choice, National Windscreens has developed a unique windscreen selection system that makes sure the right glass is selected for a vehicle in 99.9% of cases. The new distribution centre then helps to ensure this glass is delivered to where it is needed in the quickest possible time.

For UK motorists, this means that National Windscreens is on average never more than 20 minutes or 11 miles away.