Interpane has been a Prater supply chain partner for many years. In this Q&A session, the company’s Sales Manager for the UK and Ireland Vincent Smith, explains what has helped to sustain the strong partnership.
Can you tell us a little about Interpane?
Founded in 1971, Interpane is a glass processor and manufacturer, specialising in commercial projects. Interpane has a strong presence in Europe with a number of manufacturing plants. Our product range includes float and low iron glass, solar-control glass and Insulated Glass Units (IGU). We have been working with Prater for around 15 years now.
How did Prater and Interpane first establish a working relationship?
When we first began to secure work within the UK in 2005, Prater was already a key specialist contractor for the type of large commercial projects we wanted to be specified for.
From initial face to face meetings to present our portfolio, and the chance to support Prater on some initial projects, our relationship has developed over the years. Now, I feel we are at the point where our businesses have a good, solid understanding of each other’s capabilities, working procedures, and values.
What has been the project Interpane is most proud to have worked on with Prater, and why?
Every successful project delivered is one to be proud of but if I had to name some, I would say our recent work at 100 & 101 Embankment projects in Manchester. These involved the manufacture and installation of 1134 precision engineered glazed façade panels, which included both concave and convex curves. This is incredibly difficult to achieve, but the end client was extremely happy with the results, which is why Prater’s project team was able to secure the work to deliver the second site.
We also worked with Prater on the Manchester Airport Transformation programme, in which we supplied the Facade glass that went into the build – over 800 panels on the Link Bridge alone. It is an extremely exciting project to be part of, as it is a significant investment in the infrastructure of Manchester.
What does a good collaborative relationship look like to you?
One of the most important aspects of delivering a successful project is collaboration. The key to this, is early engagement and two-way communication. We work with Prater from the earliest stages of each project, through to the design and installation stage. There is certainly a lot of flexibility and communication between both our companies to find the correct solution and ensure projects are delivered effectively, from the outset.
My work with Prater involves collaboration with bid, design and construction teams, up to and including Director level. This communication/collaboration at all levels of the business (something Prater actively encourages), is important in a long-term supply chain partnership. Over the last ten years, I’ve been the main point of contact for Prater at Interpane, and I’m proud to say I’ve made a few friends along the way.
How important is trust within the supply chain to consistently achieve industry-leading standards?
Trust is vital and key for us here at Interpane but it is something you have to earn. You can have confidence in a person or an organisation’s ability and portfolio, but trust really only comes from delivering results time and time again.
How do you see the relationship between Prater and Interpane developing over the next few years?
We will continue to work hard with Prater at all levels to ensure the relationship continues to go from strength to strength, delivering excellent projects long into the future.