C.K Are Preparing for a Prosperous 2016

 

By Graham Godfrey- Brand Manager at C.K tools for Carl Kammerling International

A positive forecast is predicted for the construction industry in 2016. Demand remains strong in the sector and the government is committed to construction and infrastructure programmes[1], which will take time and manpower to deliver. 2016 is a year for tradesmen to invest in quality equipment and processes, creating a solid platform with which to capitalise on this optimistic projection.

The need for quality equipment cannot be underestimated - the standard of tools used plays a vital role in the speed, efficiency and quality of a project’s completion. Substandard, outdated tools impact negatively upon productivity, and can result in a shoddy finish on a job. Tradesmen should invest in the toughest products to withstand the demands of a building site. Purchasing products that have a long lifespan is also cost efficient.

C.K tools is constantly monitoring and assessing the needs of the industry in order to develop new tools for professional use. The company works closely with a dedicated group of professional tradesmen to understand better how they work and what they need from a tool.

Through this process, we have witnessed a rise in popularity of impact drills among our focus group, where tradesmen expressed a need for robust impact bits that would offer improved performance. A drill is one of the most popular and versatile elements of a toolbox, the bread and butter for tradesmen. The rise in multifunctional power tools has been significant in recent years, so much so that power tools comprise 85.5 per cent of the market, with drills making up the largest share at almost 40 per cent. However, without the best quality screwdriver bits, getting the job done efficiently is not guaranteed.

Addressing key issues that affect tradesmen and providing the right solution in terms of products is essential. We understand that durability, accuracy and strength are all requirements for professional results, and so C.K Blue Steel Impact Bits have been manufactured from exceptionally tough, specially formulated V8 alloy steel, providing a vastly extended working life compared to standard screwdriver bits.

With impact drills combining much higher rotational torque than traditional drills, the C.K Blue Steel Impact Bits feature torsion control technology to withstand the stresses of high torque applications, resulting in less bit breakage, which can delay the completion of a job.

C.K Blue Steel Impact Bits dramatically increase speed and productivity on the job, offering proven performance to the trade.

As the industry expands, tradesmen are under increasing pressure to complete a job in good time to meet demand. Therefore, good quality tools are imperative for all professional tradesmen to help service a job quickly and efficiently and move on to the next. Construction is one of the largest sectors in the UK, contributing over £90 billion to the economy. As such, continuously creating innovative, superior tools that are fit for purpose and stand the test of time is fundamental to supporting tradesmen in 2016 as the construction industry continues to grow.

For further information please visit www.carlkammerling.com or call 01758 704704 

Construction industry can now show how it is Building Social Value

Introducing the new resource from the Considerate Constructors Scheme to capture the social value created through construction.  Building Social Value - a simple way to report on the social value created through construction - has been launched by the Considerate Constructors Scheme for all Scheme registered sites, companies and suppliers.

Building Social Value has been developed by the Scheme in conjunction with a number of leading construction companies and industry clients across the UK:  Basildon Borough Council; Kier Group plc; Land Securities Group plc; and Morgan Sindall. 

By using the Scheme to carry out the report, contractors and clients recognise that gaining a professional, third-party report will help them to evaluate the impact of their construction sites in creating social value.

Scheme Monitors will visit construction sites and record the social value created, using the Social Value Monitoring Checklist. The Monitor will then produce a Building Social Value report, based on the results gathered from the Checklist.

All sites, companies and suppliers undertaking Building Social Value will then have the opportunity to publicly demonstrate their commitment to creating social value by displaying Building Social Value posters.

Since the Social Value Act came into force in 2013 there has been a requirement to focus on how the construction industry creates social value. While the act applies to the public sector, many private clients are also taking into account social benefits when awarding construction contracts.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy said: “Construction activity produces huge amounts of social value for local communities, the local economy and the environment. It is, however, difficult to define, capture and report on this value creation. Building Social Value will provide construction, clients and the public with a much-needed understanding of the extent to which a particular construction project has created opportunities for long-term social value.” 

Clive Johnson, Group Head of Health and Safety at Land Securities commented: “We greatly value this service, as do our extensive supply chain. It gives us a cost effective and independent means of measuring social value from our many developments across the UK. I would recommend all clients to take advantage of this facility if they wish to play a leading role in delivering the best possible social value to the communities they conduct their businesses within.”

Basildon Borough Council Asset Strategy Manager, Daniel Greenwood added: “Social value plays a central role in all our procurement activity and having a consistent and robust way to measure outcomes has been a constant challenge. Building Social Value really adds confidence that projects are delivering on our promises to the community.”

Click on the link to find out more about Building Social Value: www.buildingsocialvalue.org.uk

About the Considerate Constructors Scheme

The Considerate Constructors Scheme is a non-profit-making, independent organisation founded in 1997 by the construction industry to improve its image.

Construction sites, companies and suppliers voluntarily register with the Scheme and agree to abide by the Code of Considerate Practice. The Code commits those registered with the Scheme to care about appearance, respect the community, protect the environment, secure everyone’s safety and value their workforce.

The Scheme is concerned about any area of construction activity that may have a direct or indirect impact on the image of the industry as a whole. The main areas of concern fall into three categories: the general public, the workforce and the environment.

The Scheme provides the Best Practice Hub, a comprehensive online resource showcasing best practice in the construction industry. The Best Practice Hub hosts a wealth of tips, expertise, guidance and case studies to help constructors learn from their peers and raise industry standards.

Visit Building Social Value at www.buildingsocialvalue.org.uk

For further information about the Scheme, visit www.ccscheme.org.uk  

New PSE Code of Practice introduced

A new code of practice on electrical testing has been developed to ensure that hirers of portable and temporary welfare units meet their safety responsibilities.

The new document has been introduced by Portable Sanitation Europe (PSE) the trade association representing the interests of members involved in the hire and rental of on-site welfare units r portable companies, in partnership with electrical safety testing specialist Seaward.

In keeping with the main type of electrical hire equipment and facilities available from PSE members, the new guide pays particular attention to the safety needs associated with hot wash units, welfare units and luxury trailer units.

The Code of Practice provides an overview of the safety measures required for hire units that incorporate electrical accessories and appliances, along with the procedures for inspection, testing and maintenance during both pre and post hire periods.

As well as detailing the sort of testing that should typically be carried out, the document also includes advice on the role of in house and third party inspection and testing, competent persons and suitable test equipment.

To help dutyholders carry out the regular inspection and testing of portable welfare units Seaward has put together dedicated PSE test packages, comprising all the appropriate test instrumentation and accessories needed to carry out electrical testing safely and efficiently.

Details of the new Code of Practice for electrical safety testing of PS units are available from the PSE via www.pse-org.uk or from www.seaward.co.uk

Sika Appoints New General Manager

Global building product manufacturer, Sika, has appointed Dragan Maksimović as General Manager, a role that will see him build on the continued growth of the company across its multiple UK markets. 

Dragan joined Sika in 2002. Based in Belgrade he was responsible for developing the company’s operation in Serbia where the company today has become market leader in a number of local market sectors with a strong operation and its own production facilities for concrete admixtures and mortars.

The new appointment will see him build on the already well established Sika and Everbuild brands in the UK. In 2016, the company is aiming to achieve 6% growth in net sales whilst maintaining profitability levels. Major focuses that will help the company achieve this centre on further development of its network of specifiers, strengthening relationships with key specialist distributors and adding to the Sika contractor networks. The company will also continue to focus efforts on securing major projects via its Major Project Management Team, who have shown great success in 2015, as well as developing inter-company business.

In 2013, Sika acquired Everbuild Building Products, the UK’s largest manufacturer of Sealants, Adhesives and Construction Chemicals. This acquisition proved to be a major success for Sika with the Everbuild brand achieving sales in excess of £87 million in over 70 countries. 

“I strongly believe that teamwork stands behind every result and that people do make the difference,” commented Dragan. “Relationships inside the company and towards the customers are the main drivers for sustainable good results. Sika UK is a strong company and I am looking forward to the challenge of growing the brand in the UK.”

Sika UK has grown steadily over the past few years, reaching one of the highest sales and profit results of Sika globally, despite operating in challenging market conditions.

Dragan takes over from Ivo Schaedler who has taken on the extended responsibility of Area Manager Europe South, responsible for the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Mauritius within Sika.

For more information, please contact Helen Waller at [email protected]

Weld Off 2016 competition sparks search to crown top young talent

Weld Off 2016, a competition to celebrate the skills of the UK’s top young welders and help them forge ahead with their careers, was launched today (12 January) by leading equipment manufacturer Morris Site Machinery.

The company, based in Four Ashes, Wolverhampton and supplier of ArcGen welder generators, is now seeking entries from promising welders aged 16 – 26 who are in college or at work.

Back for its third year, The Weld Off is set to celebrate some great British milestones in its 2016 competition, by challenging the UK’s young welding talent with the theme: God Save the Queen.

 From Her Majesty celebrating 90 years in May, The Prince’s Trust reaching its 40th anniversary - the same year that Punk arrived and the Sex Pistols recorded their eponymous No 1 hit - it’s a timely theme to fire up the imagination. Morris Site Machinery’s welding brand ArcGen, in conjunction with Speedy Services, EAL and KEMPPI are on the hunt for the UK’s top young welders to use their bright sparks to now translate this year’s theme ‘God Save the Queen’ into a piece of welded creativity.

The four teams who make the final will face a series of challenges to demonstrate their ability and knowledge with a Q&A and safety round, a welding skills section and a creative test on the theme ‘God Save the Queen’. At stake is a top prize of £1,000 for their welding department or workplace, plus £500 for each member of the winning team.

Phil Winnington, Managing Director at Morris Site Machinery, said: “This is a great opportunity for budding young welders to think around this very current theme and bring to life their own spin on it.  We’re expecting some great interpretations and fantastic entries to demonstrate all the talent out there. The UK welding industry is a competitive one and we want to help young people get ahead and enhance their skills and knowledge with this competition.”

The teams will have to work together to impress judges including Mick Link from Speedy Services, Head Judge Michael Scarrott from EAL and welding specialist Richard Denholm returning as a judge in his new role as Sales Director for Morris Site Machinery.

Jane Nugent, Marketing Director at Speedy Services, said: “Speedy are once again delighted to being a part of ‘The Weld Off’ and to help promote this unique competition to an even wider audience for 2016. The Weld Off is a fabulous opportunity for young apprentices and students to showcase their talents and creativity, whilst also helping them develop their careers in the welding industry.”

Michael Scarrott from EAL, said: “We are keen to encourage young people to learn skills and gain confidence that will help them be successful in careers in valuable industries such as welding. We would urge students either employed in industry or at college, and employers and tutors, to get a team together and enter Weld Off 2016 ahead of the closing date on 11 March.”

The competition will be judged in two stages. There is a paper-based/online entry for the first round and the competitive live Weld Off final will be held at Speedy’s National Distribution Centre in Centurion Park, Tamworth, on 11 May.

The deadline for entries is 11March. To download an entry form, please go to www.morrismachinery.co.uk/weld-off

Rollins announce New National Appointment

Rollins Group are pleased to announce that former Area Sales Manager Mick Taylor has been appointed as National Sales Manager. 

Effective from 4 January 2016 Mick will be responsible for managing the team of seven Area Sales Managers and overseeing the UK and Irish wholesale and retail markets, reporting directly to Rollins Group Sales Director, Martin Tompsett. This appointment will also see Neil Kennedy joining Rollins Group as Area Sales Manager for the North Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East. Neil comes to Rollins from TFC Engineering Services in Keighley and has extensive knowledge and experience of both the hand and power tool trades.

Rollins Group are UK distributors for a range of professional hand tool brands manufactured in America and Europe including Arrow, Bulldog,Channellock, Eklind, Estwing, Fisher, Irega, Johnson, Marshalltown, MechanixWear, Midwest, RST Tools, Wilpu, Witte and Zircon.

For more information,please contact Rollins Group on 01279 401570 or email [email protected]

A New Amtech Has Arrived

The company is seeing a change in consumer behaviour and expectations towards DIY, which is being fuelled by the new, connected world where consumers have a wealth of information at their fingertips online. This change coupled with the generational shift in DIY skills and know how, has created a new opportunity for Amtech to connect with consumers and enhance the value the brand can offer. 

The new Amtech brand and visual identity is more friendly, approachable and supportive to consumers, offering a greater level of support, advice and guidance before, during and after a purchase.

The modern packaging engages the consumer from the second they see the Amtech products at point of sale. With its ‘jump off the shelf’ standout design, engaging speech bubbles and easy to understand product benefits, the packaging helps give consumers the confidence to choose the right product for their DIY task.

After-sale, Amtech continues to engage consumers through a friendly, approachable and expert advice service – providing them with all the DIY support and know how they need throughout the life of their DIY projects. The dedicated support service is available online through Amtech’s website or consumers can choose to speak to Amtech’s DIY experts over the phone.

“Amtech continues to offer great products at great prices, now with an even more friendly and approachable support service. We’re providing Amtech retailers with the tools to engage and nurture their customers, enhancing their DIY shopping experience and building great relationships that will result in returning customers and more sales,” says Deepak Kalra, Managing Director, DK Tools.

DK Tools will be showcasing the new Amtech brand at Totally DIY in February 2016 on stand F21. Retailers can experience for themselves this new approach to DIY from Amtech, and find out more about the products and support available for them and their customers

THS Show 2015 – 40 Years to Celebrate and a New Venue

Report by Peter Brett

With 40 years of trading to celebrate, 2015 is an important year for THS. The Directors spoke of addressing the range of challenges facing the tool market with confidence. Perhaps one of the less challenging decisions was to organize the annual show at the new venue at Donington Park. The decision was, in the opinions of everyone I spoke to, a great success because it got the thumbs up for a wide range of reasons. For visitors, the warm space was welcoming and well lit and organised, with facilities like tea, coffee and snack food available on tap. There were a number of informal sitting areas where the free Wi-Fi could be accessed as well as a huge demo area for the people who just need to see the “hands-on” stuff. People like me for example!

The exhibitors also liked the venue because of its easy motorway and airport access and free and generous parking close by. But their biggest thumbs-up was for the ease and speed of access to the hall for setting up stands. A big plus, especially for those who need to get going quickly at the end of a day – October being a very busy month for shows and exhibitions.

A theme for some of the exhibitors I spoke to was how to make the best use of show days. Many had new stand designs, publicity, video demos, mini-competitions and the staples of free pens and chocolate. Successful marketing often means being able to stand out from the crowd, so they are looking at increasingly ingenious methods to do just that. However, it still seems that a really slick demo is a crowd puller and sales generator. I await the results of the post mortems with interest…

The power tool market continues to grow in double digits each year, and there were many power tool companies who had new models on display. Flex Power Tools had a range of new 18v drivers to show. Very compact and up to date, I look forward to giving them a review in ToolBUSINESS +HIRE soon.

Key news at Hitachi centred on the new site radio (see this November’s issue) and the 12v cordless driver duo.

Metabo’s big draw was its excellent range of well-priced and very capable mitre saws – all bases covered from mains to cordless. The new Lithium HD battery technology has been a phenomenal success too.

Fein had newish mains Multi-Master with reduced noise and vibration, but with the 18v cordless version now in stock, my fingers are twitching to get a test done soon. Also new, were the 12v cordless drivers (It seems to me that 12v is the new 14.4v as so many manufacturers seem to be launching new models in that segment.) 

Over at Panasonic, the new “carbon fibre” look drivers have a number of key advantages like dual battery platforms and weather sealing. In an era where choosing the best battery platform for you is key, since it will very likely ensure continued loyalty to a brand, battery flexibility makes a lot of sense.

Draper had a prominent stand as ever and with new products aplenty promised in the New Year, I am keen to get down to Draper’s demo and sales area at Chandlers Ford to get my hands dirty.

Wera always has a steady stream of new concepts to market, most of which add directly to the Wera “System” and make it easy for users to continue to buy Wera kit.

Rollins had a generous display of some very good “standard” products like Estwing Hammers and Channellock pliers that no trade can afford to ignore. But when you have used a quality hammer for example, it is very hard to ignore the shortcomings of a cheap hammer, especially if you are using it every day.

DART Tools have a similar philosophy, picking from a range of manufacturers to provide best value and quality for many users.

The brightest stand by far was Schneider’s – lit by its range of very well designed and flexible work lights. In a market driven by price it was good to see such clever functionality and bright but diffused lights.

As a dealer, one can’t afford to ignore work clothing these days, and the competition is very fierce. Brands like Dickies and JCB are well established, but the new boy on the block, Dassy from Belgium, displayed a good range of standard workwear for men, as well as a range designed to fit women perfectly - a trend that acknowledges the growing number of women in the trades.

Adhesives, paints, lubricants were also well represented. I need to find a good use for the sample cartridge of Siroflex adhesive, but since I use wipes all the time now, the Ambersil ones look like they will go straight into my site bag ready for use. Delta adhesives and silicon tapes are also high on my agenda since I always seem to have a few minor emergencies that need dealing with. And to throw a light on it all, a good torch from Coast or LED Lenser is now an absolute necessity as the clocks go back on Sunday.

Although gambling wasn’t on the menu this year, the Radisson Hotel was a spacious and gracious venue for the annual members’ and suppliers’ dinner. A relaxed event, and judging from the babble of conversation, a very friendly and chatty one too. Well done THS organisers!

For more photos of the day visit www.facebook.com/ToolBUSINESSHIRE-Magazine/

Voice of the Industry- The moron’s guide to choosing a tradesman - Lessons learnt

Chris Barling of Powered Now fesses up.

I am a moron. I showed it the first time that I got some work done on my house. We found three random tradesmen. We got three quotes for new guttering and downpipes. We chose the cheapest (by far).

He did the work and announced that he had finished. “What about the downpipes, you haven’t done them” we queried. “That couldn’t possibly be included in the price, did anyone else quote to do them for a price near mine” was the answer. We reluctantly agreed to pay more for the downpipes and the tradesman finished the work. Three weeks later one of the gutters fell off. After weeks of chasing he returned and fixed it back up. A few weeks later it fell off again. Chalk this up to lesson one in the school of hard knocks.

This experience illustrates perfectly why 72% of homeowners use tradesmen based on personal recommendation or previous experience with them, according to the recent Powered Now survey of more than 1,000 tradesmen. The whole field is fraught with tank-traps, so we all want to find a way to navigate through safely.

My daughter and her husband recently had their house renovated. My daughter is an architect so she is in the trade, and used tradesmen that all had been recommended. Unfortunately one was a plumber who had a particular trait. That was, you could always tell where he had been as there would be at least one pool of water slowly accumulating where he had been working. Yes really. After a few such occurrences, he was sacked and someone else used to clear up the mess. So even using recommendation isn’t entirely safe.

What about the new methods of finding people online? You can simply search in Google which has all of the old problems of Yellow Pages. The alternative is to use one of the market places that are now regularly advertising on TV, like Rated People, Checkatrade or My Builder.

In fact, Powered Now’s survey of over a thousand homeowners found that 12% had used one of these market places in the last year to find a trade company, more than had used Yellow Pages, Thomson Local and local papers combined. Of those that used these services, 41% were satisfied or very satisfied, but 14% were still either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied, which is around 1 in 7.

So there you have it. Use personal recommendation where you can, but still beware. If finding a tradesman by other means, be particularly careful, and maybe test them out with a small initial job. Once you have a good tradesmen, try to never lose them.

Am I still a moron? Probably, but certainly an older and a slightly wiser one.

For more information on Powered Now's invoicing mobile app,  please visit http://powerednow.com

 

Watco helps Shooting Star Chase at Christmas

Watco provides 180 Christmas presents for children and siblings at hospice

Godalming-based Watco, the UK’s leading manufacturer of industrial strength flooring products, is providing 180 presents this Christmas for children at Shooting Star Chase’s Guildford children’s hospice, Christopher’s. Shooting Star Chase is a leading children’s hospice charity caring for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families.

Watco is spending £2,500 to support this initiative. Watco marketing director Jeremy Neaves caused quite a stir when he walked into a local toy store with his company credit card and filled several trollies with presents for children of all ages up to 21 years old. The presents range from baby toys, board games to DVDs and gift cards for the older children. They are for children and siblings supported by Shooting Star Chase at its Guildford-based hospice. The Watco team spent a donut-fuelled morning wrapping the presents and colour coding the bags according to gender and age groups.

This is the launch of the Watco community scheme and the firm will have more projects to announce shortly. Other companies are invited to join this initiative by providing presents to the children at a special time of year. Anyone interested should contact [email protected]

Jeremy Neaves, Watco Marketing Director said “Shooting Star Chase does such wonderful work and we are delighted to be able to assist by providing these presents. This is the first in a series of initiatives that we will be undertaking in aid of the hospice. I have done several runs to raise money for Shooting Star Chase before and know how the incredible team there helps the children and families. ”

Geraldine Sheedy, Head of Care at Shooting Star Chase, said: “We are hugely grateful for the generosity of Watco and can’t wait to see the children’s faces when we deliver these fantastic presents this Christmas. We always aim to make Christmas extra special for the families we support and it is thanks to lovely people like Watco, we are able to give families Christmas memories they can treasure forever.”

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