How Solarglide is seizing a window of opportunity

Rebecca Gibson asks Paul Pringle how Solarglide is planning to become the preferred supplier of window coverings for the passenger shipping industry

How Solarglide is seizing a window of opportunity
Blinds from Solarglide can be used to improve the ambience in various areas onboard passenger ships

Cruise ships and ferries often have hundreds, if not thousands, of windows to provide passengers with panoramic views and enable crew members to navigate the vessel safely. Dressing these windows appropriately can be challenging, but that’s where UK-based window treatment solutions manufacturer Solarglide can help. 

“Some of our products include SG Glider Solar Screens, which are popular for bridge windows and passenger areas on ferries, and SG Silhouette dimout roller blinds which are often used in private areas,” says Paul Pringle, managing director of Solarglide. “In the past year, there’s been a major increase in requests for our SG Curtains and Sheers because we have a vast range of International Maritime Organization-approved fabrics to complement onboard interiors.”  

Designed to offer longevity and reduce maintenance costs, Solarglides products are made from antimicrobial fabrics and are available with a choice of operating systems. They also help to enhance the onboard experience.   

“Our products reduce heat and glare, offer privacy and help create a comfortable setting,” says Pringle. “They are aesthetically pleasing and can be colour-coded to match an existing interior design or a corporate brand identity. In this way, they can help to make passengers and crew feel at home.” 

This extensive product portfolio, combined with Solarglide’s skills and industry experience, make it an ideal partner for operators that want to invest in window treatment solutions for their ships. 

“We’re fully focused on the maritime industry, so we understand how it works and we’re familiar with the problems fit-out teams have, the extremely tight deadlines and the needs of different types of vessels,” says Pringle. “In the past, cruise and ferry operators had to source items from multiple suppliers, which is difficult and time consuming to manage. We’ve adapted our company to alleviate this pain point by becoming a one-stop-shop for window coverings.  

“Our clients can trust that we will do everything for them – from sourcing fabrics, to manufacturing high-quality products and installing them on the ships. Whether they’re purchasing a single wiper unit or a complete cabin package, they all receive the same high level of service with products delivered on time and to budget.”   

Solarglide’s team collaborates closely with every client to ensure it can deliver the window treatment that best suits their requirements. “Communication is a key factor in our strategy for success,” says Pringle. “Right from the client’s initial enquiry, we listen to their needs ask questions to gather the necessary information. We don’t simply sell products; we become an extension of our client’s team and build a long-term relationship with them.” 

To help with this, Solarglide nominates a project manager who serves as the single point of contact for the client. “Often, the client requests a particular product but once we receive the specifics, we’re able to offer more suitable alternatives,” says Pringle. “I like to think we will always find a solution to any problem and our product range has recently expanded due to requests from clients with tricky requirements and tight deadlines. Our clients value this attention to detail.”  

Solarglide boasts an impressive client list. “Our most recent project was to install SG Silhouette dimout blinds, SG Lunaglider blackout roller blinds, and motorised SG Roman blinds on Marella Cruises’ Marella Explorer,” says Pringle. “We’ve also applied SG Glider solar screens to Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Apex and Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder and Disney Magic, as well as various products on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Star, DFDS’s Crown Seaways and P&O Ferries’ Pride of Hull.” 

Building on this legacy, Solarglide aims to become the preferred supplier of window coverings for the passenger shipping industry.   

“We’re evolving our business to alleviate the issues that procurement teams face when they are considering a newbuild or fit-out project by offering turnkey services, high-quality products and complete satisfaction,” says Pringle. “Next, we’ll adapt our products to offer a larger range of motorisation and become 100 per cent recyclable. We have a long history in the maritime sector, and we want to see it thrive for years to come – if our products can help achieve that, then we have succeeded.”

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
08 April 2021

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