Building on years of experience supplying uPVC windows and doors, Stephen McKinney’s ambition is for his new company to be at the top of the sector in Scotland within five years.

His business, Monteith Windows and Doors Ltd, already has a slew of five star reviews and is growing quickly on the back of his reputation for professionalism and efficiency.

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Through their transparent, customer focused approach Monteith Windows started to see orders coming in and positive reviews.

All the company’s windows and doors come with a ten-year manufacturer’s guarantee and because of his industry knowledge, Mr McKinney supplies a superior product installed by experienced fitters within a short time of being ordered.

“I have a bank of five fitting teams which gives me flexibility and I’m buying from the company I used to work for so I have a reliable delivery,” he said.

His knowledge of the industry comes from years of working for one of the major players in the sector before he moved to another company to help it grow.

Having succeeded in that job he then decided to start his own business as he felt he needed another challenge.

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“I didn’t want to sit there and take a salary as I have to keep on pushing myself,” said Mr McKinney. “I had trained up my team so I already had a succession plan as I didn’t want to let down the owner who had put faith in me.”

Mr McKinney was offered improved terms and conditions to remain in his position.

“It was a brilliant offer but I needed to put 100 per cent into the new business,” he said. “I am selling high ticket items so I want to be fully on the ball. I know the industry and I know the products and it’s up to me to deliver.”

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Mr McKinney agreed to stay on for one day a week for a few months to nurture the person taking over his job and he also now buys his PVC windows and doors from the same company.

“The relationships I built at this company have helped me to get to this position,” he said. “I can’t thank them enough for their support on this journey.”

Orders for his Glasgow-based business soon came in, especially after a social media campaign, along with a billboard campaign and radio advertising. The strategy worked with five star reviews popping up on Trust Pilot and Google.

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“I know I give a good service so I am not scared to promote it,” said Mr McKinney. “Consistently since day one I have been getting myself out there as I am prepared to put my money where my mouth is.”

Making his target of rising to the top of the sector is not so unrealistic considering his background in the industry.

Having started at a young age simply painting the internal timbers for windows, he built his way up until he was the head of the central transport department of a Cumbernauld-based window supplier and installer that grew from a £7m turnover when Mr McKinney started in 2009 to a turnover of £46m by the time he left in 2022.

It was at the Cumbernauld based window manufacturing facility that Mr McKinney really honed in the service levels that he practices at Monteith Windows and Doors Ltd.

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“I rode that wave through every transition,” he said. “That company became the biggest in Scotland for local authority contracts so it was a busy time. They also won major aluminium projects in Glasgow and Edinburgh city centres as well as down south.”

As manager of the transport department he oversaw the logistics for the whole business including all deliveries. He was just 29-years-old.

“I had the passion and pride that made me always want to do the job well,” said Mr McKinney.

The company grew to the extent that it began to run 24 hours a day and Mr McKinney’s role grew further.

“It could have been overwhelming but I had that much fire in me I would leave at 6pm or 7pm then go in at 2am or 3am to make sure everything was running properly,” he said.

“I was getting about 200 emails a day and around 60 or 70 phone calls so it was a hectic pace. At the company’s height I was coordinating 20 fittings per day but by that time it was second nature to me.”

The Herald:

The pandemic hit the company hard and despite making redundancies, it eventually went into liquidation after the lockdowns.

However by that point Mr McKinney had already been headhunted by a Wishaw-based retail window manufacturing company which was looking to grow its operation and needed a transport department that could support it.

“It was a hard decision but I decided I would take the job as it seemed like a great challenge,” he said.

Within six months he had renewed the company’s fleet and streamlined their internal processes so that the business could provide a first class service.

“Seeing the impact I had really reinforced the belief I had in myself and pushed me to challenge myself further with the incorporation of Monteith Windows and Doors Ltd,” said Mr McKinney.

“It could have been a bit daunting to set out on my own but the time felt right and with hard work it looks like the right decision,” he said.