For over 50 years, Oran Ltd has been manufacturing superior aluminum and UPVC products that have protected Barbadian homes and businesses alike.
Your biggest investment is never more vulnerable than during the months of the hurricane season but Oran Limited is helping Barbadians get disaster ready with specials on select hurricane products – Roller Shutters and RoyalGuard Impact Windows.
Oran Limited’s Roller Shutters offer maximum protection against both intrusion and hurricane force winds. Easy to operate both manually and electronically, Roller Shutters are ideal for large glass areas in residential and commercial applications. Other benefits include sun shading and privacy.
RoyalGuard Impact Windows meet Miami Dade Country & Florida protocols for large missile impact specifications. For a window to be considered “Impact Certified”, it must successfully survive the impact of a 2” x 4” timber being shot at the window from a cannon under laboratory conditions simulating that of an actual hurricane. The glass will break, however, it will stay within the window frame due to a combination of structural silicone and laminated interlayers that hold the glass securely. RoyalGuard Impact Windows offer the security of knowing that one’s home or business is always protected without the hassle of taking temporary security measures with every hurricane or storm warning.
Also available are the aesthetically pleasing Z Louvre Shutters, which offer privacy, light control and excellent protection against debris and damaging winds. Z Louvre Shutters are available in fixed, side or top hung styles in a variety of custom sizes and colours.
Oran Limited is making it even easier to get disaster prepared this hurricane season with its complimentary Measure & Quote service. Call 436 6863 to have an Oran Ltd Service Technician visit your home or business today!
Product diversity opens up opportunities for door and window maker.
For Bridgetown, Barbados-based Oran Ltd, opportunity has knocked over its 50-year history. From six employees operating in 4,000 suare feet in 1964, to more than 250 employees in 120,000 square feet of factory space today, the manufacturing company specializing in such aluminum products as doors and windows, has learned to thrive – even among major competition.
“There is a significant amount of competition,” says Justin Oran, the company’s Operations Manager. This includes two other window manufacturers in Barbados and at least one, usually, on each island. In addition, the company competes with product coming in from the United States, Jamaica, and Trinidad.
With that, Oran has had to frame a plan to grow its sales and customer base.
“How do we set ourselves apart? Well, a couple of ways,” Oran says. First, time is on its side. “I don’t think many of these competitors have a 50-year history. So the brand is very strong.” Therefore, the company is sure to market the brand in addition to its products. “We do a lot in terms of customer education,” he adds. “We have close relationships with our customers, with the contractors, with architects, the people who will recommend the products.”
Oran touts itself as being the comprehensive solution for quality aluminum and PVC windows and doors for both residential and commercial use. Starting out, the company produced aluminum furniture, such as lounge chairs, but has since stepped it up to include such modern and innovative products as ladders, sunshades, storefronts, hurricane protection shutters, gutters, security grills, tub and shower enclosures, and architectural solutions for buildings.
“So the process has grown to many stages over the 50-year history,” Oran says.
It’s clear that keeping its product offerings fresh is key.
“To keep things rejuvenated, we introduce new products every couple of years,” Oran says. “A number of the products that we’ve introduced in the last three or four years are really the first of their kind for the Caribbean. Our bi-folding doors, for example, have been very popular. So we grow the product range and hopefully grow the customer base as result.”
This has contributed to the company’s “very diversified product range.”
“We offer some very custom solutions,” he says. “We work alongside the customer, whether he’s a small customer or a big customer, to find a solution that’s right for him in terms of performance and in terms of price point. And where we see opportunities to expand the different product lines that might bolster that ability, we do so. So we’re not afraid of risk and of taking on something new in an effort to educate the market and provide something we think is of value.”
Continually seeking new solutions, the company frequently invests in machinery. “Back in 2006/2007, we were one of the first Caribbean companies to start producing its own insulated glass products,” Oran says. “Most of the time they would be imported from overseas. We’ve gone into CNC (computerized numerical control) equipment. We’ve always looked for ways to improve productivity with either use of new equipment or software, in some cases.”
The company was founded by Marshall and Anita Oran when Justin Oran’s grandfather, who had a mechanical background, moved to Barbados and “saw a need for aluminum furniture,” he says.
“He loved business,” the younger Oran recalls. “He loved working with his hands and taking a hands-on approach. I’m not sure if he knew where we were going to be 50 years later, but he certainly had ambition and sought to see something grow and to create something larger. And that love of business and those values are what led us here today.”
A few years ago, Oran opened a second facility – keeping its production plant in Bridgetown, as well – to process its PVC windows, cut glass and make its glass products.
Oran distributes its products throughout CARICOM (the Caribbean Community, an organization of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies) and Belize, and to Guyana, in the south, to a variety of customers. Moving out into the broader Caribbean over the years to reach beyond Barbados’ quarter of a million people, has opened new doors for the company.
“We do everything from large hardware stores to construction companies that are purchasing for either residential or commercial projects,” says Oran. The company also deals with smaller hardware stores and companies doing one-off projects for small customers. We operate in all those markets, from the small customer who just wants a few windows, to the distributor that wants 200 windows or a full container of product, to the contractor,” he says.
Oran strives to service all of its customers’ needs, efficiently. One way is by making available parts and components for products manufactured more than 15 years ago that have been discontinued. Another aspect of Oran’s “after-sales service” is the expertise of its service teams.
However, being in business as long as Oran has, has not come without hurdles – such as the U.S. housing crisis, which began in 2007.
“When the housing market had its big bump in the States back in 2007 – they say when the U.S. sneezes, the Caribbean catches a cold. And we definitely caught a cold,” recalls Oran. “It was a very trying time. We had to take a look around us and see what was most important, and in that case, we thought it was preserving jobs in our company. And we took a long-term approach investing and stayed our course, and things … I guess they’re clearing up in the States now in the housing market, and we’re looking forward to something similar down here. So again, you try to not give in to those pressures, but invest smartly, and set yourself on a path so when recovery does take place, you’ll be able to capitalize on it.”
Looking ahead, he says, “I hope things will continue to improve, and we’ll get some growth down here, and you’ll see a lot of the islands kind of come out of the slump that we’ve had over the last few years.
“There’s a lot of investment that needs to take place in the Caribbean,” he says. “Everybody needs to do their part – companies need to invest, companies need to take risk and grow, they need to invest in their employees, and employees need to understand productivity. The government needs to facilitate that. And should all those things come together, and we can all work together, then we’ll see a good result in 2020, I think.”
AT A GLANCE
WHO: Oran Ltd. WHAT: Manufacturer of aluminum doors, windows, furniture and more. WHERE: Corporate headquarters in Bridgetown, Barbados
June 2015, Business View Caribbean
Managing Director Scott Oran sits down with Caribbean Property Magazine and explains the background to the company’s success and its culture going forward.
Oran Limited reached a highly commendable milestone in 2014 with 50 years in business. What does this mean for the company?
The term milestone simply does not do justice to this achievement, nor does it communicate the company’s sense of continuity as we look towards the future. To use a manufacturing term, our performance has been that of a continuous work in progress – building on a strong foundation and not only working hard, but also working smart. We continue to seek ways to develop our potential to the benefit of our employees, the community in which we live and operate and on a larger scale, to positively contribute to the sustainability of our economy.
The company has been established and developed within a strong family structure. Has this been a major contributory factor in your success?
Oran Ltd’s profile as a family business has created a uniquely tangible connection between the owners, employees and customers that you may not find in a more “corporate” like structure of ownership and management. We enjoy a reputation among our stakeholders as being both individually, at the employee level and collectively, at the organizational level, committed to doing the very best we can – it’s a very personal and heartfelt desire to create the best results for all concerned.
Oran products are well known throughout the Caribbean region. Where is your business strongest and do you see further openings in other destinations?
We recognize that we possess a strategic advantage in the CARICOM markets, when compared to extra-regional suppliers of similar products. Therefore, we endeavour to increase our market share in these markets and expand our product offering to effectively cater to this niche. In addition to our experience in manufacturing, the range of products used in the region allows us to value engineer these products, so that they typically perform better than comparable imported products.
How have the tough economic conditions of the last 5-6 years impacted on your business?
The period 2007 through 2014 has been very challenging for our industry. However, we have taken the opportunity to expand some of our services to satisfy more diverse customer needs. We introduced new products that cater to a more sophisticated consumer and reduced our margins on our range of lower cost commodity products used at all levels of the construction industry in order to be more competitive. This was all done while maintaining the high quality image associated with the “Oran” brand. What we’ve done is similar to the approach taken by Mercedes, which caters to the higher end of the market with its ‘S’ Class models while simultaneously catering to the lower end with its more affordable ‘B’ and ‘C’ Classes.
You have a wide range of PVC and aluminum products, but which products have contributed most to your success?
The wide range of solutions we offer to the construction industry demonstrates our strength. We manufacture standard and custom products, upvc and aluminum, multiple frame colours, various glass specifications, custom designed structures for the most discriminating architects in the region, sunshades, bridges, walk ways, railings, fences, ornamental gates, security bars, products for marine application and so many more.
Where are your products manufactured?
Our factory is in Barbados, with two locations close to the Deep Water Harbour, which enables us to efficiently distribute our products through a large network of hardware, building & lumber stores throughout the Caribbean.
Investment in staff appears to be a high priority in the company’s strategy. How has that been achieved?
The personal and professional development of the people in our organization ranks very high on our list of priorities. We have many persons who join us straight out of school with very basic skills, so we strive to promote a culture of productivity within the organization. We say to them, “Be who you want to be when you are not at work, but once you walk through those doors and put on your Oran shirt, you become a part of our culture. You become the representative of a work ethic that will be admired and modeled by your peers.”
Finally, where would you like to see Oran Limited in 50 years time?
My answer to this question has to do with a goal that I was recently introduced to – “We want to be one of the 16%.” There is a statistic that only 16% of companies founded 100 years ago still exist today. While we will certainly not be doing the same things that we are today, we believe that innovation, creativity, and hard work will take us to that next level.
About Scott Oran:
Scott Oran is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Oran Limited, a company founded by his parents Marshall and Anita Oran. He is a visionary and dynamic businessman within the Caribbean manufacturing industry and a strong advocate of making the best use of technology and broadening the company’s product range. He has strong family values and a determination to ensure Oran Limited remains at the forefront of the industry going forward. Scott can be contacted by telephone at 246 436 6863 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org