issue 3 - autumn 2015
HISTORIC iKBBI APPRENTICESHIP INITIATIVE GETS GREEN LIGHT
TRADEUP KITCHENS BECOME LATEST iKBBI SPONSOR
NEW MEMBERSHIP TIER SYSTEM FOR 2016
REDEFINING HYGIENE AND COMFORT STANDARDS
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Welcome & Contents
CONTENTS 04 iKBBI EXCLUSIVE 08 iKBBI MEMBERSHIP TIER ANNOUNCEMENT 12 iKBBI NEW SPONSOR: TradeUp Kitchens 14 iKBBI NEWS 16 OPINION PIECE by Damian Walters 18 INDUSTRY NEWS by kbbdaily.com 21 BMA MATTERS 24 Q&A with Denise Mayell 26 PRODUCT FEATURE Sanitaryware 32 SPONSOR NEWS 34 INSTALLER PROFILE Niel McGowan 38 WEBSITE ADVICE by Steff Booth 40 41 44 45
WEBSITE ADVICE by Stress Free Media EQUIPMENT ADVICE by Festool TAX TIPS by Dean Flood BUSINESS MATTERS by YourTradeBase
48 PRODUCT FEATURE Kitchens 54 PRODUCT FEATURE Designer Towel Warmers & Radiators 60 SOCIAL SCENE 62 PRODUCT PORTFOLIO 64 DIRECTORY
I can’t quite believe that it’s been three months since the last issue of the iKBBI Installer Magazine, but I’m pleased to say that once again issue 2 went down well with our readership. October is here and this month’s issue is bigger, better and has some exciting news about our membership restructure for next year, as well as our lead story on apprenticeships and planned South East Centre of Excellence. Once again I hope you all enjoy the read – please remember to feedback and thanks for your continued support.
Damian Walters iKBBI CEO
issue 3 - autumn 2015
HISTORIC iKBBI APPRENTICESHIP INITIATIVE GETS GREEN LIGHT
TRADEUP KITCHENS BECOME LATEST iKBBI SPONSOR
NEW MEMBERSHIP TIER SYSTEM FOR 2016
On the cover ...
Announcing the iKBBI’s amazing apprenticeship collaboration with training specialists PROCAT See pages 4 to 6
iKBBI ANNOUNCES HISTORIC DEAL Its been an indisputably great year for The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers; subsequently the first two issues of The Installer magazine were the first to announce ‘breaking news’ stories. You will have noticed that our front cover story carries the most significant and ground-breaking exclusive so far, with the institute announcing its exciting collaboration with a southeast training provider to create the UK’s first iKBBI Centre of Excellence for young apprentices. The historic deal will in conjunction with the new tiers of membership (see pages 8 & 9 for more details), create up to one thousand 16-19 year olds, an opportunity to join the iKBBI as apprentice members by Christmas 2015, with an ongoing commitment to grow this number to five thousand by the end of 2017! iKBBI CEO Damian Walters commented by saying: “The south-east pilot will not only link the iKBBI with a fantastic established training provider, but also to one thousand school leavers, interested in a career in construction based trade, within the next three months.”
“The south-east pilot will link the iKBBI with, not only a fantastic established training provider, but also to one thousand school leavers, interested in a career in construction based trade, within the next three months.” Damian continued: “The subject of apprenticeships for our industry should be viewed as a demonstrable challenge, however with a steady, planned approach I’m confident that over time we’ll be the vehicle for new and young talent to join our industry and for those reputable businesses who operate within the sector, a great place to find and entice talent as future assets.” The initiative will start by inviting 1619 year olds studying at PROCAT, the UK’s first college of advanced technology, to join the iKBBI as apprentice members for free. This will essentially allow the KBB industry to start working with this important group of youngsters via communication, opinion surveying and focus groups. cont. on p6
iKBBI announces an exciting collaboration with a southeast training provider to create the UKâ€™s first iKBBI Centre of Excellence for young apprentices.
“In such an exciting growth period for the construction industry, promoting and providing specialist opportunities to our students alongside the iKBBI enhances the probability of employment at the end of their study, which has to be our ultimate goal for every student that passes through PROCAT.” ... cont
The iKBBI will also work closely with the college, which operates over three established campuses in Essex, with a view to developing KBB modules to bolt onto the existing syllabus. Damian said: “This isn’t about reinventing the wheel. PROCAT has an amazing infrastructure; a dedicated team of inspirational tutors, and a management team with a clear passion for developing young talent. We’ll capitalise on their wealth of education knowledge and experience and support them to produce modules that will add tangible benefits to their own prospectus. Furthermore, we hope that by adding our experience to their team, we’ll help them attract more 16-19 year olds into the college and subsequently into our industry.” Phil Clark, Head of Faculty – Construction and the Built Environment at PROCAT commented on the initiative: “In such an exciting growth period for the construction industry, promoting and providing specialist opportunities to our students alongside the iKBBI enhances the probability of employment at the end of their study, which has to be our ultimate goal for every student that passes through PROCAT.”
Damian concluded by adding: “I would like to add a word of support for Renée Mascari and the KBB NTG who have done a fantastic job creating a living and breathing apprenticeship through training provider WEBS (Nottingham), so the subject of apprenticeships is not entirely new. However, we hope to work with them both to scope opportunities and take this to an even wider audience as a joint initiative. We believe the iKBBI is a great vehicle to take this crucial initiative to the next level.”
MEMBERSHIP RESTRUCTURE The iKBBI this announced recently that membership tiers will be evolving for 2016. Here are the finer details; currently, there is one level of accreditation available to domestic installers of KBB product. However, in January 2016 the iKBBI is set to launch a five-tier system that will mark one of the biggest changes since itâ€™s launch in 2007. The current single level accreditation will be replaced by five new categories: Master This tier recognising those domestic installers who have achieved 5-years or more of continuous membership to the iKBBI. This is a group of professionals who have committed to long-term positive change within their industry and have a proven track record of excellence.
Domestic This replaces our current membership tier and is for either independent installers operating in the B2C domestic environment, or those installers who work with local, regional or national retail Installation Standards Partners.
SET TO WIDEN iKBBI REACH Contract This level of accreditation is for KBB installers who solely install in the new build sector. In July, the huge kitchen manufacturing brand Omega PLC, became the first to commit to the new contract level of accreditation. Talks with other suppliers in this sector are ongoing and we hope the results can soon be announced. Engineer Available to installers of domestic appliances, gas and electrical contractors, remedial installers and worktop fabricators, this low cost membership
will help network trade professionals with our Installation Standards Partners and those domestic installers looking for sub-contracted support. The iKBBI has agreed a deal with a national B2C appliance retailer and 700 selfemployed engineers will become the first wave of members in this category. Apprentice This will be an entry-level accreditation, available to students studying initially at PROCAT College for Advanced Technology (for details see pages 6 -7). Membership is FREE for the duration of the course and for 12 months after course completion. The iKBBI, in a historic deal, has agreed that before Christmas 2015 up to 1,000 new apprentices will become the first generation to join at apprentice level. cont. on p10
iKBBI News ... cont
New tier pricing and criteria will be published in December, although iKBBI Communication Manager Denise Mayell added: “It has always been our ethos to keep costs to an absolute minimum for our valued members. Since the launch in 2007, there has only been one small increase to cover additional costs, remembering the institute operates on a not-for-profit basis, we will not be looking to incorporate any significant increases for membership and in some instances, membership fees will decrease!” The iKBBI Installation Standards partnership, or iSP initiative is also under review with a focus on increasing the
network of independent retailers. Over 500 invites will be sent in the New Year, inviting them to attend KBB Birmingham 2016 event at The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) 6-9th March. iKBBI CEO, Damian Walters, added: “The restructure has been a long time coming, but has only been possible to consider based on our continued growth over the last 2-3 years. We are attracting phenomenal attention from some amazing businesses that operate in and around the KBB industry, so it’s only right that as an institute, we evolve to bring them into the organisation.”
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TRADEUP KITCHENS IS UNVEILED AS THE LATEST iKBBI SPONSOR The iKBBI is delighted to announce that yet another exciting brand has committed to the institute’s ethos as it unveils TradeUp Kitchens as its latest sponsor.
our brand. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the iKBBI and we wish to provide its members with a tailored choice of quality built kitchens that are totally installer friendly.”
TradeUp Kitchens is a new kitchen proposition exclusively available to the trade. Kitchens are available on a complete basis via a network of local independent trade manufacturers across the UK.
Each trade manufacturer is highly experienced and offer quality, custombuilt complete kitchen solutions with onsite delivery as standard. Many TradeUp listed manufacturers have showrooms with displays that are open to you and your clients and offer a design service to help you plan your client’s perfect kitchen.
Using components manufactured by Europe’s leading trade suppliers, TradeUp offers a quality range of kitchens at trade prices. The collection features a comprehensive range of styles to suit any homeowner’s taste from Classic and Shaker through to contemporary and handle-less designs. TradeUp Kitchens Brand Manager, Richard Gates, comments: “We are delighted to be collaborating with the iKBBI as it gives us access to a highly targeted and relevant audience for our network of independent trade manufacturers. Furthermore, it’s a highly credible organisation that can only be good for
TradeUp Kitchens is offering all iKBBI members free brochures to promote its range to their clients. Additional benefits to iKBBI members will also be listed on the member’s area of the iKBBI website. iKBBI members can locate their nearest TradeUp Kitchen supplier by visiting www.tradeupkitchens.co.uk/suppliers/ or for further information regarding TradeUp Kitchens and to order your free brochures, please contact: Richard Gates: Tel: 01325 505 563 email@example.com
iKBBI INSPECTOR NETWORK WILL LAUNCH IN NOVEMBER Following an overwhelming response from the industry, the new iKBBI independent network of specialist KBB inspectors will launch in just a few weeks. The network will provide a wide range of inspection services to the industry, including support with dispute resolution, onsite auditing, member vetting and continual personal development assessment, another first for the UK. Speaking on behalf of The Furniture Ombudsman earlier this year, CEO Kevin
Grix commented on the initiative by saying: “We’re delighted to be working with the iKBBI and look forward to exploring long-term opportunities in addition to short-term quick-wins.” The service will be coordinated by former Metropolitan Police officer Geoffrey Jackson (pictured) and should request more information by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
KBB BIRMINGHAM 2016 Following negotiation with UBM, the organisers behind KBB, the UK’s biggest kitchen, bedroom and bathroom exhibition. The iKBBI reconfirmed its support of the premier event to be held at The National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham in March next year. Billed as “the most important business meeting of the year”, KBB 2016 has already confirmed over 400 leading UK and international brands, including iKBBI sponsors Blum, Franke and Festool.
The iKBBI which normally mans a modest stand (shack) will be doing something much different next year, explains Communications Manager, Denise Mayell: “In association with some of our key associates, we’ll be running advice clinics on a number of key topics including consumer law, installation standards as well as relaunching our offering to independent retailers.” Stand details will be confirmed early next year, with free invites to attend the event being distributed to all members over the Christmas close down period. In the meantime, save the date - 6th-9th March 2016. More information about the exhibition, including the list of confirmed exhibitors, can be found at the exhibition website kbb.co.uk
LONDON-TOPARIS FOR CHARITY iKBBI CEO Damian Walters has signed up to ‘A Year of Giving,’ a series of fundraising activities planned for 2016-17. The year long commitment will begin next July, where Damian will cycle from Central London to Paris, a 400 mile challenge for The Alzheimer’s Society. Sponsorship details will be released early next year, but any business interested in corporate sponsorship should contact: email@example.com
WINNER! The winner of the competition in the summer edition of The Installer is Dave White of Dave White Installations from Blackheath. Dave wins an amazing new 3-in1 hot tap by Perrin & Rowe worth almost a thousand pounds! On hearing the news Dave said: “Wow, great! I never win anything!” Well you have now Dave, thanks for entering.
INSTALLERS WANTED The iKBBI is working with a number of businesses that are looking to connect with both domestic and contract (site) installers. Those installers interested in finding out more should visit http://www. ikbbi-recruitment.org and submit contact information.
Opinion piece by Damian Walters
DON’T BE CATEGORISED… For years the press have publicised the spectacular failings of some tradesmen. Anne Robinson and that chap on the motorbike have made a career from the misery of others; although to be fair they have highlighted some appalling instances of tradesmen, who quite frankly should be imprisoned for their antics. My beef is not that rogue tradesman are targeted and named and shamed, but it’s actually that there isn’t a fair balance between the good and the bad, which perhaps gives the public an incorrect and skewed opinion of all tradesmen. Aside from the Beeb’s DIY SOS, which showcases the best of British tradesmen, there’s little else in the media that focuses on the many great people operating in the home improvement sector. This can almost breed suspicion and even animosity between consumers and tradesmen, often before the two even meet! Therefore, relationships can begin on a bad footing which can ultimately have a negative effect on the overall success of the project and relationship. So what can professional tradesman do to combat this? The simple answer is to focus on controlling expectations up front and treating the customer relationship as important as the installation itself. This will underpin a happy project, so it’s win, win.
Recognising that consumers use the internet to source, vet and appoint tradesmen, it’s worth investing in a solid digital profile. A good website (opposed to a cheap self-built one), will provide the consumer with their first experience of your business. Basically, it’s your shop window. It should be open, honest and professionally presented and don’t refer to yourself as the Managing Director if you’re a small business. Consumers will see right through it and may actually prefer to know that you’re the installer and your wife does the invoicing. Similarly, avoid stock images of installations purchased (or borrowed) from the web; they can either look tacky, too professional or even irrelevant. The amount of UK websites I’ve seen that clearly display images from overseas is frightening, and a little embarrassing if I’m honest. A professional social media platform is also incredibly important. Are you on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? Is your profile professional? Are you sharing your commercial successes, testimonials from happy customers and pictures of beautifully fitted products? If not, your customer may not be getting the correct feel of your business and this is before you arrive on the doorstep. Demonstrating professionalism from the moment you meet your customer must also be a priority. We live in a consumer savvy and technically capable world and
Opinion piece by Damian Walters
subsequently customers recognise the difference between good and bad, so the days of quoting on a ‘fag packet’ and handshake agreements are long gone. You never get a second chance to make a first impression so don’t turn up on a potential customer’s doorstep in your work boots and silicone covered jeans. The project may be valued at thousands, so make sure you demonstrate your professionalism up front and it will instill customer confidence from the very beginning of the relationship. All this said there’s no need to arrive at your potential customer in a suit and tie either, its all about striking a balance; a clean branded polo shirt and smart jeans is often all that’s required. If you should be wearing boots or work shoes then offer to take them off before entering the dwelling, this will demonstrate that you have respect for someone else’s home, this is critical because this is what the potential customer wants from the person who is appointed to undertake their installation
project. Little gestures go a long way. And finally, think about the quality, detail, appearance and speed of your quotation. Customers appreciate a clean, itemised quote that is delivered quickly. Strike whilst the iron is hot and aim to get the quote to them within 24 hours. Do include a set of terms and conditions to ensure both you and your customer are clear about exactly what you will be installing and how much you’re charging and how and when you’ll be expecting payment(s). If you’re not clear up front, tradesmen may leave themselves open to rogue customers when it comes to getting paid; something the press doesn’t seem to enjoy writing about half as much! Remember, iKBBI members get access to a wide range of advice, tips and tools via the member’s website (members-login.org), including terms and conditions that you can use with your customers that satisfy the new Consumer Rights Act (2015) legislation that came into force earlier this month. www.ikbbi.org.uk
IDEALPRO PARTNERS WITH AAT Armitage Shanks’ and Ideal Standard’s installer loyalty programme, IdealPro, has teamed up with the Association of Accounting Technicians – AAT – to offer a financial training package for its members. The resources offered by IdealPro and AAT are designed to support selfemployed workers and cover “the dayto-day financial aspects needed by installers,” according to Ideal Standard.
The first training resource to be made available will be a cash flow and budgeting guide, designed to offer dayto-day planning for spending. It includes three financial tools that allows users to input their own numbers, comprising a net profit calculator, cash flow forecast calculator and budget planner. “We want to support our installers with all aspects of their job through IdealPro, so teaming up with AAT was the obvious next step,” said Alex Paul, Channel Marketing Manager for IdealPro at Ideal Standard. “We hope our installers find the first phase of financial training useful, alongside the support of the extra financial tools made available to them to help them make the most of running a successful and profitable business.”
TOPPS TILES FORECASTS 5.3% REVENUE INCREASE IN 2015 Topps Tiles is expected to report a 5.3% increase in like-for-like revenues for 2015, rising from £195.2m in 2014 to £212m for the 52 weeks to 3rd October 2015, according to the company’s pre-close trading update. In the last quarter, Topps Tiles launched 17 new ranges “with a focus on collaborative, exclusive innovations with leading manufacturers.” In the fourth quarter, the company also opened three new stores and two boutiques, bringing the total number up to 348 stores including 13 boutiques. “I am pleased to report that Topps will complete a successful year, with good growth in profits and a record level of turnover, both of which are directly attributable to our strategy of out-specialising the specialist,” said CEO Matthew Williams. “As a result of this, we are confident of hitting our one third market share goal by the end of this year and are well advanced on developing our next strategic goal for the organisation.”
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BAGNO DESIGN BECOMES GALASSIA EXCLUSIVE UK DISTRIBUTOR Bagno Design – which is part of Dubai-based Sanipex Group – has become the exclusive UK distributor of Italian bathroom ceramics brand Galassia. The Italian brand will launch a new retail priced catalogue specifically for the UK market. According to Bagno Design, all products featured in the new catalogue will be stocked at the company’s logistics centre in Leeds ‘ready for immediate distribution.’ The brochure will feature new product launches including sanitaryware, basins and co-ordinated WCs, and a range of contract sanitaryware.
“Establishing ourselves as the exclusive distributor for Galassia products in the UK is an exciting step forward for us,” said Bagno Design UK Sales Director Mark Walker. “The Galassia range of luxurious, high-end bathroom solutions offers the perfect complement to our ownbrand products and enables us to offer our customers even more choice when it comes to creating beautiful bathrooms.” Galassia Export Manager Gianluca Mei added: “We are sure that the new partnership with Sanipex will offer improved service, better availability and a more
focused approach to the marketing of the Galassia brand in the UK. We have a strong 15-year history with The Sanipex group and already work successfully together in many other markets in the Middle East and Asia. We look forward to developing our business together and hope that the improvement in both brand marketing and service will allow us to grow our business together.”
KBB INDUSTRY PLAYERS AMONG ‘COOLBRANDS’ 2015/16 LIST Several manufacturers and retailers within the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom industry have been named ‘CoolBrands’ on the 2015/16 Coolbrands list, compiled by a voting process involving 36 ‘opinion formers’ and 2,500 members of the British public. Appliance brands Neff, Aga, Fisher & Paykel, Gaggenau, KitchenAid, Smeg and Miele made the list of ‘Qualifying CoolBrands,’ alongside shower and tap manufacturer Methven, Villeroy & Boch, Bisque, and Fired Earth.
Kitchen designers Boffi, Bulthaup and Poggenpohl were also named in the list of CoolBrands, as well as bathroom retailer CP Hart.
The brands were all judged on four factors, namely innovation, originality, desirability and authenticity. “Evaluating so many brands, the difference between the best and the rest is marked. Achieving CoolBrands status definitely places a brand in the former category and shows both influencers and consumers alike are in agreement about the brand’s credibility and desirability,” said CoolBrands Council chairman Stephen Cheliotis.
PLUMBERS WELCOME ERP DIRECTIVE, SAYS SURVEY The Energy-related Products – ErP – directive from the EU, which came into place on 26th September, has been welcomed by the UK’s plumbing industry, according to a survey carried out by Bristan. According to the Tamworth-based manufacturer, around 50% of plumbers are “full of positivity” about the new legislation – which will bring in new minimum energy requirements for heating and hot water systems – despite “widespread concerns” around its arrival and how it will impact the industry. Around three quarters said they welcome the arrival of the directive, calling it vital “if the UK is to achieve its 2020 carbon reduction targets.” A quarter of those surveyed felt “excited” about the arrival of the new directive, while the same amount felt daunted. However, 50% “felt more than prepared” for the legislation’s arrival later this month. “It is great to see such positivity and enthusiasm around ErP,” said Bristan Technical Liaison Manager Peter Manning. “After all, it constitutes one of the most important pieces of legislation that the industry has seen in a decade; helping to drive out inefficient products and create greater transparency so consumers can make more informed choices when choosing an electrical product.” “In this way, it will create a great opportunity for installers to more easily advocate the highest-rated products, in turn, creating increased profit opportunity. It is therefore nothing to be concerned about but rather welcomed.” 20
CROSSWATER INTRODUCES DIAL New from Crosswater, Dial is the latest in push-button shower technology, which allows you to precisely control the flow of water and temperature simultaneously. Available in both single and double outlet options, Dial sets a new benchmark in bathroom design with cutting-edge on/off operation offering complete showering control at the touch of a button. This innovation allows for multifunctional showering and bathing, whereby outlets can be used both independently and in-sync with a superior effect to that of standard diverters. Behind the scenes it is intuitive, high-performing and even works on low-pressure systems if installed with a flow activated shower pump. Available in four of Crosswater’s designer ranges: Central, Belgravia, Kai Lever and Pier. Featuring 11 separate water flow positions, Dial offers the perfect flexibility between eco-friendly showering and luxurious high-pressure power. Operated by a simple push button function, the controls are highly responsive for instant shut off making it the ideal multifunctional choice for the modern bathroom.
TOUCH POINTS AT BATHROOM AND KITCHEN CONFERENCE 2015 Toilet touch points, contact lenses with built-in blood-sugar analysis for diabetics and the subjectivity of colourful 6-sided beach balls were just three of the topics discussed at the recent Bathroom and Kitchen Business Conference. The annual conference has always been designed to expand the minds of its delegates by getting them to look outside of their usual four walls, by challenging norms, and by creating some disruptive thoughts. And as you can see, it certainly did that!
with the state of business in America, a nod perhaps to some members of the audience who had flown in especially for the event. They had come from the BMA’s equivalent association in the US, Plumbing Manufacturers International. Jonty then considered ‘that elephant in the room’ - the UK. He gave his thoughts on how our country might fare in the forthcoming referendum but being a cont. on p22
The programme, specially curated for this year’s tenth anniversary event, lived up to its promises with speakers carefully briefed to push boundaries, to change attitudes, to inspire, but to avoid bathrooms and kitchens. First up was Paul McGee who surprised and, some say, shocked delegates into a rude awakening with his highly engaging and participative talk on Communicating for Success. Setting delegates with a number of tasks and challenging the audience to “be MAD” and make a difference certainly did its job. McGee’s high energy and inspiring warm up was only relieved when broadcaster and business correspondent Jonty Bloom brought us back to earth with his detailed, and at times, chilling review of Business in Europe. He spoke about the challenges of the European Community and the economic condition of its member states. He compared them www.ikbbi.org.uk
BMA Matters ... cont
media man, warned us not to believe everything we see in the headlines! Sustainability was the next thorny subject for discussion with Nick Pollard who had many years’ experience working for the ‘big boys’ in the construction industry. His talk challenged delegates to consider running a sustainable business not only through its products but from its very core. He reminded us that running a sustainable business was good for the bottom line. Sustainability could also win contracts and keep the business out of trouble. Inspiring thoughts. Designer Dick Powell changed the scene with his excellent multi-media presentation wowing the audience with his thoughts on ‘cool hunting’ and suggesting that if we wanted to see into the future we should contact him first! He boasted that he lives in the future – that’s his role in life! Powell suggested (no, demanded) that business leaders should protect its innovation process. He argued that industry cannot live without it. He wanted us to challenge the norm, to consider our product’s touch points (an interesting thought when you contemplate a toilet!) and to create new paradigms. He told us to think wide but get close to our customers. More inspiring stuff. Onto sales and marketing next with a review of the changes in retailing from Professor Joshua Bamfield, and the rapid advance of all-things-digital from Allister Frost. Bamfield pursued a careful study into the rapidly changing world of retailing – a change brought on by the recession of 2008 when the industry “fell off the cliff edge.” He suggested that today’s shopper
is a new shopper. The recession made people rethink how they shopped and he forecast that by around 2025 at least 25% of all purchases will be made on line. Omni-channel retailing, show-rooming, web-rooming and queue busting are the current trends and retailers can’t hide from them. Allister Frost took marketing to a new level. He once headed Microsoft’s marketing and had been responsible for many of its product launches. He reviewed the pace of change in the digital world and there is no doubt that it is now so fast it’s difficult for mere humans to keep up. The speed of delivery of products purchased on line is exercising the minds of those in the know. He asked us to recall the days of 28-day delivery. Now it’s getting down to 28 minutes. Stand by for changes in bathrooms and kitchens. The full day of presentations was brought to a close with a key note from multi award winning broadcaster and journalist, Michael Buerk. What a speaker! And
what better way than to conclude a conference with a sideways look at the world from a master of his craft. Buerk recalled his recent purchase of new bathrooms for his home. His wife “made most of the decisions.” Nothing new there then! He also spoke about his time in the jungle of reality TV before giving us his view of where humanity seems to be going. “What are people turning in to?” he asked and promptly told us what he thought. There is a massive growth in global numbers but we are becoming more individualistic. Is that good for society? Buerk left us on a high but with profound points of view to contemplate.
And now you are asking what about those colourful six-sided beach balls. They came during the opening talk by Paul McGee when he reminded us that you should always look at your company as if you were the customer. To illustrate this, place a six-sided beach ball between you and your customer. Each side of the ball has a different colour. You will see three colours, looking out. But the customer will see three completely different colours, looking in. Think about it. It’s serious. The Bathroom and Kitchen Conference 2015 did exactly as it was billed. It had something for everyone. Bet you’re sorry you missed it.
The day’s conference concluded with the customary Gala Dinner and Media Awards. David Osborne, the BMA’s President announced the winners of this year’s awards which had been democratically selected by the BMA membership. The winners were: Best Trade Magazine Essential Kitchen and Bathroom Business Best Consumer Magazine Kitchens Bedrooms and Bathrooms Best Trade Journalist/Editor Rebecca Nottingham Best Consumer Journalist/Editor Ruth Bell Best Digital Contribution KBBDaily Best Exhibition Sleep
Q & A with Denise Mayell Denise is the iKBBI Communications Manager. Her role is to ensure that members and the wider industry are kept informed via the many communication channels that the iKBBI uses, including social media platforms, weekly email updates, monthly newsletters and quarterly magazines. You’ve recently joined the iKBBI, what are your first impressions? I’m really happy in my new job as I’m working with a great bunch of people who have a common aim of supporting KBB installers and providing a network of links to improve industry standards. With the new apprenticeship initiative being launched at the iKBBI these are exciting times. It’s great to be able to expose our young people to the apprenticeship opportunities and with the network of industry supporters that have been developed over the years it’s sure to be a success. What attracted you to your role with the iKBBI? I have a positive outlook and look for the best in things. On researching the iKBBI, I realised that their aims and objectives were to improve perception, standards and support installers in providing a professional service to the consumer. All really positive! Something I felt I could contribute to and wanted to be a part of.
Enough of business, tell us about yourself? I’m married and I have two grown-up children who I’m very proud of. My daughter is a teacher and my son works in logistics…not forgetting my amazing dog who definitely counts as sibling no.3 (he’s special) What or who makes you laugh? I’m not proud to say this as it is usually at somebody else’s expense but for a quick uncontrollable giggle fix ‘You’ve Been Framed’ usually works. What song would most likely get you up on the dance floor? Definitely Rock Lobster by The B-52’s or Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash. Name three people you’d most like to share a dinner party with? Stephen Fry because he is a font of knowledge, Bradley Cooper to look at whilst putting the world to rights and Dame Helen Mirren for some top tips on growing old so gracefully.
What’s your favourite movie? Coyote Ugly, I can watch it over and over. I do love a rom-com. What’s your favourite holiday destination? Ski resorts do it for me, the Three Valleys in France are probably my favourite for skiing and Austria for the Apres-ski. On the warmer side I do have a soft spot for the simplicity of Greece; taramasalata, greek salad and a cold beer. What makes you cringe? Eek…The Inbetweeners Hopes for the future? Remain positive with my rose tinted glasses. Stay healthy, be happy, enjoy my work and maybe some long-haul travel that involves meeting an orangutan.
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Product Feature, Sanitaryware Vitra M-Line range with wall-hung frame with Loop T gloss White flush plate
â€œYou can explain how reputable bathroom manufacturers thoroughly test their products to meet set required standards. For example, at Vitra we meet British and European standards.â€? Margaret Talbot Marketing Manager, Vitra UK.
Product Feature, Sanitaryware
EXPAND YOUR CUSTOMER’S HORIZONS It’s quite incredible to think just how much bathrooms have changed and how essential they’ve become to everyday living. Within a span of about 100 hundred years, the humble lavvy has gone from a communal outhouse, to a domesticated and even luxurious room in the home, caring for the user’s every need. It’s not a matter of just practicalities anymore either, but good bathrooms are ‘considered’ and add a stylish design element to a home. cont. on p28
Product Feature, Sanitaryware ... cont
Bauhaus Svelte wall-hung WC
Crosswater Waldorf washbasin WC and bath
It’s this steeped history that installers can be up against sometimes. Everyone seems to have heard a story from a friend or relative about a leaky or bad bathroom, whilst the million and one perfectly good bathrooms can be overlooked. Any good installer will want to protect their reputation and will go to products that they can be confident in and trust to deliver durability and longevity. Whilst customers might be price led, this can always be countered with the argument for performance and reliability. Sales Director at Perrin & Rowe, David Cole, advocates: “Don’t let your customers settle for lesser quality; the short term savings will not out weigh the difference in long term value. Make sure the product you’re installing reflects your own level of quality and business principles.”
“Don’t let your customers settle for lesser quality; the short term savings will not out weigh the difference in long term value. Make sure the product you’re installing reflects your own level of quality and business principles.” David Cole, Sales Director, Perrin & Rowe. Perrin & Rowe traditional collection brassware at Sofitel St.James Hotel London
Whilst fitting a bathroom may not seem like a big deal to those that install them, it’s important to remember that consumers can often feel nervous and unsure about the whole process. Sharing with potential customers your credentials when starting any job can seem like a no-brainer, but it can be easily overlooked. By simply helping to set anxieties aside at the beginning, the process of then choosing and installing a bathroom can be met with excitement. Marketing Manager at Vitra UK, Margaret Talbot, explains: “Consumers can be anxious cont. on p30
Product Feature, Sanitaryware Vitra S50 range with wall-hung frame
Product Feature, Sanitaryware ... cont
about the upheaval process that can come with installing a new bathroom and this can be exacerbated by horror stories about bathroom leaks caused by ineffective products or poorly executed installations. You can alleviate these concerns by firstly talking them through the accreditation process that an iKBBI member goes through to prove that you as an installer have the proven necessary skills to fit their bathroom properly. Secondly, you can explain how reputable bathroom manufacturers thoroughly test their products to meet set required standards. For example, at Vitra we meet British and European standards and are accredited to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, EN 16001 and OHSAS 18001. Vitra also conforms to WRAS flushing standards, BREEAM requirements and UK Building Regulations. These accreditations ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, as well as encouraging minimal environmental impact during the process of design and manufacture of our products.” When customers are relaxed, happy and excited about a project, it makes it simpler to open them up to new ideas and trends, rather than just getting them to trade like-for-like. We spoke to several brands about the latest bathroom products and one thing became very clear; if there’s one trend to take notice of it’s the rise of wall-hung sanitaryware. Margaret shared her enthusiasm: “Wall-hung WCs and bathroom products are really trendy and can give a bathroom the wow factor, as the floor is left clear and all the unsightly pipework for the WC is kept out of sight. This makes the bathroom feel more high-end as it creates a really minimalist aesthetic. This can be achieved using our wall-hung frames, WCs and stylish flush plates. The flush plate can also add a striking element, with designs in gold,
white and black finishes, in addition to the typical chrome options.” Product Manager at Geberit, Graham Aird, also spoke favourably: “Consumers are increasingly opting for wall-hung sanitaryware in order to achieve a sleek, minimal bathroom design as it frees up floor space.”
“Incorporating a wall-hung frame into the bathroom is no more complicated than boxing in the pipework and drainage for a toilet and cistern that sits in front of the wall.” Whilst it’s easy to take this knowledge for granted, it’s useful to remember that most customers will be completely unaware of these facts. Graham Aird, Product Manager at Geberit
It might seem to us that wall-hung sanitaryware has been around for donkey’s years, but most consumers are still just catching up with the very idea. There can be quite a lot of confusion about how it works, how you perform maintenance and will it withstand even if big ol’ Uncle Joe visits. Head of Marketing at Roca (UK), Georgina Spencer, commented: “Consumers are often anxious about installing products in their bathroom that they aren’t familiar with. Take wall-hung sanitaryware for example. Many consumers worry about the workings of a WC being hidden behind a tiled wall and some are even concerned about whether it can hold sufficient weight. They may love the look of wall-hung, but be nervous about how it will fare in the future if there are any maintenance issues. Simple reassurance from a good installer that all the working parts of the WC can
Product Feature, Sanitaryware
be accessed via the flushplate without disrupting the tiling is often all it takes to get consumers to trade-up to this look.” It’s not just the final product, but the simple installation process that should also be explained. Graham elaborates: “Incorporating a wall-hung frame into the bathroom is no more complicated than boxing in the pipework and drainage for a toilet and cistern that sits in front of the wall.” Whilst it’s easy to take this knowledge for granted, it’s useful to remember that most customers will be completely unaware of these facts.
By taking the time to understand the potential anxieties of your client, you can utilise your expert knowledge to help guide them through the process and make sure they get the most out of their new bathroom.
Bauhaus www.bauhaus-bathrooms.co.uk Crosswater www.crosswater.co.uk Geberit www.geberit.co.uk Roca www.uk.roca.com Vitra www.vitra.co.uk Perrin & Rowe www.perrinandrowe.co.uk
Roca’s In-Tank Meridian WC
“Simple reassurance from a good installer that all the working parts of the WC can be accessed via the flushplate without disrupting the tiling is often all it takes to get consumers to trade-up to this look.” Georgina Spencer, Head of Marketing at Roca (UK)
FRANKE’S POPULAR MARIS PULL-OUT TAP ENHANCED WITH DUAL-SPRAY FUNCTIONALITY
Specialists within the kitchen, bedroom & bathroom market in:
Public Relations Advertising Publishing Marketing Recognising the popularity of taps with added functionality, Franke has enhanced the Maris Pull-Out Nozzle tap from its Specialist Range with a dual-spray trigger function. The Maris Pull-Out Spray tap is available now in chrome and silksteel and benefits from a five-year guarantee on moving parts and one year on finish. The addition of the trigger to the ergonomically angled spout is designed to make the pull-out spray easier to use. The two spray variations and a built-in perlator, which mixes air into the water to ensure a champagne-like flow, make it ideal for rinsing, washing and filling pots. The tap’s overall height is 284mm and the swivel spout reach is 207mm. It complements Franke’s popular Maris sinks range, offering a co-ordinated sink and tap combination that simplifies decision-making for consumers. The upgraded Maris Pull-Out Spray is one of three new taps added to Franke’s Specialist range as part of its 2015 new product update, which has also included four sinks, five extractor hoods and new waste sorter systems for recycling. www.franke.co.uk 32
Telephone: 01992 478 109 www.publicityengineers.com Proud to be official supporters of the iKBBI
Installer Profile, Neil McGowan, NM Home Improvements Ltd.
DRUMMING UP BUSINESS For our installer profile we speak to Neil McGowan of NM Home Improvements Ltd. We began by asking him how long he has been installing kitchens and bathrooms and which geographical area does he operate from? “To be honest it’s all I’ve ever done! I left school in 2001 and have been installing ever since. Most of my work comes from the North Lincolnshire area but my reputation means that I sometimes pick up work further afield which I’m prepared to do as long as there is enough in the job to make it worthwhile financially.”
So how did Neil get into installation and was it a lifelong ambition? “Once I left school I set aside some time to consider whether college was really for me. I was lucky really as a neighbour ran his own business and offered me a position as a labourer for two weeks which actually ended up spanning 3 three years.” He continued, “I did try a different trade for a few months but soon returned to installing, it must be in my DNA. I completed my NVQ in making and installing furniture level 2 in 2010 which then inspired me to become selfemployed.”
“I get a high proportion of recommendations, but apart from this, I get a lot of my work from social media networking, recommendations and local retailers. In addition to all of this; through my membership of the iKBBI, I was able to become a Bathstore approved installer which works well for me.” We asked what is his main areas of expertise and how does he generate business, to which he explained, “As a member of the iKBBI, its obvious really that I install kitchens and bathrooms, but I’m not restricted to just the fitting of products; fortunately, my broad skills set allows me to often complete the entire project, including minor building, electrical cont. on p36
Installer Profile, Neil McGowan, NM Home Improvements Ltd.
â€œThese days when not working I like to spend time with family and when I can make time, my hobbies are playing the drums, woodworking and mountain biking.â€?
Installer Profile, Neil McGowan, NM Home Improvements Ltd. ... cont
and carpentry work. However, that’s not to say that I don’t occasionally call on extra help from colleagues who are joiners, gas fitters and electricians where necessary.” He further stated, “As far as new business is concerned I consider myself lucky as I get a high proportion of recommendations, but apart from this, I get a lot of my work from social media networking, recommendations and local retailers. In addition to all of this; through my membership of the iKBBI, I was able to become a Bathstore approved installer which works well for me.” There are always challenges in business so what has been the biggest so far? “Without doubt my biggest challenge in business has been starting out in the recession, I even had to contract out at times when things got really tough, but I managed to ride it out successfully. It’s something I’m proud of to be honest.” Neil also commented: “With regard to personal challenges it has to be running and growing a once fledgling business whilst supporting a wife and two children. It has been so difficult to manage my time to keep an even balance between business and family life but despite putting in a lot of hours to make the business a success I think I’ve managed it ok.” Keeping things personal, what would Neil be if he hadn’t become an installer? “If I wasn’t an installer I would definitely have become a full-time soldier. I served in the reserves for 10 years, first as a Metalsmith, and then a Chef, a bit of a strange combination really” he laughed, “These days when I’m not working I like to spend time with family and when I can make time, my hobbies are playing the drums, woodworking and mountain biking. In fact, I successfully completed
a 33 mile off road course in Surrey this year which is possibly my highlight of the year.”
“I have recently received endorsement from Which? Trusted Traders; this is incredibly valuable to my business.” With regard to his iKBBI membership we asked Neil why he joined and does he have any advice to any installers out their contemplating a membership to which he answered, “I initially joined the iKBBI two years ago not just for the credibility, but because I’m proud of our industry and my work and thought it important to support such a credible organisation that’s trying to help us all who make a living out of the kitchen and bathroom industry.”
Installer Profile, Neil McGowan, NM Home Improvements Ltd.
He continued, “The iKBBI endorsement alone has confirmed to me that all the hard work I have put in over the years is now paying dividends. One example is the fact that I have recently received endorsement from Which? Trusted Traders. This is incredibly valuable to my business. I always explain to potential clients the importance of our iKBBI membership and the vetting process that we have to undergo and it definitely reassures them and they understand that we are the professionals in our trade, usually resulting in us getting the work.”
the KBB market generally, to which he replied, “I have no concerns for the future of our industry. If anything I would like to see more true professionals within it and proper training for new entrants. With regard to the iKBBI, all I can say to fellow members is to continue working hard, spread the word about the iKBBI and take care of your clients. Everything else will come together and you can be successful in your own area. Remember people talk and what more could you ask for if they are saying great things about you and your business.”
Finally, we rounded things up by asking if Neil has any comment on the future of
Neil McGowan, NM Home Improvements Ltd. www.nmhomeimprovements.com
Website Advice by Steff Booth from www.girlfridayharrow.co.uk
IS YOUR WEBSITE LOSING YOU BUSINESS? A study by Global Lingo revealed that 59% of Britons would not use a company that had obvious grammatical or spelling mistakes on its website or marketing material, and 82% would not use a company that had not correctly translated its material into English.*
“Spelling mistakes can cut online sales in half.”
59% of participants of the study said that they “wouldn’t trust” a company to provide a good quality service if their website displayed obvious spelling errors and bad grammar.
They also stated that a company demonstrating a lack of care and attention to detail within their online shopfront would be deemed as being unprofessional and possibly bypassed for one of their competitors. And with an article published by the BBC substantiating the above
headline stating that spelling mistakes can cut online sales in half, you can’t help but wonder if your business is losing out on new customers because of tiny little errors that some people wouldn’t even notice.** Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, overuse of capitals, grainy images, broken links – there are so many things that could be preventing prospective customers from getting in touch, so isn’t it time to give your website a proofreading
Website Advice by Steff Booth from www.girlfridayharrow.co.uk
health check? If you donâ€™t have the time or the know-how, you can always get Girl Friday to do it for you. For a quick, cost effective solution to get your website back on track, contact Steff to get a proofing report for your business.
www.girlfridayharrow.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07855 800 586
* Source: http://realbusiness. co.uk/article/24623 ** Source: http://www.bbc. co.uk/newseducation-14130854
Steff Booth from www.girlfridayharrow.co.uk
Website Advice by Stress Free Media
GETTING THE BEST OUT OF YOUR WEBSITE As a website designer who has worked with many trade specialists, I am always excited to offer my ideas and even give advice where appropriate on how installers can improve their website and web marketing to increase business. Many self-employed tradesmen and small business owners often make very similar mistakes when launching a website; everyone knows a business needs one but they aren’t really sure what they want it to do for them. If they can establish this before approaching a web designer they will not only save time and money on design, but will get something that pays for itself over and over. Here are the most common mistakes that I see people making every day, which are easy to fix:
Well written Your website should speak to its visitors in a way that will educate and inform them. Remember to focus on the benefits and to keep your text easy to understand with minimal technical jargon.
Gary Sumpter, Stress Free Media
Responsive Your website should be responsive so that it adapts to fit computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets, ensuring your website visitors always see things in the best way. Contact Always ensure that your contact details are displayed in a prominent position; the top right hand corner is best. Make it as easy as possible for potential clients to contact you.
Professional Your website is in effect your online brochure, so it should reflect your company image by being professional, clean and easy to navigate. A DIY website will not stand out in today’s competitive market. Personal Always try to convey a personal touch on your website. You are speaking to people, so reflect your own personality in everything that you write. Visual Use the best quality photos on your website showing your best work to potential clients. You don’t need a huge portfolio, quality is much more important than quantity.
Gary Sumpter. Stressfreemedia.co.uk & Ikbbiwebsites.co.uk
Tools, Power Tools & Equipment Advice
GIVING YOURSELF AN EDGE! As you all know, working with pre-finished board materials such as Ply and M.D.F is a simple and cost effective way to produce cabinets, doors and anything with a shaped profile. Simple, until the edge needs to be applied! that is! Options vary from solid timber lipping and iron on edging but both have big drawbacks. Solid timber has to be clamped and then levelled to the surface and any slight inaccuracy when levelling will result in the pre-finished surface being marked and iron on edging is not the most professional of long term solutions to work with. cont. on p42
Tools, Power Tools & Equipment Advice ... cont
A hand-held Edge Bander can also be used to apply an A.B.S, P.V.C or even timber edging (if thin enough) to the exposed cut edge of the cabinet. The big advantages of a hand-held edge bander are speed, drying time and cleanliness. The CONTURO K.A.65 from Festool is versatile providing use for edging bevels, a variety of colours for the adhesive, tight radii and, of course, the K.A.65 can be operated hand-held and used as a stationary machine. To show how innovative the CONTURO K.A.65 is, it can even be used for Polyurethane adhesive, the only hand-held edge bander to enable a waterproof bond. The CONTURO K.A.65 can edge boards from 18mm â€“ 65mm so the capacity is ahead of any competition but the advantages are numerous, such as using the digital read out to set the temperature so that the E.V.A adhesive is applied at exactly the correct temperature to ensure that the best bond is achieved with the substrate. The E.V.A adhesive is supplied in block form rather than pellets so the adhesive is heated as and when required. The other advantage of the digital read out is it shows how
many metres can be applied with the adhesive in the machine. This allows the cost of adhesive to be known and catered for when pricing a job. The adhesive is applied in lines to ensure an even spread rather than a â€˜smearâ€™ and again this helps to achieve a perfect bond.
The CONTURO K.A.65 also has another claim to fame and that is changing the colour of the adhesive to suit the colour of the surface material. A choice of four colours are available: White, Natural, Brown and Black.
Tools, Power Tools & Equipment Advice
The CONTURO K.A.65 makes this a simple process just by making some adjustments to the settings on the machine and then inserting the colour chosen and pushing the old colour through the gluing system until the new colour comes through. The big advantage is that it is a
clean and easy process to carry out even the digital screen will prompt what is needed Festool takes a system approach to everything that it produces and the CONTURO K.A.65 is no exception. Edge-banding within Festool goes by the
phrase ‘The Perfect Edge’. It is not just a machine but a series of solutions to the commonly accepted issues when working with pre-finished materials, the Festool solution to the adhesive is just one innovative answer. If you then add the accessory sets from Festool for trimming and polishing the edge and putting a radius cut to an edge we can then see that it is the complete answer and also a complete system to work with efficiently. Festool even produces a book called ‘The Perfect Edge’ which provides all the necessary information to work with the K.A.65. www.festool.co.uk
TAX TIPS by Dean Flood George Osborne’s 1st budget speech for the new government in early July of this year set out the government’s financial plans for the next five years. Below are some important points that may be relevant to your business or personal tax circumstances. Revised Tax Regime for Dividend Income As from 6th April 2016, subject to levels of investment income and overall taxable income, the 1st £5,000 of dividend income for individuals will, effectively, not be assessable to tax. The old system of ‘national tax credits’ is also being removed. To perhaps counter these perceived positives for tax payers, dividends in excess of £5,000 will be assessed for 7.5% tax even at the basic rate threshold, where they are currently not taxed. The general consensus amongst tax advisers is that it is still more tax efficient to operate a reasonably profitable business through a limited company however the tax advantages will have been reduced by this legislation. Taxpayers with owner
managed businesses may also wish to consider dividend planning either side of the 6th April 2016 to establish as to whether accelerated dividends may be to their advantage. Reduced tax relief for interest Charges on ‘Buy to Lets’ Over the next six years the government will be phasing in a restriction on higher rate tax relief for mortgage interest. The full effect of the changes will therefore not be immediate but it has prompted many advisers to consider whether operation of long term buy to let activity through a Limited Company is becoming more attractive for tax purposes. Annual Investment Allowance Levels Although HMR&C had previously indicated a reduction to the Annual investment Allowance (the amount that businesses can spend on certain capital equipment and gain full tax relief), this position has been somewhat reversed and the relief is now available up to £200,000 (after 1st January 2016) where it has previously expected to fall to £25,000. This is good
Dean Flood, Chartered Certified Accountant and Partner at Rowland Hall
news for businesses with growth intentions. Corporation Tax Rates The chancellor has extended recent policies to reduce corporation tax rates (now 20%) and has indicated further reductions to 19% (April 2017) and 18% (April 2020). NIC Employment Allowance As from April 2016, the employer’s annual employment allowance (the amount credited by HMR&C against the employer’s NIC costs) will rise from £2,000 to £3,000. However, the allowance is being removed for sole employee directors of their own companies. www.rowlandhall.co.uk Tel: 01375 378 828/ 01268 696 878
REGISTERED AUDITORS BUSINESS ADVISERS
Thurrock t: 01375 373828 e: email@example.com 44/54 Orsett Road, Grays, Essex RM17 5ED
Castle Point t: 01268 696878 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Grovedell House, 15 Knightswick Road, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 9PA
www.rowlandhall.co.uk Registered to carry out audit work and regulated for a range of investment business activities by The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
HOW TO SAVE VALUABLE TIME AND CONVERT MORE ESTIMATES! You’ve had a long hard week; you decide to leave for home a little early on Friday to tackle your paperwork so that you can give yourself a weekend clear with your family, and then you’re held up by tailbacks on the motorway; sounds familiar? Its happened to us all and apart from the frustration of being stuck in a traffic jam your stress levels rise knowing that your quotations, invoicing, chasing money etc are all mounting up. You are an installer after all, if God put you on this earth to do paperwork you would have been less practical and got a job in an office, right? If only you could afford a bookkeeper to keep records, an accounts person to chase outstanding monies, a PA to organise you, and someone who can make your business appear more professional to secure more business for you, you could just get on with doing what you’re best at, installing bathrooms or kitchens. If you can relate to this scenario you will be delighted to know that help is now at hand in the guise of iKBBI official supporter, www.yourtradebase. com. It’s an online service to installers that makes all those ‘white collar’ cont. on p46
Business Feature ... cont
tasks quick and easy to perform whilst professionalising the image of your business. Aimed specifically at KBB installers, www.yourtradebase. com was launched in 2012 and has grown rapidly because quite frankly, its service ‘scratches where installers are itching.’
www.yourtradebase.com allows installers to simplify and professionalise their quotations, thus securing more business. It is also used for raising clear and professional invoices and critically, for chasing outstanding debt. The service can also run a ‘diary’ and can be set to prompt you to ensure that you don’t forget or miss important tasks. Furthermore, www.yourtradebase.com can be accessed from anywhere using a PC, tablet or smartphone so even if you are on site or with a customer details can be accessed 24 hours a day. Importantly, everything is backed up on the company server so that users will never lose vital paperwork. So how does it work? Well, it’s a webbased product so there is no need to
download or install anything on your computer, tablet etc; simply access your account from the website at anytime. For anyone requiring any further clarity or would like to ‘suckit-and-see’ then my advice would be to go online and type in the web address: www.yourtradebase.com and take advantage of a completely free of charge (there are no credit cards required) one month trial, but for those who are too busy (and these are probably the guys who require a service like this immediately) it works like this: Once you have registered to begin your free trial, you can customise and personalise your paperwork to suit your business and then simply start creating, sending and chasing up on your quotes and invoices. You can quote for potential new business based on materials and labour costs to ensure you hit profit and build your own list of services to get quotes created quicker.
You’ll get reminders of what needs chasing and what’s outstanding and your customer can even view and accept your quotes online. Once you’ve
won a new job you can manage your schedule and keep track of tasks and follow-ups. Furthermore, it keeps you organised and your customers happy. There are no contracts and you can upgrade or downgrade your account at any time.
all costs.” He continued, “Since I’ve started using www.yourtradebase.com it has made paperwork so easy, almost to the point of being addictive, because I can monitor all of my customers with so little effort. I would even go as far as to say that the automatic reminder it sends you to follow up your estimates has resulted in increased business.” Gary summarised by adding; “The support we get is second to none so my advice to any iKBBI member is try your free month and see for yourself, after all, you have nothing to lose.”
Co-Founder Dean Taylor says, “After a steady start, the take up from selfemployed installers more recently has been amazing. We encourage feedback from our users who are happy to oblige.”
“Since I’ve started using www.yourtradebase.com it has made paperwork so easy, almost to the point of being addictive” For instance, Gary Cosway of Woodpeckers - Kitchens, Bathrooms, Wooden floors, Joinery (iKBBI Member) states, “As a small two man business I was very dubious in thinking a software package could help our business but I was so wrong! I hate paper work and will avoid it at
The iKBBI and www.yourtradebase.com have formed a collaboration where members qualify for a 25% discount. For details and further information click on the dedicated page: www.yourtradebase.com/ikbbi
Product Feature, Kitchens Krieder Parisian kitchen
â€œWorking with materials, which are not commonly associated with the kitchen, such as concrete, is a new and inventive way to create interesting spaces.â€? Matt Yeatman, Managing Director at Krieder, 48
Product Feature, Kitchens
It doesn’t seem long ago that the kitchen was tucked away and kept pretty much out of sight. It couldn’t be any more different today, with the kitchen being described as the central hub of the home. It’s still fundamentally where we prepare and wash up, but now you’ll find that in most homes it’s designed to integrate into the overall living space. If you’re looking to understand kitchen trends, many people will say that there’s no better place to start than with the original trend setters themselves SieMatic. This German manufacturer is considered by many to be a leader in kitchen trends, as it claims to have been the very first company to design a sleek handle-less kitchen back in the 1960s. This style continues to dominate modern kitchen design, although the look has evolved to bring in a more diverse cont. on p50
SieMatic PURE collection
Product Feature, Kitchens ... cont
range of finishes. Managing Director at SieMatic UK, Bernard Otulakowski, explains: “Our most trendconscious customers are looking for a design which is modern and minimalist, but with warmth and individuality. Our designers are achieving this by mixing cabinetry from different ranges and making a feature out of textures and finishes.”
SieMatic URBAN collection
William Garvey bespoke kitchen table
“We have seen a desire for polar opposites, such as light grey concrete and dark wood coming together to create one complete look.” Bill Garvey Managing Director, William Garvey.
Krieder Parisian kitchen
Whilst the days of fussy and ornate kitchens with pilasters and patterned curtains are a distant memory, it seems that the answer is not simply one colour and a singular door style. For example, the C Collection kitchen by Schüller and available from InHouse is pictured demonstrating a harmonious range of colours and finishes, including a white breakfast bar with shelving in a light Scandinavian wood style and cabinetry in indigo blue and a sage green. Bernard also advocates a combination approach: “Take, for instance, matt white handle-less cabinets; they work so well cont. on p52
TradeUp™ is a new kitchen proposition exclusively available to trade professionals. The collection features a comprehensive range of kitchen styles to suit any homeowner’s taste, all available to iKBBI members at trade prices. TradeUp KitchensTM are supplied on a complete basis through a network of independent trade manufacturers throughout the UK. Each highly experienced trade manufacturer offers quality, custom-built complete kitchen solutions with on-site delivery as standard. Many manufacturers have showrooms for your use and offer a design service to help you plan your client’s perfect kitchen.
VISIT THE iKBBI MEMBER BENEFITS AREA FOR YOUR FREE TRADEUP MARKETING PACK
Find your nearest trade manufacturer by visiting: www.tradeupkitchens.co.uk
Product Feature, Kitchens ... cont
when teamed with subtle metallics, rich wood veneers, glossy cabinets and slim stone worktops. It’s not a flashy look, but elegant, simple and understated. With these kitchens, it’s not a matter of choosing either matt or glossy, or colour or wood, but bringing together a palette of harmonious finishes, which can play off each other.” Managing Director at Krieder, Matt Yeatman, also thinks interesting finishes and materials are the way forward: “It’s great to experiment with unusual materials to create bespoke, daring and individual kitchens. Working with materials, which are not commonly associated with the kitchen, such as
“When it comes to material, matt lacquers with tactile finishes and interesting veneers remain a popular choice.” Sara Wells, Regional Sales & Business Development Manager, Doca UK
concrete, is a new and inventive way to create interesting spaces. A material like concrete doesn’t have to be cold and clinical; simply give it a textured finish for a more organic feel. It doesn’t have to be heavy either; it can be applied as a thin layer to the outside of cabinetry to create an interesting aesthetic without the weight.” Managing Director at William Garvey, Bill Garvey, adds: “We have seen a desire for polar opposites, such as light grey concrete and dark wood coming together to create one complete look. Not only is this achieving a tactile interior with different textures, but the difference between the warming wood and industrial concrete offers high contrast with a contemporary edge.” Regional Sales & Business Development Manager at Doca UK, Sara Wells, has also found this to be the case: “The most popular choice right now is opting for a mix of materials, 52
white, taupes or warm greys, teamed with rich wood veneers, textures/patterned laminates and polished chrome or brushed steel accessories. When it comes to material, matt lacquers with tactile finishes and interesting veneers remain a popular choice.” This new style, which is modern but feels warm and individual, can be accessible for all areas of the industry. Take TradeUp’s Brabant kitchen; it shows how to combine a white kitchen with an exposed brick wall and an industrial wood table to create a really interesting and modern arrangement. This shows that a consumer can opt for a singular door style and colour, but simply add interesting materials and finishes in the general décor. The desire to replicate the latest fashionable styles works in every market and you’ve only got to look to the high street’s continual mimicking of the catwalk to see how successful this can be.
“For the kitchen cabinetry to blend into the living areas, it’s necessary for it to look less like kitchen furniture and be more akin to the finishes and cabinetry styles found in living room furniture.” Bernard Otulakowski, Managing Director at SieMatic UK.
So what sparked this shift in kitchen design? Many people point to our busy lifestyles and how by combining rooms rather than separating them, it allows us to spend more time with each other. This has meant that the kitchen has had to adapt and become a multi-purpose space rather than a purely functional area and so the design has evolved to make this possible. Bernard proposes: “For the
Product Feature, Kitchens
kitchen cabinetry to blend into the living areas, it’s necessary for it to look less like kitchen furniture and be more akin to the finishes and cabinetry styles found in living room furniture. This has led, for example, to rich wooden veneers being used to house tall cabinets in kitchen spaces so that they blend into the living and dining areas. This has elevated the status of kitchen furniture and made it TradeUp Brabant kitchen
possible to integrate luxurious, metallic and wooden finishes as part of a kitchen living design.” Doca www.docauk.com InHouse www.inhouseltd.co.uk Krieder www.krieder.com SieMatic www.siematic.co.uk TradeUp www.tradeupkitchens.co.uk William Garvey www.williamgarvey.co.uk InHouse Schüller C kitchen
Doca UK Brocant Series kitchen
Product Feature, Designer Towel Warmers & Radiators
â€œStainless steel and brass remain the two preferred materials for the design of superior heating solutions. Incredibly versatile and most importantly, durable, such material is suitable for connection to both open and closed heating circuits.â€? Tom Long, Sales Manager at Aestus
Product Feature, Designer Towel Warmers & Radiators Ruggine Radiator, Designer Italian Collection from Aestus
HOT PROSPECTS …
Considered a ‘must have’ in any home, the UK market for quality heating solutions has significantly developed to meet modern-day consumer demands. Leading heating specialists are constantly pushing the boundaries, developing solutions which bring highly innovative form and function. This has certainly transformed what was once a standard installation into a specialty, so it’s great to see UK manufacturers offering such a wide variety of options. New technologies are elevating the latest designs into a luxury purchase, with premium models offering homeowners the chance to remotely control, personalise and efficiently heat their home. Steve Birch, Operations Manager of Vogue (UK) tells us more: “The last 25 years has seen technological advancements come to the fore to meet the needs of the “anytime, anywhere” generation, giving greater user control over heat output and individual preferences. Features such as concealed valves, adjustable fixings or built-in thermostatic controls for practical placement and maximum user convenience, continue to gain momentum in the heating market and make perfect sense in the bathroom or kitchen resulting in unobtrusive control.” cont. on p56
Product Feature, Designer Towel Warmers & Radiators ... cont
Smooth Towel Warmer, Contemporary Collection by Vogue (UK)
He contunued “Winning the trust of a client is essential because heating a home requires investment. If the client is price led, it might be worth discussing radiators with eco-features that offer greater performance and energy efficiency. Green credentials are a factor and it is definitely worth noting that some of the more technical characteristics can certainly be translated into unique selling points to help you clinch a sale.”
“Winning the trust of a client is essential because heating a home requires investment. If the client is price led, it might be worth discussing radiators with eco-features that offer greater performance and energy efficiency.” Steve Birch, Operations Manager of Vogue (UK)
For example, PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) is a great feature to know about. Rather than controlling the heat by switching a thermostat on and off, PTC uses a natural stone to reach its optimum temperature, known as its Curie Point. Once this is reached, the power is reduced by up to 30%, to maintain the equilibrium temperature. Once the element has reached equilibrium, the power reduces to a level that maintains the desired temperature. When used, the element will automatically return to full power until the towel is dry and then revert to its power saving mode. In terms of design, most high-quality and distinguished radiator manufacturers design and make heating solutions suitable for all circuits; central heating, electric, dual fuel and domestic hot water systems. Quality raw materials are fundamental to overall function,
seeing different options influence the performance of a radiator. Tom Long, Sales Manager at Aestus says: “Stainless steel and brass remain the two preferred materials for the design of superior heating solutions. Incredibly versatile and most importantly, durable, such material is suitable for connection to both open and closed heating circuits. Homeowners are investing more in terms of quality and performance, realising that a cheaper, lower quality product will inevitably need replacing. It will simply not perform as well, last as long, or look as impressive as its premium counterpart and this is something that has become more apparent.”
“Traditional design is stronger than ever. Developments in technology and manufacturing techniques have made it possible to bring traditional designs into the 21st century.” Steve Birch, Operations Manager at Vogue (UK)
Long continues: “Bucking the trend for the common white enamelled radiator or towel warmer, stylish heating solutions that incorporate different tone and texture will continue to soar in popularity. Taking modern heating solutions into new levels of design have elevated this once humble feature into a work of art. Mild steel heating designs with burnished copper, etched or polished metal and stone or mirror effect finishes are now being seen in quality designer portfolios and only confirm that it’s not all about performance these days.” The style of heating appliance your customer chooses isn’t always indicative of the type of property they live in. In a generation where consumers want to
Ventaglio Radiator, Designer Italian Collection from Aestus
cont. on p58
Product Feature, Designer Towel Warmers & Radiators Sequel III Towel Warmer Radiator, Traditional Collection by Vogue (UK)
create spaces that have the ‘wow factor’, never assume. Instead listen, consult, discuss and action. Steve Birch says, “It’s fair to say that although contemporary interior design trends invite consumers to embrace a minimalist style of living, traditional design is stronger than ever. Developments in technology and manufacturing techniques have made it possible to bring traditional designs into the 21st century, allowing the best elements of both eras and giving homeowners a quality mix of old and new. Classic ball joints and antique finishes are now being teamed with contemporary design features and technology, like our
integral valve collection or melange finish where traditional gold and contemporary chrome are combined.” Expert knowledge, quality installation and reliable after-care service is crucial for your customers, so visit your local bathroom or kitchen merchant, talk to your suppliers, find out what the latest products and trends are, and be confident in what’s available for you and your customers. www.vogueuk.co.uk www.aestus.co.uk
be inspired Craftsmanship, creativity and innovative technology
Integral Collection valve fitting as featured on the Vivid IV IVCN021 Wall
Integral Valve Compression nut and piping
Towel Warmers & Radiators www.vogueuk.co.uk Vogue (UK) Limited, Strawberry Lane, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 3RS T+44 (0) 1902 387000 | F+44 (0) 1902 387001
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Grange Designâ€™s SO612 Black Tubular Shower Head Grange Design claims that its new MGS manufactured SO612 black steel tubular shower head, designed and made from high quality stainless steel, is the only black brassware collection currently in the UK. Characteristically stronger and greener than traditional brass materials, the new SO612 in Black Stainless Steel presents a simple and very elegant design with soothing rain effect spray. This wall-mounted model features a distinct tubular spout which offers a generous projection of 500mm. The SO612 Black Steel Tubular Shower head is available in either Matt or Gloss Black Steel finish. www.mgsbathroomtaps.co.uk
01732 760 079
MGS new Spin HD Kitchen Mixer MGS introduces Spin HD Kitchen Mixer with subtle dual pull-out spray due to its dual spray spout that fits seamlessly in a variety of applications. It measures 330mm in height with a 230mm spout reach. Featuring single lever control, the Spin HD kitchen mixer subtly makes way for an integrated extendable pullout spray: housed in the dual flow spout. The MGS Spin HD Kitchen Mixer can be found in the new MGS Kitchen Collection and is available from: www.mgstaps.com KA Distribution 01772 698 111
J.Rotherham Gemini Quartz Concrete Series Gemini Quartz Concrete Series: offers ontrend surface options without the sheer weight and susceptibility to staining, abrasions and corrosion which is inherent in real concrete. Select from four finishes; Nordic Grey, Smoke Grey, Nevis Grey and Gotham Grey (pictured). Each colour is enhanced by a 30mm thick Square Polish profile. This revolutionary brushed finish is completely unique to J. Rotherham www.jrotherham.co.uk
0845 388 1927
Aqualuxs AQUA25 Definition Shower Tray AQUA25 Definition offers market leading design features in water entry and capture. It is beneath the unique 75 x 300mm stainless steel flush fitting waste grid that the superior technology of the tray is employed. Advanced micro water management directs the water flow at the correct velocity through a unique waster flange; effectively the water is drawn from the surface of the tray by the vortex created within the waste unit. The practically flat surface allows the shower tray to be installed flush to the floor for threshold entry and is suitable for wheelchair access. Available in sizes from 900 x 900mm to 1700 x 900mm. AQUA25 Definition is available in square, rectangle, quadrant and off-set quadrant designs. Manufactured in the UK, from 100% stone resin the shower trays are tested to over 33 litres per minute. It fully complies with EN274 European standard flow rates. All Aqualux shower trays are supplied with a tough and repairable gel coat surface and come with a 12 year guarantee. www.aqualux.co.uk
01213 952 000
Liebherrs ICBN 3366 Fridge-Freezer Liebherr has recently featured its ICBN 3366 Premium built-in fridge-freezer at Grand Designs exhibition attracting much attention from trade and consumer visitors alike. The extremely efficient ICBN 3366 Premium fridge-freezer is A++ rated and features Liebherrâ€™s Bio Fresh technology which helps to make food last longer. It provides the right humidity for specific types of food such as fish, fruits or meat and dairy, which helps to preserve the vitamins, nutrients and freshness of the food. This model has a generous total net capacity of 234 ltr with the freezer compartment offering 58 ltr, and the refrigerator compartment totalling 176 ltr, including 67 ltr BioFresh compartments. The whole appliance measures H177.2178.8xW56-57xD55cm and it has a low noise rating of 38 db(A) .
03330 147 888
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